Further, the customs and the heterogeneity of the indigenous populations within each national territory as defined by the physical boundaries have concentrated on minding the issues of their own territories, as opposed to focusing on integration of the region. Thus, despite the region having a higher potential for contributing and even influencing the global geopolitical and economic system, the disconnected territories have retained their cultural, political and economic developments within their individual territories (Severino, 2009). Nevertheless, it cannot be argued that the region lacks inter-countries interaction completely. There has existed some interaction among the different areas of the South East Asia, although the interaction has been such minimal as to significantly alter the preservation of the individual cultures of these nations. Consequently, the idea of the formation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was one major stride towards bringing this region into a common economic bloc, which would then be able to negotiate its political and economic space in the global geopolitical and economic system (Lee, 2006). There is no doubt that the region could be highly influential on the global platform if it could be united under one umbrella, which would act as its vehicle of international negotiations. However, the preservation of strong individual culture among the nations of the South East Asia region has played a major role in hindering the formation of the regional economic bloc.
The competing interests purely based on the uniqueness of the individual culture of each nation has meant that creating a regional bloc that would integrate the South East Asian countries of Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore (Basu, 2013). The ASEAN was first established on 8 August 1967, when the five countries came together and signed the Bangkok declaration, which founded ASEAN as a loose organization (Lee,
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