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Friday, January 18, 2008

SHAME, SHAME, SHAME...

Excerpt from the opening speech of Dr. Surin Pitsuwanthe Secretary-General of the ASEAN – at the opening of the “ASEAN Awareness Survey” Discussion...



My initial perusal of the draft report found a few surprises, concerns and disappointments:

• the most common attitude towards ASEAN was “positive”;

• over 75% of students agreed with the statement “I feel I am a citizen of ASEAN” They may not know yet that the drafters of the ASEAN Charter felt that ASEAN was not yet ready to recognize the ASEAN “citizenship”, the way the European Union does recognize European citizenship; thus the ASEAN Charter is silent on the ASEAN citizenship;

• the positive sentiments were strongest in Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam. I guess they are newcomers and get a lots of benefits by joining the group;

• the positive sentiment was weakest in Myanmar and Singapore;

• only 38.6% of the students in the Philippines could correctly identify the ASEAN flag -- this is quite serious, considering the fact that the Philippines was chairing ASEAN in 2006-2007, when this survey was conducted.

and worse, only 38.5% of the Thai students knew the ASEAN flag. I am afraid I have a lot more public information work to do in my own country, Thailand !” *end of quote*


The “Awareness of ASEAN” survey was carried out in 2007 at 10 universities in 10 ASEAN member nations. The Top 3 countries that are knowledgeable about the bloc are Vietnam (96%), Laos (93%) and Cambodia (92%). Myanmar is at the bottom with only 9.6%.


And for the rest of us? What a shame.

****

26 Comments:

Jake Tornado said...

Gee, what can I say. Not at all surprising though. The only ASEAN country I frequently visit is Thailand and no more. I wish I have more time planning and packing for the likes of Cambodia and Viet Nam. Shame, indeed.

Carrie Puyat said...

And yet we call ourselves "informed" and "socially conscious"? Such arrogance! Nakakahiya (What a shame).

Darla Schultz said...

I agree with Carrie. And yet we all go around the net, insult countries who can't speak English and make fun of other culture. Tapos sa mga simpleng survey na ganito, semplang tayo?

Menchu said...

Eh di sisihin nyo yung schools na sinervey......ano bang school yon? La Salle at UP lang naman. Ano ba yan? Sila yung mga sumagot sa survey para sa aten.

Sofia for BiSEAN said...

Sweeties, can somebody halp with the translaton of some of the comments please? Thanks. <3

Mariani of Italy said...

Hi Sofia. They were talking about the schools or something. I guess.

David said...

Myanmar/Burma has the worst score? It just goes to show they dont need the ASEAN. And we certainly dont need them!!!! Suspend Burma!

Sofia for BiSEAN said...

Hush hush David. No need for snotty remarks like that. We need Burma.

Howie said...

Not surprising at all. I agree with Jake.

Alec said...

Well you got to blame the school that got serveyed......what school was that? La Salle and U.P. only. What the hell is that? They are the only once that spoke for the rest of the whole educational body of the Philippines. Thats the meaning of the translation. I just thought of helping you understand Sofie.

Alec said...

Sorry I mean Sofia.....My bad.. An other thing though regarding the educational system in the Philippines is that the national budget for education is being distributed in a very un equal manner. Probably about 80 percent goes to the elite schools. And the rest has to be devided by all the public schools in the Philippines. At least in thailand there is a certain equality. Just wanted to comment on that.

TAO said...

Now, Now...every year they take polls in the US and it surprises me that their are a number of Americans who do not even know who their President is...

Yes, BISEAN has its work cut out for it...but please do not forget Burma...if ASEAN is able to do anything that is the one country that they need to get busy doing something for...

Now, I have to get back to getting my medals...looks like Pisanu got lucky last night...

iggy said...

whaaaat? ther's an ASEAN flag? shame on me!! It would be nice if ASEAN would be able to be more or better than the EU, but we still have a long way to go due each countries own problems.

TAO said...

Iggy, I think you hit it right on the head when you mentioned "...long way to go due each countries own problems." The EU was a long time in coming and is the most successful on the continent...England, which is separated by water from the continent is not totally behind EU...and when you look at ASEAN and the amount of water that separates alot of those countries...well, ASEAN has lot more hurdles to overcome...not including income disparity and political systems...it is really hard to develop a fair and equitable REGIONAL governmental unit when you have nations in the region that lack fair and equitable national governments.

eyron said...

we cannot compare asean to eu, considering europe, share of history and civilazation since recorded time. where empire battle another and territories collapse and absorbed by the other state. where kings, queens and other royalties formed confedaration, alliances and union through marriage.

the burden will be ours not just on our gov't and the asean. we must disseminate information, create awareness, provide materials and show appreciation to others. now, we must act!

and i salute pisanu, sofia and the rest of this blog for giving so much knowledge on southeast asia's history, culture, tradation, etc.

and 50% of americans cannot locate washington dc on map considering it is the de facto capital of the world, now who's being ignoramuses

TAO said...

Eyron, WOW! Because someone cannot locate Washington DC on a map that makes them "ignoramuses"? Simple logic would follow that if Washington DC is the "defacto" capital of the world then would everyone in the world be "ignoramuses" because they could not find the capital of the world on a map? I think using the word "ignoramuses" in the same post as the statement "show appreciation to others" seems rather contradictory.

I also believe that the capital of the world really isn't the US anymore..it is shifting...Russia is regaining its influence, Beijing is becoming much more powerful, and quite a few of the oil rich Middle Eastern Countries are developing into centers of power nowadays.

I do not believe that the US is the center of the world anymore so you will probably need to find another source to vent your hostility out on in the near future.

I also think that you might want to wonder if the reasons that you stated for why the EU and ASEAN are different might also be the reasons why the EU is successful. Maybe they all just got tired of all the stupidity of wars, royal intrique and so on and so forth...it took quite a few years.

But you also have to look at the history of Asia, particularly that of Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam and you might notice some real similarities in history.

Or you can also ask yourself, how much influence does Metro Manila have in the outlying islands? How far and how deep does the influence and power of the Phillippine government goes?

eyron said...

then we are all ignoramuses...

the 'show appreciation...' was just pertaining to our region and its people

that's few of the reasons why they are united now, but it took 'some' years not 'few'

and insular sea had also similar history, well not so similar

and i also believe that sentiment that the center and power of the world is shifting right here in asia [first in europe, then in america, now in asia, tomorrow africa hehe] i hope every nation would become part of this globalized world

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

There was NEVER a capital of the world. Whoever came up with that term in the 60s, 70s or 80s has some serious issues -- like delusions and superiority complex. HAHAHA!

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

But to react on Menchu, Alec and the rest... I think that that the surveyed schools are "reliable" souces.

LaSalle is one of the premiere private schools in the Philippines. And UP is reputedly the top government university -- how can these "prime" schools EVER SCORE SO BADLY with simple "awareness" surveys like this?

Brent a.k.a. yourkidatheart said...

There is always room for growth. Growth takes time. And the day that the ASEAN comes close to the "unified Europe" that it is now may not be in the lifetime of everyone who posted a comment here.

Let's all be thankful though that we all give time to talk about this unified ASEAN issue in the first place. ^_^

TAO said...

Actually, Pisanu is right. To view Washington DC as the capital of anything outside of the US shows an desire to still believe in some sense of colonialism.

I do believe that if the ASEAN countries were alittle more future orientated they would realize that by overcoming the hurdles that they face and form a regional organization they would benefit by being able to face the threat that China poses to their futures. Otherwise in the future these countries as individual countries will be nothing more than sources of raw material and cheap labor for China...kind of like what Central America is to the US right now.

But, then a strong regional organization benefits the people of ASEAN much more than it does the governments and the leaders of the individual ASEAN countries.

Q The Conqueror said...

I don't really blame the schools, I blame the Education Departments. In the Philippines, at least, the ASEAN is just a footnote in the textbooks not a major issue. A lot of people can't even tell what the countries in SE Asia are, even if they are college graduates, they still say Korea or Japan or Taiwan and frequently omit other countries which are part of the system.

재미 said...

Positive sentiments weakest in SG?
Well i guess Singaporean kids just cant be bothered about stuff like that.
A whole lot of em are an un-patriotic bunch. Honestly speaking, during my days in high school (and even now), the only day the kids feel patriotic is during national day. =\

BUT this is just coming from someone who's still in school. Maybe the adults feel more positively about asean.

Brent a.k.a. yourkidatheart said...

@ TAO: Labor in China may be as cheap as a dollar a day today but it still scares me just imagining how things will turn out for us or the generations after us when China becomes a super power it's most likely to become.

Regarding a politically and economically unified ASEAN... well... I wish.

I guess, in my humble opinion, think of it like how people get along: personal issues have to be taken cared of first before they can really forge long-lasting, mutually-beneficial, relationships.

@ The Fangirl above me: Really?! Singaporeans, er, the students, are not so patriotic? My bro told me of a comment by a Singaporean who said why bother having military training when all it takes is one nuke to wipe off the city-state.

Jake Tornado said...

@Brent..Hahaha! But seriously bro, tiny states still need security forces to maintain their designated boundaries. Otherwise, they won't fall under the definition of a "state." Sorry, it's the Political (pseudo)Scientist in me. :)

Brent a.k.a. yourkidatheart said...

@ Jake Tornado: Yes, of course! :p

Territory + Government + Population + Sovereignty = State

Did I forget something or did I add population by mistake? Hehehehe. I hope I got it right or my PolSci Prof, Atty. Bong Lopez, might kill me.

Reminded me of the Vatican city and its Swiss Guards.

Anyway, aye for a more unified ASEAN in our (present) lifetime! :p

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