PM Lee to visit Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, for Asean meetings

SINGAPORE - PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be visiting Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi on Sunday and Monday to attend the 26th Asean Summit, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

Mr Lee will be accompanied by Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam, as well as senior officials.

The summit, which opens on Monday, will see all 10 Asean leaders discuss progress made towards achieving the Asean Community, which will be declared by the end of this year.

The leaders will also discuss the direction of the grouping beyond 2015, and exchange views on current regional and global issues, the statement added.

In Kuala Lumpur, they will also meet with the Asean Business Advisory Council, as well as representatives of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, civil society organisations and Asean youth.

Senior officials from Asean countries began meeting in KL on Friday, and were joined by Asean foreign ministers on Saturday.

Issues on the agenda of leaders include how Asean can retain its centrality in the region, streamline its meetings, and move towards a common time zone for all Asean capitals.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will host visiting leaders to a gala dinner on Sunday evening.

On Monday, the leaders are expected to issue a Kuala Lumpur declaration on a people-oriented, people-centred Asean.

They will then fly to Langkawi in the afternoon for a retreat.

While there, they will issue a Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates, which Malaysia first mooted in 2010, to counter the threat of extremism and radicalism.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, will be the Acting Prime Minister from Sunday to Monday.