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Myanmar crisis: Malaysia reiterates its position for ASEAN to engage NUG, NUCC

20/09/2022 11:41 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 (Bernama) -- Malaysia reiterated its call for ASEAN to better engage with Myanmar’s major stakeholders, namely the National Unity Government (NUG) elected by the people of Myanmar prior to the coup and the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), in dealing with the mounting crisis in the country.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said it is vital for the regional bloc to include both the major stakeholders of Myanmar in an inclusive and fair negotiation

“For observers and followers of Myanmar, you’ll know that the situation is very complex and there are many stakeholders.

“Malaysia is not satisfied with the engagement because we have made this call months ago, that ASEAN should engage the representatives from NUG and NUCC.

“Yes, probably in the past, there can be different views from different stakeholders, but after the coup and especially in the last few months, I think the NUG has done a wonderful job of confidence building among the various stakeholders – which I think you probably have not seen such unity among the stakeholders,” Saifuddin told a press conference held at the Malaysian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York on Tuesday.

The press conference was convened by ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), and Vice President of the European Parliament and Chair of the International Parliamentary Inquiry (IPI) into the global response to the crisis in Myanmar Heidi Hautala. It was also attended by Malaysian Member of Parliament for Klang constituency and APHR Chairman Charles Santiago and NUG representatives.

Saifuddin reiterated that ASEAN should work on a framework that has a clear endgame, which includes bringing back the democracy in Myanmar.

Touching on the five-point consensus (5PCs), Saifuddin added there is an urgent need to re-look at the implementation as the Junta military showed no commitment to date.

“As far as Malaysia is concerned, we have to address the 5PCs whether it’s working and still relevant, and the groundwork must be done from now.

“If it’s not working, by November (during the 2022 ASEAN Summit), we have to decide on what’s next,” he added.

As the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) began from Sept 19 to 26, Saifuddin expressed hope that world leaders would speak up in solidarity with the people of Myanmar during the largest annual gathering of world leaders.

“We are very hopeful that Head of States, Governments, and leaders would speak up on behalf of Myanmar during the speeches at the UNGA,” he said.

On Feb 1, 2021, Myanmar's military seized power in a coup, hours before the newly elected parliament was due to convene for the first time. Since then, more than 2,000 people were killed in the uprising against the junta.

The junta last July hanged four political prisoners, among them two prominent pro-democracy activists.

In August, ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was slapped with additional three years in prison on charges of election fraud, taking her total jail term to 20 years over a dozen charges, including corruption. 


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