PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has called for the immediate release of Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, during a virtual meeting of Asean foreign ministers today.
The leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) was detained along with other party leaders after a military coup deposed the government on Feb 1, and the 75-year-old Nobel laureate has not been seen in public since.
“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,” foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a statement.
“Malaysia will support any effort to reconcile the differences among Myanmar’s leaders to avoid adverse consequences to the people and the state of Myanmar.
“Towards that end, Malaysia calls for the prompt and unconditional release of detained political leaders in Myanmar, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, U Win Myint and their associates, and encourages dialogue between parties concerned.”
Myanmar has been gripped by protests since the army seized power after alleging fraud in a November election won by Suu Kyi’s NLD.
A defiant civil-disobedience movement has since filled the streets across the country to push for the restoration of democracy, with 18 people killed on Sunday when police opened fire on crowds in various parts of the country – the worst day of violence since the coup.
Stressing that Myanmar’s stability is integral to Asean’s regional integration and economic success, Hishammuddin said Myanmar needs to continue cooperating with Asean member states to “avoid being a fault line” that could lead to possible instability in the 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 intervention in the Asean region,” he said.
“In my engagements with other international state actors, I have continued to discourage the use of unilateral coercive measures against Myanmar.
“Such measures, in Malaysia’s view, will not help the situation in Myanmar and to a larger extent, this region.”