KUALA LUMPUR ,Mar 3– Malaysia will support reconciliation efforts to avoid a worsening of Myanmar’s political crisis, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.
Hishammuddin said Malaysia also called for the prompt and unconditional release of detained political leaders in Myanmar, including Aung San Suu Kyi, U Win Myint and their associates, and for dialogue.
“We urge all relevant parties to continue exercising restraint from the use of violence against unarmed civilians. We are deeply concerned over the loss of innocent lives and injuries during the ongoing situation in Myanmar.
“It is our sincere hope that Myanmar will provide the necessary space for peaceful assemblies as well as freedom of speech and expression to be exercised by its citizens,” Hishammuddin said in his intervention at the virtually-held Informal Asean Ministerial Meeting on the situation in Myanmar.
The meeting was chaired by Asean chairman for 2021, Brunei Darussalam. It was also attended by Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, who provided a comprehensive briefing concerning the situation in the country.
He said it is crucial for Myanmar to strive for a solution to the political crisis in a way that upholds the will and aspirations of the people of Myanmar.
Hishammuddin said while it is unquestionable that Myanmar has the prerogative on its domestic political matters, it is hoped that Myanmar would also consider the concerns raised by Asean member states.
“On Malaysia’s part, we (are convinced) that the resolution to the political deadlock in Myanmar is a domestic-led process. Our strong support for Myanmar’s democratic transition, peace process and inclusive economic development is unwavering. However, this cannot be at the expense of the common good of all in the Asean region,” he said.
He said that Myanmar’s stability is integral to Asean’s regional integration and economic success, and that if the situation worsens, the bloc will need to consider that this recurring situation in Myanmar is a setback towards regional peace, stability and prosperity.
“Hence, we urge Myanmar to consider returning to the negotiating table and remedy the political crisis to avoid further escalation of tensions, which may invite intrusive foreign interventions in the ASEAN region.
“The situation in any one country should not be an impediment to Asean’s efforts to pursue and advance its interests internationally,” he said.
Hishammuddin also said Malaysia stands ready to galvanise humanitarian efforts with the rest of Asean.
In this regard, he said Malaysia hoped that Myanmar would ensure access to humanitarian assistance, for the health and well-being of its people.
Hishammuddin also expressed hope that the current situation in Myanmar will not have an adverse impact on the repatriation of displaced Rohingyas returning to Myanmar.