"What Indonesia initiated about the ASEAN as a single identity is a good thing, and we support it," Malaysian Deputy General Secretary of Tourism, Art, and Culture Ministry Saraya Binti Arbi noted on the sidelines of the ASEAN SOMCA here on Wednesday.
Indonesia had initiated the concept of ASEAN identity on its chairmanship of the 15th SOMCA in a bid to strengthen unity and awareness regarding ASEAN among communities in the region.
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Arbi noted that the Malaysian government had begun some events relating to the ASEAN SOMCA's agenda, including the underwater cultural heritage project to be organized in 2020 and historical storytelling symposium this year that involves public participation to highlight ASEAN's one vision, one identity, and one community motto.
"This is especially important for our young generation to understand the aspirations and achievements of the ASEAN," she emphasized.
Indonesia’s proposed draft of the ASEAN identity is the outcome of discussions from several civil society organizations that had consulted with 10 member nations for two months.
If all member countries concur on the ASEAN identity narrative, it will help the process of promoting the ASEAN, which has, until now, only been understood by limited circles, including the government, students, media, and academics.
Delegations from 10 ASEAN countries -- Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam -- as well as the three partner countries of Japan, South Korea, and China attended the 15th ASEAN SOMCA.
The SOMCA activity is an effort to deepen global cooperation in the field of culture in line with the mandate of Law No. 5 of 2017 on the Advancement of Culture to revive and maintain the cultural ecosystem, both domestically and between countries. Related news: Yogyakarta hosts ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting for Culture and Arts
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