Journalists from seven member countries of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists (CAJ) gathered in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 1 for the 16th CAJ general assembly.

The meeting is an opportunity for regional journalists to meet and network with others as well as to share their views on freedom of the press in their countries as well as in the region.

Malaysian Human Resources Minister S. Subramaniam opened the meeting, saying that with the information boom, people now get information from myriad sources, so journalists need to provide reliable news.

According to the minister, press in the region is looking towards more openness, and to exchange information in new ways.

A Vietnamese delegate shared that communication in the region plays an important role in each country’s development and contributes to peace, stability and the development of the entire bloc.

Competition in the communications area is a challenge for both the owners of media outlets and journalists, said Dinh Thi Thuy Hang, a member of the Vietnamese delegation to the event.

Participants agreed that ASEAN is a strong regional organisation and that what happens in the region is closely watched by other regions in the world.

The CAJ assembly general drew delegates from seven members – Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam .

The five-member Vietnamese delegation was led by Dinh The Huynh, President of the Vietnam Journalists’ Association./.