As Chair of Non-Aligned Movement and one of the strongest ASEAN supporters of Myanmar military junta, Malaysia’s silence on detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and crackdown in Burma inexcusable
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): As Chair of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and one of the strongest ASEAN supporters of Myanmar military junta, Malaysia’s silence on the detention of Burmese Opposition Leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the crackdown in Burma is thunderous, insupportable and inexcusable.
Malaysia must break this silence, deploring the military crackdown and the dark clouds again descending on the political situation in Burma, with the military junta reneging on its commitment in May last year to enter into a dialogue with the pro-democracy forces and work on a road map to restore democracy and national reconciliation.
Malaysia’s credibility will suffer if the government continues to maintain its deafening silence when the international community, led by the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, Japan and Australia are demanding for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and the resumption of political dialogue between the military junta and the pro-democracy forces.
Malaysia’s international reputation suffers double jeopardy as the Malaysian Government had been the leading advocate for “constructive engagement” with the Myanmar military junta, arguing that this course would produce results for democratization and national reconciliation in Burma.
The Foreign Ministry should summon Myanmar’s Ambassador to Malaysia to Wismaputra to convey Malaysia’s demand for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters and progress in a political dialogue with the pro-democracy forces for the democratization process in Burma.
When the United Nations envoy to Burma, Tan Sri Razali Ismai arrives in Yangon on Friday, he should insist on visiting Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently held incommunicado, as there are reports that she may have been injured, or he should cancel the five-day Burmese trip if this request is refused by the military junta.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman