ASEAN Common Time

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ASEAN Common Time is an idea proposed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to adopt a standard time of UTC+08:00 for all member countries. Some regional businesses have already begun adopting the phrase "ASEAN Common Time," and often use the abbreviation ACT in their press releases, communications, and legal documents.

But some commentators[according to whom?] suggest using UTC+07:00 instead, as UTC+08:00 would create problems in the Kachin State of Myanmar during summer months, with a late sunrise taking place at 07:20 and a late sunset at 20:45. Other experts[according to whom?] advocate calling UTC+08:00 ASEAN Central Time, putting Myanmar at UTC+07:00, and leaving less populous eastern Indonesia at UTC+09:00[citation needed].

This would result in the vast majority of the region's people and territory lining up at UTC+08:00—in sync with China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Western Australia. The eastern islands of Indonesia would remain at UTC+09:00—in sync with South Korea, Japan, Palau, and East Timor.

The four different time zones currently used by ASEAN countries are UTC+06:30 (Myanmar); UTC+07:00 (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and western Indonesia); UTC+08:00 (Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, and central Indonesia); and UTC+09:00 (eastern Indonesia).


ASEAN relation Country UTC offset Acronym Notes More
ASEAN member  Myanmar +06:30 MST Some experts suggest that moving to UTC+07:00, rather than UTC+08:00, would be a more natural change. Time in Myanmar
ASEAN member  Thailand +07:00 ICT Tried unsuccessfully to switch to UTC+08:00 in 2001 by then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Issue remains under discussion. Time in Thailand
ASEAN member  Laos +07:00 ICT
ASEAN member  Vietnam +07:00 ICT From 1975-06-13 after reunification Time in Vietnam
ASEAN member  Cambodia +07:00 ICT Time in Cambodia
ASEAN member  Indonesia +07:00
A single national time zone of UTC+08:00 has been proposed, however it is unclear when or if it may be implemented. [1] Time in Indonesia
ASEAN member  Singapore +08:00 SGT From 1982-01-01 Time in Singapore
ASEAN member  Malaysia +08:00 MYT Peninsular Malaysia switched from UTC+07:30 on 1982-01-01, and East Malaysia uses it since 1933, except for the Japanese Occupation during World War Two. Time in Malaysia
ASEAN member  Brunei +08:00 BNT
ASEAN member  Philippines +08:00 PHT Time in the Philippines
ASEAN observer  Timor-Leste +09:00 TLT
ASEAN observer  Papua New Guinea +10:00 PGT
ASEAN Plus Three  Japan +09:00 JST Time in Japan
ASEAN Plus Three  South Korea +09:00 KST Korean Standard Time
ASEAN Plus Three  People's Republic of China +08:00 CST Time in China


Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: "... in order to keep ASEAN with the people, ... some possibilities come to mind, such as an ASEAN common time zone...".[2]

The Nation, December 1996: "...deferred a plan for the creation of a common Asean time zone ..." [3]

"The idea has since been under discussion by ASEAN, with Singapore supporting it strongly." [4]

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