Commemorating 53rd ASEAN Anniversary

“ASEAN FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF YOUNG PROGRESSIVE SCHOLARS”

Date    : Thursday, August 13, 2020

Time    : 10 AM – 12 PM (GMT+7)

Opening Speech by Mr Septyanto Galan Prakoso, S.IP, M.Sc. (Lecture of International Relations UNS)

Speaker 1, dr. Yuzana Maung (Master Student of Public Health Science UNS from Myanmar)

Speaker 2, Nguyen Thanh Dat (Student of Indonesian Language Course (BIPA) UNS from Vietnam)

Speaker 3, Muhammad Danish (Undergraduate Student of Electrical Engineering UNS from Malaysia)

Speaker 4, Femri Resdifianti (Undergraduate Student of International Relations UNS from Indonesia)

Moderated by Mutiara Firsty Linggar Nagisa Al Asyifa (Undergraduate Student of Intrernational Relation of UNS)

MC, Retnaningtyas Puspitasari (Undergraduate Student of International Relation of UNS)

As we know ASEAN was established in the middle of 1987 in Bangkok, Thailand. Today ASEAN has member countries which are Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Filipina, and Timor Leste. ASEAN compose various ethnicity, culture, language, and religion united in ASEAN. Sometimes diversity can be obstacles in the unity community. ASEAN tries to make a unique form of integration and defend the disadvantage. And how ASEAN has become innovative, therefore unity and diversity have become a milestone of ASEAN as a communal identity. One of the three pillars of ASEAN is the socio-culture pillar, which is a socio-political community and economic community. Socio-culture pillar is adopted from realized people-oriented, that the committee full of social responsibility to achieve solidarity, unity, and a common identity as well as building parliamentary.

The youth of every country has a desire to develop their country. That also happens in the youth of member of ASEAN citizens. They have potential in their own field. What the young do today, will be the future of ASEAN. Therefore the leaders of ASEAN member states have added Youth and huge development activity in the ASEAN agenda. In 1983, there is a decoration of the principal of ASEAN Youth collaboration which promotes the best education, profession, and leading young people in ASEAN. In the current condition, we face COVID-19 pandemic and the data show the increasing day by day.

ASEAN Youth tries to being productive in pandemic and develop a lack of digital skills as potential in the smart-phone era. Today we have 4 youth speakers from Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Indonesia to share their own perspective regarding the issue.

First Speaker is Mbak Yuzana from Myanmar as a Master Student of Public Health Science UNS and has been in Indonesia since 2013.

The second Speaker is Muhammad Danish from Malaysia as Majoring Electrical Engineering in UNS from Malaysia.

Third speaker Febri Resfianti as Undergraduate in International Relations UNS and right know active in as member as Indonesia Young Scientist and debating.

Last Speaker, we have Mr. Nguyen Thanh Dat from Vietnam, right now active in the organization and volunteer campaign and right now studying in BIPA UNS.

Yuzana

In the beginning, she tells about her academic journey. Since she was a little, she always dreams of being a doctor and it happens when she studied medicine in Myanmar for one and a half years. Then she got a scholarship from Islamic Development Bank to Indonesia and studied medicine since 2013 and graduated in 2019. After that, she decided to continue the master studied of Study Health in UNS from UNS international student scholarship.

She decided to continue studied here in Indonesia because the atmosphere of Solo and really convenience to study in here, especially UNS is one of the favourite university in Indonesia.

If we say about ASEAN, we will remember about the group of 10 member states from the South East Region. Highlight some point from her perspective opinion. First, how the rule of ASEAN we have now. It related to the current situation right now. ASEAN now handled together to face the challenge, not only for due to the pandemic but also ensuring sustain life and sustainable development of the countries in the region. We need to accomplish the opportunity. It’s crucial to prioritize the agenda for the young generation to face the challenges. As young generation we should train our self to see the positive situation we have, sharing kindness and love. It will be our strength and make us being stronger.

