KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is gearing up for ASEAN Chairmanship next year, focusing on three main pillars, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the three pillars are security and politics, economy, and socio-cultural.

Mohamad said that as of June, Malaysia has also lined up 257 high-level meetings involving ASEAN leaders, ministers, and officials to be held next year.

“This is an honour for Malaysia, and various programmes have been lined up. We have also identified the venues, and the ASEAN Logistics Main Secretariat (SILA) will monitor and manage logistics and substantive matters,” he said during Question Time.

Mohamad said this in reply to Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari (PH-Gombak) who wanted to know the government’s preparations to become ASEAN Chair in 2025 and the main things to be achieved during Malaysia’s ASEAN Chairmanship.

Apart from the Steering Committee chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Mohamad said several ministerial-level committees had also been established as part of the preparations.

Replying to Amirudin’s supplementary question on how Malaysia would enhance people-to-people participation through the ASEAN Chairmanship, Mohamad said it is indeed the government’s aspiration that the benefits of hosting are also felt by local entrepreneurs, traders, and states involved in receiving guests to showcase the nation’s cultural wealth and economic sectors.

He added that this will be strengthened by the involvement of the private sector and entrepreneurs managed by the Malaysian Chapter of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council to organise seminars and engagement sessions.