The problem with ASEAN is there is no central leadership, and so no central control.
So they could opt for distributed stuff like blockchain, but blockchain reveals all their internal workings in the blockchain to their competitors, and undermines the group as a whole. Distributed = Public. Can you imagine all their internal transactions, there, public for everyone to datamine to gain advantage over them?
And they could use the existing central systems, but those were built by the West to keep the west on top. You get Indonesia & Malaysia using US CDNs and not realizing a CDN is a man-in-the-middle attack in disguise. Can you imagine all their inter ASEAN trade through US controlled CDNs? Datamined to ensure Western dominance over the group?
They cannot build their own because they cannot agree on a single leadership. Only Korea (in the article), currently even builds network equipment... barely, and they're not ASEAN.
And ASEAN is competing with China next door, which has and is building their own services, has its own kit, has a single currency already, and will soon have its own chipmaking capability.
I think its unavoidable, the future is China. Which is worse, a world lead by Republicans/USA or a world lead by Xi/China? I think that's a no-brainer, the Wackadoodles are the bigger threat to security / peace / safety by a long long way.