Raja Nazrin Shah cited five areas that could empower Asia.
“The first prerequisite of empowerment must be to strengthen the rule of law. The law has the capacity to unite and enfranchise the people of Asia like no other.
“The second source of empowerment is greater political participation. One of the essential tasks of Asia’s leaders is to convert residents into citizens and citizens into stakeholders.
“It is only when citizens are also stakeholders will there be the widest sense of ownership of problems and challenges. In order for Asian countries to weather this storm, governance systems must be broadly based and consultative to minimise non-cooperative behaviour.”
A third prerequisite for empowerment is that values and beliefs need to be changed and this is never a straightforward task.
A fourth source of empowerment is technology, particularly information and communication technology.
A fifth source of empowerment is education that breaks the chains of oppressive traditions and extremism.
“Education has paved the way for many to find their way out of poverty and for countries to sharpen their competitive edge,” Raja Nazrin added.
Unfortunately, he said that good quality education was still a dream for many.