Danish (Diversity in ASEAN)

Muhammad Danish, from Malaysia, was a student majoring in Electrical Engineering in UNS. His father was an Indonesian (Chinese-Indonesian), that’s why when he was a little, he going to Chinese-Private-Primary School. He is able to speak in mandarin. Then he going to regular secondary school, and continue high school in the British educational system. He starts to study science and interested in engineering. After graduating from high school he chooses to continue in Electrical Engineering UNS, recommended by his father, and about the scholarship that UNS offered.

ASEAN historically have some in common. People in ASEAN from Austronesia, that’s why we have a common culture, common race, and similar language. It makes us feel like being part of other nation, as citizens from ASEAN, we don’t think that we are different. The main issue here, all of we have linguistic, cultural, and historical root for hundreds of years, we are different from each other. ASEAN as an organization being form to cooperating with each state. Not all people in ASEAN realized that we have a lot of similarities. In school, we learn we are part of ASEAN in history lessons and don’t really know what the actualization of ASEAN citizens with each other or doesn’t really know each other. The citizen in ASEAN still don’t have unity and integrity feeling regarding some factors, one of them is labeling. Like in Malaysia, there are a lot of grand workers from Indonesia that are unskilled workers. That’s why when Danish choose to continue to study in Indonesia, his academic teacher doesn’t really support him because of the negative perceptions of Indonesia. And it’s not just Indonesia but also in other countries.

Danish thinks, improvement of the room that increases our relationship with each other and should be more collaboration within the ASEAN nation. For example in academic, university collaboration like for research and training. Regarding the previous issue caused by unskilled workers, it would be better if we improve skilled to reduce the number of unskilled workers. It could change the negative perceptions and provide a lot of value to the country. In economics, we train each other to produce region income that’s why we should focused in local start-up, especially that created by Young or Youth ASEAN like Badan Energi in Indonesia. We should help ASEAN development countries, like Cambodia and Lao. At least, Danish clarify that all of what he explains and represented based on his own perspective opinion.

Femri

ASEAN is an organization that has great potential. This potential makes each country have prosperous potential in international. ASEAN is not just an organization that only discuss the international issue in general, but an association that created a future generation of the candidate are highly who are dedicated and ready to compete in all the challenges that exist and increase in the globalization era. From the youth perspective, Femri represented ASEAN in the economic sector and education and cultural sector. In the economic sector, we as the nation’s future perspective view have to implement the economic clean and freedom program within each ASEAN member. ASEAN influences also create a quality education system for each member country because the opportunity for each country to hold Youth and student exchange programs would be wider. Student exchange programs are also expected to broaden the knowledge of Nations youth about the world and the education system in each country. Because knowledge can be obtained anywhere and anytime not only focused on one point. Diverse Culture is also an interesting factor that ASEAN citizens can study. For example, for exchange students not only talk about academics (technology and social-science)  but also obtain cultural majors from each ASEAN member country to create a stronger tolerance. With a unique culture, the opportunities for ASEAN’s countries will get international attention from their culture.

ASEAN is a very important Youth, like for Femri, because ASEAN can be a medium for young people to convey all their aspirations and bright idea for advancement in the future. ASEAN also can be a forum of the Youth for each country to be able to make a more communicative and interactive, and also to expand communication networks to strengthen brotherhood that will prepare for the potential leader in the future. For Indonesian youth, the awareness of ASEAN is relatively high but the awareness didn’t necessarily reflect their understanding organization and might know what program running in ASEAN. The level of awareness also appears to be different from each city in the country. Indonesian youth in a big city like Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya show that they knew ASEAN better than youth that live in a small city. Not only because the ASEAN office that placed in a metropolitan city as Jakarta, but also the access for ASEAN information in big cities is easy to access.

What about in Surakarta. Based on Femri experienced, especially in UNS, they still know ASEAN in general but some of them still don’t know ASEAN’s program and maybe don’t know ASEAN anthem. Perhaps the higher awareness as ASEAN community of youth will increase.

