Malaysia must not only keep up with the development of the ASEAN countries but also define its leadership style to lead the power resurgence in the region, said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul.
With Malaysia set to host the ASEAN Summit in 2025, he said, it was crucial for the country to establish its position in the changing economic landscape, which is now largely concentrated in the ASEAN countries.
To achieve this goal, Johari believes that Malaysians, including those seeking opportunities abroad, as well as the major powers in the region, like China, should contribute to Malaysia's development.
By doing so, he said, Malaysia could avoid falling behind other countries in the region and be able to lead ASEAN.
"The 21st century, as said by the majority of economists, belongs to Asia and thus, we cannot just sit idly as our neighbouring countries progress... the sleeping giants are waking up and we need to keep up.
"With what is happening (economic development in Asia), the question is how will Malaysia lead ASEAN when we chair the ASEAN Summit in 2025... many world leaders are curious about how we (Malaysia) plan to lead and where do we take ASEAN to, " he said at a session with the Malaysian Diaspora here last night
Johari said that the steps to ensure Malaysia is ready to lead ASEAN, include empowering and training local youth to become leaders and experts in various sectors such as the economy, renewable energy and artificial intelligence (AI).
"Many of our young people are now involved in the gig economy to the point that some do not want to continue their studies... this will be a problem because we will be losing leaders as well as future talents and experts.
"Therefore we need to rectify this and I believe my colleagues (in the Cabinet and Parliament) are working on it... our youth abroad, we also need your experience to develop Malaysia... you are on their soil, gain experience and bring it home,” he added.
Johari, who is leading a delegation from the Malaysian Parliament, is now on an official four-day visit to Beijing at the invitation of the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, Zhao Leji following a bilateral meeting held in Kuala Lumpur on May 18 this year.
Today, Johari is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Zhao and the chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Wang Huning, as well as give a public lecture on 'ASEAN in the Asian Century' to Tsinghua University students to discuss Malaysia's role as host of the ASEAN Summit in 2025
Source: BERNAMA News Agency