Friday, April 20, 2007

Can Malaysia And Indonesia
Become Major Asian Powers?

A Bernama news dispatch from Padang, Western Sumatera, today quoted an Indonesia historian, Des Alwi, as saying that “Indonesia and Malaysia are on the right track and period of time to collaborate and emerge as major powers of Asia.”

According to the news report, Des Alwi, 80, said that Malaysia and Indonesia had the strength and edge to achieve that.

"I am sure that if both countries were to collaborate with the strength and edge that they have, they can emerge as major economic and diplomatic powers," he said.

Des said that after having enjoyed 50 years of diplomatic relations, the time was now right for both Indonesia and Malaysia to look 50 years ahead and see how they can overcome obstacles impeding efforts to forge greater cooperation for mutual benefit.

I am glad to know that such an optimism exists. And I am also sure that such an optimism could be turned into a reality if Malaysia and Indonesia are willing to sincerely chart the strategy towards achieving it.

I hope the leadership of both nations will articulate this optimism in due time. The current geopolitical development and situation in South East Asia and the seemingly fragile co-operation within ASEAN today, especially when a certain particular member of the organization is allegedly interfering in another ASEAN member country’s internal affairs, should become one of the major motivations to making Malaysia and Indonesia as the major powers in South East Asia in the 21st century.

But, the pre-requisites to becoming a major power must be fulfilled. These include, far-sighted, able and stable leadership; steady economic and technological advancements; educated, and cultured citizens with excellent principles and values of life; sound practices of good governance; competitive, innovative, hard-working, knowledgeable, dedicated and disciplined workforce or human capital; pragmatic foreign policy conducive to foreign trade and foreign investment; and last but not the least, strong will power, enthusiasm and readiness to become global players. – Ruhanie Ahmad

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