PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and their associates by the Myanmar military and for dialogue to take place between the parties concerned.
The matter was raised at the Asean Informal Ministers Meeting by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who also called on the parties concerned to continue exercising restraint on the use of violence against unarmed civilians.
“We are deeply concerned over the loss of innocent lives and injuries in 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, ” he said in his intervention at the virtual meeting held yesterday.
Hishammuddin said Malaysia was among the first to recognise Myanmar’s potential to be part of Asean and pointed out that its stability was integral to Asean’s regional integration and economic success.
“If the situation in Myanmar worsens, Asean will need to consider this recurring situation in the country as a setback towards regional peace, stability and prosperity.
“Myanmar needs to also continue cooperating with Asean member states to avoid being a fault-line leading to possible instability in this region.
“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, ” he said.
A state of emergency for one year was declared in Myanmar on Feb 1 after Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the ruling National League for Democracy party were detained in an early morning raid.
The move followed days of escalating tension between the civilian government and the powerful military that stirred fears of a coup in the aftermath of an election that the army said was fraudulent.
At the Asean meeting yesterday, Malaysia also presented proposals on the way forward for Myanmar, including for it to consider allowing the Asean Chair and secretary-general to visit the country.