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12/17/2005

asians please speak up

two major gatherings of world leaders took place within a week in malaysia, the asean +3 east asian summit and the global peace forum. is there anything coming out from the two major asian events that are worthy of a meeting of so many leaders and costing so much funds? the east asian summit came out as a feel good forum for asian leaders to be seen to be able to get together, to rub shoulders, to talk shop. and talk is about what came out from it. the global forum is a talk session and they talked. mahathir talked the most. and his impact is still the greatest. mahathir called for more asian ngos, movements and the media to stand up and put an asian voice to the world map. that asians must organise and set the agenda and tell the world what is right or wrong, how asian sees events and through asian perspectives. he embarked on an attack on usa policies and how the usa set the agenda for the world, war on terrorism, regime change etc. he encouraged asians to emulate some of the western movements like the movement to protect the environment, to stand up for the people of the world. for a long time, all these movements are western dominated, standing up on issues or attacking countries, and representing mainly western interests. our journalists were quite vocal in their support for anti terrorism but quite muted in regime change. do they have any stand on this? interesting to know if they support regime change from the outside. would asians be able to take up the cudgel and contest with western ngos, to take on western governments and reset the agendas. could other agendas be set by asian organisations, initiated by asians and financed and supported by asians? there are signs that the asians are standing up to be heard, and able and willing to push their positions and agenda at the wto meeting in hongkong. the koreans were very active, the taiwanese too. they could be the pathfinders for other asians to rethink and organise themselves. and the media and internet communities could do their part to support these movements. surprisingly the one issue hongkong mob was not to be found. without the westerners to lead them, they could only gather to cry for democracy, tiananmen and human rights. they could not think of other issues to demonstrate. if asians could rally together, then there will be a more balance view, a contest of ideas rather than one small group drumming down on the rest of the world on what is right and what the world should be concerned with.

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