If you see a flashback of the ASEAN declaration on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, describing the attitude for Southeast Asian countries to work together rather than their own interests, such as the Indonesian confrontation with Malaysia. Besides the Philippines have also clashed for claims over Sabah Malaysia. A series of diplomatic activities of the region’s leaders are not only stop the confrontation and disputes, but also to find common ground for cooperation in the future.
During ASEAN summit in Bali a few years ago. President SBY from Indonesia quoted in order to transform ASEAN into a community-based organization in Southeast Asia. Be an ASEAN single market will materialize. There are some things that should be highlighted. First, whether we will be ready. In illustration can imagine how traders duren of Lampung will compete with durian trader from Bangkok who can sell directly on the edge of the streets of Jakarta, or I will be working to make filming production in Malaysia. Also for larger idea, the formation of the single currency. Although it still needs more time.
The second problem identification. Do people know and how the role of bloggers to voice this paradigm shift? Most of the people below do not really know what that meant ASEAN Economic Community.
Netizen, blogger or social media society will play big role. It stands to be the motor of change and encourage community participation.
First, assist efforts to strengthen ASEAN integration that are popular (people centered) and encourages interaction with the ASEAN community that they are closer to each other. Second, bridging communication between blogger and public participation among people in ASEAN countries through blogs and social media and offline activities. Much more importantly, that this movement be a movement that emerged from the grass root is not an extension of the government or top – down movement. The blogger or netizen should take the initiative that will bring a new era of changing times.
Netizen or Indonesian bloggers will also offer friendship with blogger bloggers from other countries, because this is the essence of everything. This about Solidarity, of course blogging experience and practices in Indonesia, which is much more interesting, varied and more free to express their writing can be an inspiration to other ASEAN bloggers.
This certainly is not wrong, because the Indonesian netizens after feeling the freedom of expression on the internet as a moral obligation to voice these rights, especially to other netizens who live in the Southeast Asian region. Indonesia’s population is currently about 60% of the population of the region plays a very large role for the realization of ASEAN cooperation. Indonesia could even be a negotiator in disputes such as the Moro rebellion in Mindanao, Philippines and also conflicts in Cambodia.
The question is how can we help. What to do advocacy against the imprisoned Vietnamese bloggers? or to protest in front of the Myanmar embassy? or simply by mobilizing public support through blogs respectively?
In the discussion in Washington DC with Dr. Pek Koon Heng, director of ASEAN studies at American University, we – 10 participants ASEAN delegates ‘International Visitor Leadership Program’ except Laos – recognize and agree that freedom of expression is essential the residents. In spesisik Dr Heng referred to Indonesia as ASEAN guard, has examples of how social media in Indonesia are moving into Social movement. It stands across ASEAN solidarity netizens began to be raised.
Whereas in the ASEAN Blogger Conference meeting in Kuala Lumpur, April 2011. Herman Saksono and Aulia Halimatussadiah as a participant of Indonesian bloggers have stated in the forum that “Platforms of Social media and blogs will be also beneficial for Connecting ASEAN community to build closer relationships, mutual understanding and cooperation among the people in the region. To Realize this goal, ASEAN youth should be empowered by a collaborative effort to educate, on how to properly use blogs as a new media and social media as their gate to information “.
Then how ASEAN solidarity against bloggers or netizen who face pressure from ruling the country can be accepted. In ASEAN Bloggers Conference in Bali, November 2011, there was reluctance from Brunei or Vietnam blogger blogger to talk about political things, democracy and so forth.
Social media activists from Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar are present with me in America. They just want to protest in silence. They do not want to be a martyr who are dealing with the authorities when returning to their country. Certainly not fair if we impose our will on behalf of democracy, for something that would be difficult for them.
But Dr Pek Koon provide an interesting example. That we do not need to imitate Western countries pressing Myanmar. While the ASEAN way, as indicated Indonesia. Diplomacy quietly one by one. Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa visited Myanmar, pressing the importance of opening the country. This was not the way open, so it does not ‘slap’ face Myanmar. Slowly they began to blow the wind of freedom in a democracy, although still on a small scale.
If it had to be translated for the benefit of civil society netizens. In addition to support in blogs or social media. Approach is also needed between citizens of ASEAN countries. Not in a way that would make it difficult frontal. Because there is a consensus however ASEAN not to interfere in the internal affairs of each country. As residents voiced support netizen is okay, but I doubt the state would side ‘officially’ to the protest vote.
ASEAN remains so even today, a collection of countries at different platforms freedom. There are relatively free, such as Indonesia and the Philippines. Some are free, but must not touch the king as Thailand. There are free but are still affected by rules such as the Internal Security Act in Malaysia. There is a completely taboo to talk of democracy, such as political Brunei. Not to mention countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar.
The trip almost a month as a social media activist friend of ASEAN countries in America is really interesting. We talked about who will be the bridge to connect the dialogue between the rights of citizens, including the strengthening of civil society. ASEAN Bloggers Community which was initiated by Indonesia could be a medium between people especially netizens. We can talk openly about friendship, culture, culinary and once secretly can talk about democracy affairs.
Now times have changed. A new community will be formed. First step. Welcome to the ASEAN Economic Community 2015