Formation of Singapore Parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar marks another maturation of the ASEAN idea – to promote democratization in Burma as well as in individual ASEAN countries
Media Statement (2)by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament, Friday): The formation of the Singapore Parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar, coinciding with the fifth meeting of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore yesterday marks another maturation of the ASEAN idea – to promote democratization in Burma as well as in the individual ASEAN countries.
Although there were initially concerns that the momentum launched by ASEAN parliamentarians at the Kuala Lumpur Workshop on democracy in Myanmar last November which led to the formation of AIPMC might fizzle out, and that AIPMC itself might have to “close shop” after four successful meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila in the past six months, the Singapore meeting of AIPMC yesterday was most significant, meaningful and successful for four reasons:
At the Singapore AIPMC meeting yesterday, Indonesian Parliamentarian Ms Tristanti Mitayani reported that the Indonesian Parliament’s Commission on Defence and Foreign Affairs of which she is a member had adopted a resolution urging the Indonesian Government to boycott ASEAN meetings next year if Myanmar takes over the ASEAN chairmanship.
ASEAN Parliamentarians should step up the campaign for democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar in the next two months before the 38th AMM in Laos to impress on the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting the importance of heeding and respecting growing ASEAN parliamentary and civil society opinion that (i) Myanmar should not take the ASEAN Chair 2006 in the absence of meaningful democratization and national reconciliation efforts; and (ii) that even if Myanmar voluntarily postpones its ASEAN Chairmanship 2006, the AMM should go on public record to hold the Myanmar military junta to its undertaking when it was admitted into ASEAN in 1997 to work towards democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar.
* Lim Kit Siang,
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman