16 December 2019 – The message on ASEAN connectivity conveyed through an essay writing made the country proud and earned a study trip to Korea and Vietnam which will take place in January 2020.
A second year student from the Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), Lai Jia Shyan currently undertaking BEng (Hons) in Electrical and Electronics Engineering was amongst the other winners who won a five-day trip to Korea and Vietnam under the 2019 ASEAN-Korea Academic Essay Contest. Lai Jia Shyan was the only winner from Brunei. The winners were also given a publication opportunity for her winning essay. Other participants of the contest include students from Korea, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and others.
The participants were given four themes to choose from namely, Political-Security on ‘ASEAN and Korea in the Emerging Indo-Pacific’; Social-Culture on ‘Toward a Reciprocal Cultural Exchanges: ASEAN Wave in Korea’; ASEAN-Korea Relations on ‘30 Years of ASEAN-Korea Relations: Retrospect and Prospect’; and Economy on ‘ASEAN Connectivity and Beyond’ under which Lai Jia Shyan submitted.
Under the theme ‘ASEAN Connectivity and Beyond’, her essay highlights about the member states of ASEAN being as a whole of nations in combining forces to overcome challenges and cooperate with one another. The essay focuses on the investigation of how ASEAN will be able to reach its goal of connectivity and provide a mutually beneficial situation to all the member states. The implementation of Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC) was also described in her writing. According to Lai Jia Shyan, when writing her essay and doing the research, she was vividly imagining how great it will do to the economy and how far ASEAN can strive as a whole towards the nations once the MPAC is successfully implemented. She is also inspired by how well organised the MPAC is in the five areas mainly: Sustainable Infrastructure, Digital Innovation, Seamless Logistics, Regulatory Excellence and People Mobility. “I am really grateful that I have the opportunity to contribute and voice my opinions on MPAC, I hope to be able to witness its tremendous progress in the years to come”, she said.
The contest was organised by the ASEAN-Korean Centre and ASEAN University Network (AUN) and supported by ASEAN Secretariat, ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pukyoung National University Global Area Studies Center, and Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. In promoting economic and socio-cultural cooperation between ASEAN and Korea, the contest was open to ASEAN and Korean undergraduate and graduate students to share their perspectives and knowledge on ASEAN and ASEAN-Korea relations. The young perspectives of the youth of ASEAN and Korea will contribute toward building a true, genuine and lasting partnership.