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2007 SEA Games and the Charter

I honestly was caught off guard when I read in the news that the next edition of the SEA Games is coming up. I of course will be supporting the Malaysia. Yes, I want golds for Malaysia but the goal of the Games undoubtedly is greater ASEAN integration. The Games is one of few occasions which the people of ASEAN could come together and celebrate our Southeast Asian union, very unlike the recently adopted ASEAN Charter.

The ASEAN Charter beings with "We, the peoples of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations..." despite the fact that the document is mostly drafted by bureaucrats that worked far detached from the people the Charter claims to represent.

It's highly likely that the Charter will be ratified by the legislative arms of each member state. While that may be acceptable, given the state of Southeast Asian democracy, especially of that on the mainland including Malaysia and Singapore, I doubt the Charter will have the legitimacy to really enforce its wills — or rather, theoretically, the wills of the people — throughout ASEAN. In other words, I'd refer to have a referendum as a barometer to measure grassroots support for the Charter rather than have the legislative to rubber stamp the Charter by demand of the executive.

I have a few more misgivings for the Charter but regardless, I look forward to a more integrated region to rival the European Union. I look forward to a day when I could cross the border of Southeast Asian countries with impunity. Most of all, with the disappointing Doha Round, regionalism is the next best solution to global free trade.

Anyway, so, who is going to the SEA Games?


Laibeus Lord said...

I and the rest of the Aseans are very much in agreement with you. We, the people, the grassroots of this whole ASEAN Integration were not really involve in this whole plan.

And the past 40 years, they did little to spread the idea, the vision, the mission, the values of ASEAN to us the common citizens.

I guess that's where our unity online, through our blogs, and especially this blog - "ASEAN - Asia's Perfect 10" will be felt and they will see and HEAR our gripes with how they are doing things.

I'm turning 26 this January, and honestly, I am very pro-ASEAN Community / Integration, but I haven't really felt or seen anything from ASEAN since I became aware of the grouping.

But, I'll give them another chance, since we 'were' a loosely-based ragtags then. Today until the 14th Summit, will be crucial as all 10-members must ratified with their respective peoples the ASEAN Constitution.

And hopefully by the 14th ASEAN Summit next year, the ASEAN Constitution will take into full effect. Maybe, and I really hope, once it does take into full effect, we will see changes for the better. We will start seeing and feeling the "ASEAN Community", they will GET our opinions and ask for our involvement (they don't even need to ask!), and the Vision, the Mission, and the Values will be shared to all the 500+ million ASEANs.


Jiwa Matahari said...

^Well said, brothers! Anyway, let's just do what we can. Even without their help, I already feel that you guys are my brothers :D

Hafiz, you lucky bastard... you're going to the SEA Games, aren't you? I wish I could go too :(