Vietnam handing over ASEAN chairmanship hammer

ASEAN Chairmanship 2021: Brunei Darussalam

At the closing ceremony of the 37th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on 15 November 2020, Vietnam handed over the chairmanship of ASEAN for 2021 to Brunei Darussalam.

According to Article 31 of the ASEAN Charter, the chairmanship of ASEAN is rotated annually among its ten members, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of the member states. A recent departure from the norm was Indonesia swapping the ASEAN chairmanship for 2011 with Brunei Darussalam, a request that was unanimously accepted by the other ASEAN member states. Such exceptions to changing the order of the ASEAN chairmanship are, however, few and far between.

The roles of the ASEAN chair are to chair essentially all ASEAN meetings – most notably the ASEAN Summit and related summits, to promote the collective interests of ASEAN, to ensure ASEAN centrality, and to represent ASEAN in all its interactions with external parties. Ensuring ASEAN centrality is more vital than ever, given today’s precarious geopolitical context, in the face of the great power rivalry between China and the United States and the South China Sea dispute. The chair also plays a leading role in agenda-setting and consensus-building within the regional association.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) handing over the symbolic gavel of the ASEAN chairmanship to Brunei’s ambassador to Vietnam Pengiran Haji Sahari bin Pengiran Haji Salleh (left) at the closing of the 37th ASEAN Summit. Source: VnExpress

Brunei’s Chairmanship

Brunei joined ASEAN as its sixth member state on 7 January 1984, soon after gaining its full independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984. This year is Brunei’s fifth time chairing the ASEAN chairmanship. Previously, it helmed the ASEAN chairmanship in 1989, 1995, 2001 and 2013.

What can we expect from Brunei’s chairmanship this time?

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the immediate priority under Brunei’s chairmanship is driving a cohesive regional response to mitigate the debilitating economic, social and health impacts of the crisis.

The theme of Brunei’s ASEAN chairmanship is “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, which encapsulates the vision and focus of its stint as ASEAN chair. Caring is about placing people at the centre of its agenda. Against the backdrop of Covid-19, it means ensuring ASEAN work together to secure access to Covid-19 vaccines promptly, fostering community resilience, looking after the well-being of people, and expediting post-pandemic recovery. Given the disruptive shifts brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and global issues such as climate change, ASEAN needs to prepare its people to be future-ready – adapting to a rapidly changing world, seizing opportunities and overcoming the challenges ahead – to ensure the relevance and prosperity of the bloc.

Overall, its other priorities include upholding ASEAN principles, strengthening ASEAN institutions, and continuing efforts towards realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

The logo of ASEAN chairmanship 2021. Source: ASEAN

In addition to the theme, Brunei has unveiled the 2021 ASEAN chairmanship logo which comprises four elements. The ten petals represent the ten ASEAN member states joined together in unity. The colours symbolise values such as solidarity, respect and tolerance. The blooming flower expresses the diversity of ASEAN and its thriving as a region. Lastly, the gold ornament at the bottom of the logo draws inspiration from one of Brunei’s most recognisable patterns – the traditional motif “Bunga Ayer Muleh”. It illustrates ASEAN’s cooperation with other countries contributing to the development of the region.

For more information on Brunei, visit


Top 4 YouTubers across Southeast Asia You May Want to Know

Lately, the industry has been more separated into two sides, the conventional and the modern one. Everyone can become an artist or influencer with the power of social media. The entertainment industry has been moving to a more practical solution such as social media, which gained more attention towards the young generation. With that being said, has prepared a comprehensive list of some of the top Southeast Asian YouTubers you may want to know if you want to keep up to date with the latest trend and activities around the world!

  1. Atta Halilintar
Who is Atta Halilintar? - Quora
Atta Halilintar

Born in Riau, Indonesia, Atta Halilintar is one of the most successful Indonesian artists coming from Youtube. To this date, he has more than 26 million subscribers on Youtube. Often seen wearing his trademark headband and sunglasses, Atta mostly posts vlogs, interviews with celebrities, and celebrity house tours. He often includes messages about not giving up and describes how he built his career from zero. 

