Thursday, June 24, 2004

ASEAN, where can you go?

As we all knew that Association of Southeast Asia Nation (ASEAN) is a combination of the 10 counrties in the Southeast Asia including Burma, Laos and Cambodia which are still very much lack behind the democracy and human rights standard.

ASEAN always be the venue for the nation leaders to discuss about the cooperation of the economy prospect but not internal affairs of a country. That's why the principles of the "Constructive Engagement" which prohibit other countries to criticise the human rights records or the democracy situation in a countries.

Following the challenges of the rising of the China economy, many of the leaders in the ASEAN are finding ways to peg themselves with the China. Recently, Malaysia Prime Minister, Pak Lah suggested to get China, Japan and South Korea together ASEAN to form a greater East Asia Community.

For the ASA, as long as the Aung San Syu Kyi remain house arrest in Burma, the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Malaysia, emergency in Aceh, West Papua and other repression from the ASEAN government. The economy devlopment only serve the status quo and legitimize the human rights violation.

We should learn from the 1997 Asia Financial Crisis which caused by the repressive government and the myth of the economy development. We should never let it happened again.