At the 20th ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Council Meeting, Malaysia highlighted various issues and challenges facing ASEAN.

Today the World is witnessing the backsliding of democracy in certain countries. The international trade and financial architecture is still not free and fair. As we prepare to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN@75) in 2020, ASEAN should reaffirm its commitment to the values embodied in the UN Charter. For UN@75, Malaysia is outlining four major activities: i) reform of the UN Security Council, ii) strengthening gender equality towards Beijing+25, iii) supporting civil society organisations’ initiative via “The Future We Want, the UN We Need”, iv) strengthening the efforts on disarmament of nuclear weapons.

On South China Sea, while negotiating with China on the Code of Conduct (COC), Malaysia is very concerned about the presence of Coast Guard boats on Malaysians shores more frequently, nearer, and are harbouring. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Wisma Putra) will be establishing a Maritime centre of excellence, and invites member states to collaborate.

On the Rohingya crisis, Malaysia urges Myanmar to hold dialogues with the Rohingya refugees especially in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh as a way to build a foundation of trust that can ensure repatriation that is voluntary, safe and dignified. In this regard, Malaysia welcomes ASEAN Secretary General’s proposal to form an adhoc task force that is full time, to implement a holistic approach of the repatriation, and propose to enlist activists from CSOs, as Malaysia has volunteers working in Rakhine State and in Cox’s Bazar.

On counter terrorism, the likes of Baghdadi and Osama are eliminated but the threat remains. ASEAN should intensify efforts in line with The ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (2018 – 2025). Malaysia offer its service via SEACCRT – South East Asia Centre for Countre Terrorism.