Since elementary school, Atta has been actively involved in helping the economic burden of his family by selling many kinds of food in his school, from bread, sandwiches, and even kid toys. By the age of 11th, he sells various tech stuff such as phone cards, phones, and successfully opened a phone store by himself. His success continues as he gets his first one million Rupiah (~US$71,216) when he was still 13 years old.

2. JianHao Tan

JianHao Tan - Bio, Facts, Family Life of Singaporean YouTuber
JianHao Tan

JianHao Tan is a Singaporean YouTuber, actor, and radio personality. Widely known in Asia, he posts funny and motivational videos on his channel. He usually pokes fun at locals, delivers relationship advice, and empathizes with students. A graduate of United Nations International School of Hanoi, Tan is a multitalented personality. His acting and comedic skills are brilliant and so is his way of presentation. Tan also owns a social media advertising agency that specializes in video and content production. A former army man, the Singaporean YouTuber has now built a career for himself as a social media influencer across various platforms. 

JianHao Tan (born 14 June 1993) is a Singaporean YouTuber and the chief executive officer of Titan Digital Media. As of 2 June 2020, he has more than four million subscribers on YouTube and close to 650,000 followers on Instagram. Throughout his YouTube career, he has collaborated with various Singaporean content creators such as Dee Kosh and Ryan Sylvia. In an interview with 8 Days that was published in 2018, JianHao shared that he made a six-digit annual income from YouTube alone.

3. Ranz Kyle & Niana Guerrero

inkl - Get to know Ranz Kyle and Niana Guerrero, Pinoy YouTube stars on the  rise - Rappler
Ranz Kyle & Niana Guerrero

Ranz Kyle is a well-known Filipino dancer and internet sensation famous for his self-titled channel on YouTube. He is also popular for being one half of the dance duo ‘Ranz and Niana’, the other half being his step-sister Niana Guerrero. He is also a member of the dance troupe Chicser. Born in San Juan City of Philippines, Kyle first came into the limelight after posting his dance video on Chris Brown’s song ‘I Should’ve Kissed You.’ He then went to become a YouTube star with a fan base of over 4.2 million subscribers (as of May 2018). 

The young dancer is incredibly popular on other social media platforms as well. He has accumulated over 2.2 million and over 712k subscribers on Instagram and Twitter respectively. In addition to these, his Facebook account has more than 4.5m followers. A graduate of Don Bosco Technical College Mandaluyong, Kyle is currently living the life of his dreams. He is already enjoying a successful career as a dancer and an internet sensation. Apart from his professional endeavors, he makes it a point to spend some quality time with his family members.

4. Uncle Roger (Nigel Ng)

Hello Disappointed GIF by Nigel Ng (Uncle Roger) - Find & Share on GIPHY
Uncle Roger

The latest one is one of the most popular among the Asian people overseas. Uncle Roger or goes by the name of Nigel Ng is a Malaysian comedian who goes viral lately. One of the most popular videos by him is his comments on BBC’s food presenter’s style of cooking rice. The 29-year-old went viral globally for his portrayal of Uncle Roger, a middle-aged Asian man reviewing an egg fried rice video. At the beginning of 2021, he had amassed over 157,899,974 views on his YouTube channel, 1m followers on Instagram, and 97.7k followers on Twitter. He currently has 3.18m subscribers on his YouTube channel.


Ushering in the New Year with Festivals

A new year is a fresh start, brimming with hope, opportunities and possibilities. What better way to celebrate the new year than literally soaking in the festive atmosphere with others at a new year festival? Festivals are not only celebrations of humanity and life but also expressions of cultures and traditions. Want to know a country better? Then be sure to join the locals in one of their festivals for unforgettable fun and meaningful experiences.

Source: UNWTO

Towards Sustainable Tourism in ASEAN

Sustainable tourism is defined by the World Tourism Organization as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.” In other words, tourism-driven growth should not be achieved at the expense of the well-being of people and the planet.