Dato’ Haji Rashid Hasnon, Deputy Speaker of the Malaysian Parliament, was recently at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) in Siem Reap.

Speaking on the Annual Meeting; Dato’ Rashid praised the leadership of Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Kingdom’s aspirations to be a high income country by 2030.

“My delegation members and I were very impressed by Mr Hun Sen’s vision, which was forward looking and marvellous. There is no harm in having this vision even though there may be some challenges but this is the way to go, forward and onwards.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the recently concluded Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), the deputy speaker said that the APPF has seen positive changes as delegates addressed more than just political issues.

Dato’ Rashid said that since APPF set up in 1993, with 20 countries participating along with Brunei as an observer, it has come a long way

“Inputs from each Member of Parliament has been up to date and also futuristic. There were discussions as to how member counters could collaborate on the challenges of climate change and trade between countries, and also improve e-commerce.

“What is very pertinent for this year’s APPF is the session on women parliamentarians which signifies the empowerment of women and their role in the legislature of various countries. The idea was first mooted in Malaysia but this year’s first day of the session was dedicated to women.”

Dato’ Rashid added in addition to the first women’s session, male parliamentarians also supported the increasing involvement of women in the various legislatures all across APPF member countries.

“Using this forum, we also discussed bilateral issues and used this opportunity to have bilateral meetings with member countries such as China. We discussed e-commerce and the possibility of exporting Malaysian durians to New Zealand, palm oil related matters and other issues such as the South China Sea, geopolitics and related security matters which affects nation-to-nation ties and people-to-people relations,” he stressed.

The countries of the Asia-Pacific region, despite their diversity, are striving to find a common ground upon which to build their future while maintaining a mutual respect for the customs, values, and traditions of the different peoples of the region, said Dato’ Rashid.

Dato’ Rashid said that China had its geopolitical integration plan and hoped that Beijing would “share the Belt and Road Initiative throughout the ASEAN region without sidelining any country”.

“We need to continue with more trade deliberations as Cambodia, being a late bloomer, must adopt strategies which focuses on talent development, similar to what Malaysia did in the sixties and seventies to enable the country to have a stronger footing within the region and beyond.”