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Indonesia, Malaysia Urge Asean to Hold Meeting on Myanmar Coup


President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at a bilateral meeting at the State Palace in Jakarta on Jan. 5, 2021. (State Press Bureau/Agus Suparto)

JAKARTA –  Indonesia and Malaysia urge Asean to hold a special meeting on the ongoing military coup at fellow member state Myanmar.

The military’s detainment of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi earlier this week has shocked the world.

At a recent bilateral meeting in Jakarta, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin expressed concerns over Myanmar’s political upheaval. The two leaders later announced they have instructed their respective foreign ministers to bring up the issue to Asean chair, Brunei Darussalam.

“To realize the Asean Community vision, it is important for all of us to respect the Asean Charter, particularly rule of law, good governance, democracy, human rights, and constitutional government,” Jokowi said at a joint press statement broadcasted virtually from the State Palace in Jakarta on Friday.

“As part of one family, we have instructed our respective foreign ministers to speak with the Asean chair for a special meeting Asean foreign ministers regarding Myanmar,” Jokowi added.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin echoed the need to address Myanmar’s political turmoil.

“This is a step backwards in Myanmar’s democratic transition. We fear the political unrest in Myanmar could disturb the security and stability in this region,” Muhyiddin said.

The bilateral meeting marks Muhyiddin’s first overseas visit since taking the prime ministerial position last March.

On Monday, the Myanmar military seized power after detaining Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and other high-level officials of ruling party National League for Democracy (NLD). Commander in Chief Min Aung Hlaing took power and declared a one-year state of emergency. The military staged the coup over electoral fraud allegations in the November 2020 election in which NLD had won a landslide victory.

On Wednesday, the Myanmar Police filed charges against Suu Kyi for possessing illegally-imported walkie-talkies and using them without permission. If found guilty, Suu Kyi can face a maximum of three years in prison.


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