TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A survey conducted by pollster Kedai Kopi on July 19, 2019, discovered that as many as 60 percent of the respondents asserted that the ASEAN organization still brings benefits. However, the survey also recorded only 19.7 percent who are optimistic about the future of ASEAN.
The survey was carried out among 117 respondents in all across the Indonesian region and from multiple layers of society. The survey also revealed that 50 percent of the respondents knew about ASEAN from the television.
In response to the survey, Rector of Paramadina University Firmanzah, said that some ASEAN observer saw the organization at a crossroads. Around seven years ago, the public is busy discussing what project will be carried out following the ASEAN Economic Community program.
"The Program was made to test how strong and solid ASEAN is, but for me, ASEAN tests rely on the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership]. We are apparently not ready for the TPP so a number of ASEAN countries took a different stance. So, TPP is ASEAN largest test," Firmanzah said during his speech at the Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah's General Lecture on Saturday, July 20, 2019.
After the TPP had been dismissed, now ASEAN is faced with the Modern Silk Road program initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Firmanzah added that the problem faced by ASEAN cannot be finished only by one member states. All member states has a responsibility of strengthening and maintaining the stability of ASEAN. Because, if the political and economical condition of a member state can affect the whole region.
In relation to ASEAN, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin argued that the centrality or the unity of ASEAN countries are still strong. Because, until 2019, out of the 10 ASEAN member states, not one had ever stated its intention to exit the organization. Nevertheless, Malaysia wanted to see ASEAN as a stronger organization, especially in the field of economy and safety.