Home News Malaysian foreign minister calls for stronger action on Myanmar

Malaysian foreign minister calls for stronger action on Myanmar

Rights groups also called on the global community to scale up humanitarian aid to the country

Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Sri Saifuddin Abdullah urged parliamentarians from Europe and Asia to take stronger action to tackle the political crisis in Myanmar.

Abdullah hosted a meeting at the Malaysian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week.

“There should be an inclusive and fair consultation with all stakeholders in Myanmar, including the [National Unity Government of Myanmar] and the [National Unity Consultative Council],” said Abdullah.

“Then there should be a framework with a clear endgame, which includes a return to democracy in Myanmar,” he added.

Abdullah is the only minister of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations who has publicly met with members of the NUG.

Since the military coup in February 2021, Myanmar has been plunged into a political crisis with civil disobedience movement holding protest actions.

Charles Santiago, chairman of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, said international allies of the junta have shown a commitment to supporting the military leaders, “surpassing that of those countries claiming to support the pro-democracy movement.”

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“Simply put, the latter are not doing enough to help the Myanmar people, as countries like Russia or China actively support the military, engage the junta and give it the recognition it so keenly craves,” said Santiago.

“It is high time for those governments that claim to support democracy in Myanmar to act forcefully,” he added.

APHR has launched an International Parliamentary Inquiry on Myanmar in June chaired by Heidi Hautala, vice president of the European Parliament. It is composed of eight parliamentarians from seven countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

The inquiry was able to hold a total of six public oral hearings and two special and three confidential oral hearings, with experts, diplomats, politicians, and activists from Myanmar and other countries.

It also conducted a fact-finding mission to the Thai-Myanmar border in August with over a dozen civil society organizations and other stakeholders.

On the occasion of the UN General Assembly, the inquiry has sent a delegation to New York and Washington to present its preliminary findings.

“As the conflict in Myanmar remains undecided, and the coup is triggering a humanitarian crisis of an enormous scale, what international actors do, or fail to do, may tip the scale in favor of military dictatorship or democracy,” said Hautala.

“We urge the global community to scale up humanitarian aid, to increase the pressure on the junta through improved coordination on sanctions and diplomatic isolation, she added.

She also urged international actors “to fully acknowledge the NUG as what it is, the legitimate government of Myanmar, and support it accordingly with funding, capacity building initiatives, and diplomatic recognition.”

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