Reflecting a resurgence of interest in traditional culture, eight of the countries that make up the ASEAN confederation have taken the first step in establishing a kite council. ASEAN stands for Association of South East Asian Nations and is a trade group with sports and cultural components. Formation of a pro tem working committee to organize the council occurred at the recent Pasir Gudang festival in Johor, Malaysia.
Brainchild of Orlando Ongkingco, of Manila, president of the Kite Association of the Philippines, the committee selected Hussin Haron of Malaysia as its president. Haron is a top official in the city of Pasir Gudang, president of the Johor Kite Association, and one of the founding fathers of the imaginative Pasir Gudang kite museum. Ongkingco was chosen vice president, Gadis Widiyati of Singapore secretary, and Maidin bin Ahmad of Brunei Darussalam treasurer.
Committee members are Sim Sarak of Cambodia, Handayani Ningsih of Indonesia, Yusni Yusof of Singapore, and Sakda Pandee and Zainal Abidin, both of Thailand. Vietnam fliers were on hand at the festival but did not attend the meeting, apparently because of a language problem. When informed of developments, they gave their blessing to the proceedings.