KUALA LUMPUR, 31st December, 2015 (WAM) — Malaysia has officially announced establishment of the ASEAN Community which will boost political, economic, social integration in this region, which is inhabited by more than 600 million people.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Anifah HJ. Aman, in a press statement, said, “December 31st, 2015, marks another significant milestone in ASEAN’s history as it is the day the ASEAN Community is formally established.”

He said, “The ASEAN Community was launched by the ASEAN Leaders during the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on 22nd November, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur.”

As Chairman of ASEAN, Malaysia, with the strong support and cooperation from the other ASEAN Member States, had successfully fulfilled its two main deliverables, namely to ensure the completion of the remaining action lines of the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015), and secondly, to develop the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together that charts the way forward for ASEAN in the political-security, economic and socio-cultural community pillars over the next 10 years. It has, therefore, been an honour for Malaysia to be the Chairman of ASEAN, at a time when ASEAN embarks on a new era, the release added.

Malaysia recognises that the coming into being of the ASEAN Community does not mean that it has arrived towards the end of the community building process. In fact, this is just the beginning. Greater awareness of the ASEAN Community and involvement in the community building process by its peoples are vital in making the ASEAN Community a success.

Malaysia warmly welcomes the establishment of the ASEAN Community and reiterates its unwavering support to further deepen the community building and regional integration process and to implement the commitments made under the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8th August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

WAM/Esraa/Moran