Femri also shares what Youth can participate in ASEAN. We can access ASEAN information on the ASEAN website to know about the organization and the program. ASEAN holds various meetings and seminars that urge young people to engage ASEAN. Second, we can use social media to know about ASEAN with a search of the expertise or the government from countries member. Third, be inquisitive. Make a difference in ASEAN using social media and digital technology to collaborate with other youth in other country’s members. Through social media, youths can engage ASEAN, government, or other experts about ASEAN and what it stands for. One of the examples is SIPA (Solo International Performing Art) which be held online. Activities like this are meant to build up the confidence of young people, develop our leadership skills, and encourage us to participate in many opportunities available to active in ASEAN.  The best way to create ASEAN with quality and respected other nations is to unite all the elements, such as the government and society, especially youth like us. ASEAN youth collaboration has great potential in building an ASEAN identity, develop awareness for the ASEAN Community, and bring its identity out of ASEAN and proudly before the rest of the world.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Dat

Nguyen Thanh Dat from Myanmar that now active as a BIPA student in UNS. He going to Indonesia through the scholarship and the beautiful nature in Indonesia because he loves to travel.

He would share what does he get as an ASEAN member. First, based on his conversation with his western friends ASEAN is rich with culture, food, and language. As ASEAN members we can buy any product from each ASEAN countries members easily. The most important if we become the ASEAN member, one person in ASEAN  we can know another culture, can easily be connected with people in another country, and easy to study. But in intern ASEAN citizen, there still a gap because of the difference in language. In Europe, they can say more than one language like in English, France, and Spanish. But in ASEAN is different, people would not studying another language beyond their language. If Dat did not come to Indonesia he will not study the Indonesia language. He hopes in the future everyone in Indonesia can speak one or two languages to communicate easily.

Important Point from Moderator

  1. As youth need to be rescued and innovative.
  2. As a youth, we have to build this ASEAN as a big family, like the ASEAN’s slogan: one vision, one identity, one community.
  3. There are a lot of ways to contribute to ASEAN development, not only about the economic or political sector but also people to people from integration and connectivity.
  4. As long as we increase our knowledge, the specific field of study, but to increase the appreciation of other countries and also participate in making decisions that could make a better future.
  5. ASEAN integration is a reality constructed by all nations that aspire betterment and the whole well-being.

Question :

  1. From Indah Arum Sari, has the coronavirus has affected huge in the community and how can the ASEAN Youth engagement do something about it.

Yuzana     : in Myanmar, also affected in many aspect especially in education and also the economy. Because many schools in Myanmar still haven’t open yet and have limited access to the internet. In economics there so many people become work less. Now people in Myanmar still going to fit themself in new normal.

Danish      : school were close in Malaysia during the pandemic, and a month ago the schools are already open but for University still online learning. But there is a increase case in mental health issues among Youth in Malaysia because the strict rule that didn’t allow citizen to going outside without any reason and make people didn’t convince stay in a small room. The local economy is heavily infected, especially for sellers and small-business. It makes people upset with the current government and appears as a political issue.

Femri       : Indonesian Youth facing challenge with remark studying and working during pandemic with lack of digital skill and availability affordable internet connection. Weak internet quality, high Internet cost, a lack of motivation, time management are the most common challenges that we faced today. Now Indonesian Youth adopted new digital technology, learning new skills, also some of them developing new business modal. From ASEAN itself, they made a webinar about new skills or any other theme that Youth faced and can learning something new.

Dat           : Now in Vietnam everything already normal. The school is already open and the economy is re-open. But if we come to another country, we still need to do quarantine before come to our home.

  1. From Tony D Efendy, do you have a negative or bad experience in communication with your ASEAN member country friends, every single ASEAN member have perception with other members positive or negative? What do you think about the negative perception among ASEAN members? And an opinion to solve this challenge.

Yuzana     : In her opinion about negative perception, some negative perception appear because of the our feeling of possessiveness through the culture and identity we have. We need to focus only on the solution and solidarity in ASEAN member countries and not blaming each other culture, identity, boulder, and history and go forward.

