Malaysia warned it will be judged by its leadership of ASEAN in 2015

Ernest Z Bower, director of the Southeast Asia Program and the Pacific Partners Initiative at CSIS, has warned Malaysia that, in 2015, its "leadership and foreign policy will be judged by a benchmark defined not by Kuala Lumpur, but by ASEAN’s leaders."

That year, Malaysia is schelued to be elected ASEAN Chair, following Indonesia in 2011, Cambodia in 2012, Brunei in 2013, and Myanmar or Laos in 2014 (pending a possible trading of positions due to concerns over the latter's political situation and capacity to chair).

"The ASEAN Charter outlines goals for regional integration in security and political, economic and socio-cultural ties.  These benchmarks are to be achieved by 2015.  The world will be assessing ASEAN’s capabilities and effectiveness using a measuring stick provided by ASEAN itself.

"Cognizant of this fact, Malaysia will need to invest itself immediately in coordinating with current ASEAN chair Indonesia, and plan to expend new levels of diplomatic and technical resources over the next four years to support and help drive progress toward the Charter goals as incoming chairs take their turns leading the regional organization," Mr Bower stated.