Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – A single time zone across members of the Association of the South-East Asian Nations could come a step closer this year, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday.
The bloc’s time zones currently range from GMT + 6:30 in Myanmar to GMT + 9 hours in eastern Indonesia. The proposal would set Asean Common Time at GMT + 8 hours, the same as Beijing.
“We hope there will be some consensus by the time we meet next in November,” Najib said.
Some leaders in the 10-member regional grouping were strong supporters, but others “did not oppose it but asked for more time for some domestic considerations such as the prayer time for the monks,” he told reporters after a plenary meeting at the summit in Malaysia.
Malaysia has revived the initiative, which it says will improve the ease of doing business between the bloc’s members and with nearby countries.
Thailand and Cambodia, both on GMT + 7, were likely to resist the scheme, the Bangkok Post reported before the summit.