Sompong was a close aide to Thanat Khoman, the Thai foreign minister at the time of the meeting in Bang Saen.
...Thailand's then foreign minister Thanat Khoman, Philippine foreign secretary Marciso Ramos, Singapore foreign minister Sinnathamby Rajaratnam and Malaysian deputy prime minister Tengu Abdul Razak signed the document establishing the region's most powerful grouping on August 8 at Saranrom Palace, the former home of the Foreign Ministry near the Royal Palace.
The veteran diplomat said credit must be given to Thanat
who forged the idea of a regional organisation, following years of conflict and disturbance. Thanat
, the only surviving signatory, is unavailable for comment as a result of poor health.
The so-called konfrontasi between Indonesia and Malaysia and the crisis between Malaysia and the Philippines were still fresh in the memory.
was in a position to forward and work for the creation of Asean
said."We were an independent nation and had friendships with all non-communist neighbors," he
Sompong recalled Thanat
asking him to put together the draft of the declaration, which was then sent to the all original members.