Call on Malaysian MPs to put aside their political differences and take a common stand on the issue of Aung San Suu Kyi by adopting an emergency resolution demanding the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate’s unconditional release by end of the month or Myanmar should be excluded from the ASEAN Summit in Bali
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): DAP calls on Malaysian MPs to put aside their political differences and to take a common stand on the issue of Aung San Suu Kyi by adopting an emergency resolution demanding the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate’s unconditional release by end of the month or Myanmar should be excluded from the ASEAN Summit in Bali.
I am seeking a meeting with the Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to find out why the Malaysian Government has backed down from its strong stand, whether at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Pnomh Penh in June or the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Bali in July as well as the July warning given by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that Myanmar may be expelled from ASEAN if its military rulers continue defying world pressure to release Aung San Suu Kyi although as a last resort when Hamid dismissed my proposal for Myanmar to be excluded from the ASEAN Summit in Bali on October 7-8, 2003. I had not even proposed expulsion of Myanmar from ASEAN but merely exclusion from the ASEAN Summit in Bali unless Aung San Suu Kyi is released.
Hamid had been completely rebuffed when his public request to the Myanmese military junta in June to see the detained Burmese Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was ignored, which is not a gesture of ASEAN friendship and solidarity by the junta.
It does not reflect well on the independence and principled stand of Malaysian foreign policy that its positions on democratization in Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi’s release are so weak, brief and inconstant, that they could be easily abandoned when faced with the obstinate refusal and recalcitrance of the Myanmese military junta either to see reason or to heed the accepted norms of civilized international conduct.
The Myanmese military junta had promised ASEAN leaders, the United Nations Secretary-General special envoy Tan Sri Razali Ismail and the world that Aung San Suu Kyi’s re-detention on May 30 was “temporary” and for her “protective custody”, encouraging the belief that she would be released well before the end of June.
Suu Kyi has now been detained for more than a hundred days with no immediate release in sight . The United Nations and ASEAN, for their own credibility, should hold the the Myanmese military junta to account for their elastic interpretation of the word “temporary’ to mean either “temporarily permanent” or “permanently temporary”.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman