LAST_UPDATEFri, 20 Jul 2018 4pm

1,400 Expected At ASEAN Peoples’ Forum; Former Malaysian Prime Minister To Speak

 Organisers of the ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (APF) 2015 has announced that 'Pak Lah',  Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, would be delivering the keynote address. 

Maria Chin Abdullah, Chair of BERSIH 2.0, who is part of the APF 2015 organising committee, said, “It’s very symbolic for Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to speak this year. He actually helped organise the first ASEAN civil society conference in Malaysia, under his Premiership in 2005."

The organizers are also expecting over 1,400 participants to attend the annual civil society conference.

“Hopefully he’ll share his thoughts on whether ASEAN has become more people-centred in the past ten years, or not,” she added.

“We were overwhelmed by the response. We had to close registrations as we reached our limit,” said Jerald Joseph of Pusat Komas, who is Co-chair of APF 2015.

“It’s going to be an incredible gathering of civil society organisations, activists, international agencies, and government representatives from across Southeast Asia. We are sure that constructive dialogue on the concerns of ASEAN people will take place.”

In addition to the keynote address and other plenary sessions, participants will attend thematic sessions organised by ASEAN civil society organisations. More than 60 thematic sessions are being held during the conference.

One such thematic session is a workshop organised by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and the Committee for Asian Women, titled “The ASEAN Economic Community: Benefits Who?”. Gopal Krishnam, secretary-general of MTUC explained: “At the workshop, we will introduce and promote a framework for a more social ASEAN—one that is truly people-centred.”

Other thematic sessions include “Children Matter: Creating a community of CSOs in ASEAN for child rights”, “Strengthening Women’s Political Participation in Conflict/Post Conflict Situations in ASEAN”, “Refugees in ASEAN: Time to Respond Properly”, and many more.

The APF 2015 will be held on 21 to 24 April 2015, at Wisma MCA in Kuala Lumpur. The full programme of the APF 2015 can be viewed at

Malaysian Digest