Wed, December 01, 2021

international

Asean must help bring Myanmar back to normalcy, says Hisham


KUALA LUMPUR: Asean must play a more proactive role to contribute to Myanmar’s return to normalcy, says Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said it was crucial that Asean leads a sincere discussion and constructively engage with Myanmar and all stakeholders to show the regional grouping was united and effective in addressing the expectations of its external partners, and in avoiding unnecessary unilateral responses that might affect the region unfavourably.

“Two-way engagements are therefore pivotal in this regard, ” he said in a statement following his official visit to Brunei, where he had an audience with Brunei Ruler Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and met with Brunei’s Foreign Minister II Datuk Seri Setia Awang Erywan Mohd Yusof yesterday.

Hishammuddin said the military takeover in Myanmar was a setback to all the efforts made over the last decade towards achieving inclusive democratic transition, unity and economic progress in the country.

“We encourage the Myanmar authorities to uphold and respect democratic institutions and processes, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

“All relevant parties must exercise utmost restraint from the use of violence that could affect the safety of members of the public and further escalate the situation in the country, ” he said.

Hishammuddin also pledged Malaysia’s support towards the convening of an Informal Asean Ministers’ Meeting this week to discuss this matter further.

Myanmar’s military launched a coup on the morning of Feb 1, hours before Parliament was set to sit, and detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD).

The junta also declared a one-year emergency and vowed to “take action” against alleged voter fraud during the Nov 8 general election last year, which the NLD party won.

On Feb 5, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo jointly called for Asean to convene a special meeting to discuss the political situation in Myanmar, following the coup. — Bernama

Published : March 02, 2021

By : The Star/ANN