Anwar said foreign ministers and leaders had asked him in the past three months whether he would vie for the hotly contested post, which is expected to go to an Asian diplomat.
A Malaysian candidacy would indicate the end of Sathirathai. Over the last several years, Malaysia has tried to position itself as a symbol of tolerate, moderate Islam and as a gateway to is the Islamic world for the United States. At the same time, Malaysia has been less close to China than Thailand, so a Malaysian might represent an attempt to have a more balanced approach from ASEAN.
We don’t know how to evaluate the seriousness of this. We suspect that it is not very high. However, it is clear that Shashi’s entrance has blown this race completely open. If Shashi weakens Sathirathai’s candidacy fatally, then ASEAN may be fishing for an alternative, the rationale for a Goh candidacy also.