RI bloggers set up online ASEAN community
As the target to establish the ASEAN Community draws near, the Foreign Ministry and Indonesian bloggers have started a blogger community as part to raise public awareness about the issues.
The association aims to form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community, which would span politics, security, economics and socio culture, by 2015. The country members of ASEAN are Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
If ASEAN functioned as a single economic entity, it would be an “economic country” of 600 million people and boast a GDP of US$1.8 trillion. It would be Asia’s third-largest economy and a cultural and trading bridge between China, India, the Middle East and the Pacific.
Hazairin Pohan, the ministry’s functional ambassador, said that the ministry felt it was important to cooperate with bloggers as the ministry did not have the capacity to disseminate information on ASEAN to the whole archipelago and the region.
“We see that not many people are aware of the plan to form the ASEAN Community by 2015. We want to raise people’s awareness on this issue because half of ASEAN’s regions, citizens and economic clout belong to Indonesia. Therefore, the rise of ASEAN means the rise of Indonesia too,” he said.
The declaration, which took place on Tuesday night, was attended by 50 bloggers from various regions in Indonesia, including Surakarta in Central Java, Surabaya in East Java and Makassar in South Sulawesi.
Blontank Poer, a Surakarta-based blogger who attended the declaration, said that the bloggers would meet again to discuss the content and other future development plans.
“We agree that the portal will be for the benefit of Indonesia and the ASEAN Community. We will blog good news, but will maintain our criticism if we see that the government is not doing a good job,” he said.
The content of the portal currently consisted of posts in Indonesian and English, with subjects varying from security to culinary.
“In the future, the content will also touch on light issues, such as tourist sites and local culture. We will ask permission from bloggers to put the contents we find interesting on the site and will link it back to the original source,” he said.
Hazairin said the ministry would send a letter to ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan to encourage the establishment of a similar community in other ASEAN countries.
Blontank said that if the bloggers agreed to join the community, they would discuss what language the blog should use and the content of the site.
The ASEAN blogger website is http://aseanblogger.com.