Danish      : He hasn’t any bad experiences. In some situations where he didn’t know the local customs and she feeling disrespectful fro the local. About the negative perceptions, it’s mainly because we do not know other ASEAN member countries’ cultures.

Femri       : Femri hasn’t any experience with communication with my friends from ASEAN member countries in face to face. But as when she in ASEAN general forum, there a lot of them are fluent to talk in the Indonesian language and she found that it was kind of interesting and didn’t found a problem to communicate with them. The solution is to set our perspective to not stand the negative perception.

Dat           : How we call the negative and positive it depends on our feeling and our limit.  People gave a different personality, different experience, different backgrounds, and different stories. If we want to connect them we should know how to communicate with them. It depends on how we open our hearts to people if we can accept and understand with other behavior, if it doesn’t suit us so we can just not take it more or if it can be accepted so we can accept it.

  1. From William Lee, there is a discussion about lack of interest among ASEAN Youth, what exactly we lack about, and how we as Youth can manage the problem.

Yuzana     : Really agree with danish about collaboration. Collaboration is the role of the stakeholders and also the one who has the position now in ASEAN state members. For her it’s not enough to collaborate in the upper position but also we put our interest and concern as ASEAN Youth.

Danish      : One of the things we lack is a collaboration with each other. So as you can see, you don’t really see ASEAN member countries even we are very close to each other. And we don’t really travel a lot within the ASEAN nation and we don’t know with each other culture. How we solve the problem? Well, we can put an effort to try to collaborate and try experience to try to travel around ASEAN, the main thing is focused on collaboration.

Femri       : Collaboration has happened in ASEAN countries but it’s still low and I found out difficult for us as ASEAN youth to achieve the information about other member countries and the differentiation between ASEAN members. In ASEAN we can travel to ASEAN member countries with a free visa but we till have to spend much money. People who learn ASEAN language member countries are still low if we compared with the EU, the opportunity to learn and get information is still lack. How we as youth can manage the problem, we can involve with all ASEAN Youth and express what our innovative idea with each other.

Dat           : First, travel does not habit in ASEAN culture. People don’t know how to travel around ASEAN. Second, is language. People in ASEAN should know their two languages and English, but they not know more than a member of the ASEAN language.

  1. From Ignacio Alfonsus, Ms. Nadhifa Aliya, and Sherley Adalia, the question is what is the most important value from youth reflecting from your country especially, among ASEAN to reach unity.

Yuzana     : Not only from Myanmar but for ASEAN member countries, the term unity is based on humanity. When we have strong humanity, it’s really easy to reach unity. As ASEAN member state we should stand in humanity and the agenda from ASEAN and need to prioritize humanity.

Danish      : The most important from Youth in Malaysia is tolerance. We should appreciate other cultures. In Malaysia, there are 3 major races, Indian, Malay, and mandarin. And have a racial issue, it’s mainly because of the language. And it makes us not knowing each other.

Femri       : In Indonesia, Youth is innovative and independent. As ASEAN Youth, we also have the potential to broaden the world awareness of ASEAN. And now, youth not only think about what they get from the environment but also think about the environment and try to rebuild and change the environment.

Dat           : Because we are very young that’s mean we can learn anything, faster than older people. So, people around ASEAN need to learn more. Second, we have a lot of energy that’s why we should never give up to do something even though it failed at first. If we can understand try again. Last, we need to set what is the difference between us with other people or cultures. We need to accept and understand it.

Final Remark

Yuzana     : More concern and put more interest in ASEAN and contribute also in the agenda, activities, and program. For Youth generation in this webinar, not only stop here but also have a responsibility as ASEAN member countries and do our best to our solidarity,

Danish      : I hope with listening to my opinion, people do not have a bad perception through Malaysian. And realize the tolerance between ASEAN members is important.

Femri        : We as ASEAN Youth are expected to be innovative. ASEAN today is still making an effort to build a common identity. Members of ASEAN citizens have great potential to play a role in spreading awareness about ASEAN. Collaboration, unity, and togetherness are the keys to ASEAN.

Dat           : If we can tolerate each other, we can get about knowledge, about experiences and feelings.


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