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Malaysia's big chance to help shape ASEAN's new era

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, left, shows a letter to Myanmar President Thein Sein during the opening ceremony of the 25th ASEAN summit in Naypyitaw on Nov. 12.   © Reuters

By the end of 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community is to be born -- and as the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Malaysia will be its presiding midwife. Using an elaborate scorecard, each of ASEAN's 10 members has been asked to report progress on steps taken to promote economic integration and make the community a reality.

     The latest count shows that, on average, 78% of required actions have been completed. By the end of the year, reported progress will likely be close enough for declarations of "victory," even if the 100% target is not reached. But such declarations would be premature.

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