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Jakarta Post

ASEAN told to start getting closer to its citizens

  • Agnes Anya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 12 2018   /  02:32 am

Despite having been around for about half a century, many ASEAN citizens still do not see the benefits of the regional bloc.

“I am proud to be an ASEAN citizen but I do not know why,” 35-year-old freelance translator Yohanes Tito told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

He said he was proud to be a part of ASEAN because he could be “united with world communities that are practically serumpun [sharing a common ancestry]”.

However, he could not recall any ASEAN program that directly impacted his life.

“As a layman, the most concrete ASEAN benefit that I can enjoy is only [sporting event] the Southeast Asian Games,” he added. “Also, as an ASEAN citizen, it is easier for us to travel to other ASEAN member countries. That’s all.”

Being an ASEAN citizen also does not make access to jobs easier, said Kartika Bhagchandani, a 28-year-old data analys...