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Singapore, Malaysia hope for reconciliation in Myanmar

By Bernama NEW STRAITS TIMES Thu, March 25, 2021

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein (left) with his Singapore counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan held a joint press conference after a bilateral meeting o Tuesday. – Bernama photo.

PUTRAJAYA: Singapore and Malaysia today expressed hope that all parties in Myanmar will exercise restraint and reconcile to resolve the tragic situation in the country since the Feb 1 military coup.

Visiting Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, in a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, said both countries also encourage national conversation and dialogue between all stakeholders in Myanmar.

“Both Malaysia and Singapore are gravely concerned with the situation in Myanmar. It’s a humanitarian disaster… We believe that violence against unarmed civilians is inexcusable,” he said.

However, Dr Balakrishnan said both countries still believe there should be no external interference in the domestic affairs of Myanmar.

“But to the maximum extent possible as members of ASEAN, we stand ready to do our best to support the people of Myanmar who in fact deserve so much better,” he said.

Myanmar’s military launched a coup on the morning of Feb 1, hours before the Parliament was set to sit, and had detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and other senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD).

The junta had also declared a one-year emergency and vowed to “take action” against alleged voter fraud during the Nov 8 general election, which the NLD party won.

Myanmar has been shaken by massive public protests against the coup, which saw more than 2,600 people arrested and 250 killed, according to a local monitoring group, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Dr Balakrishnan and Hishammuddin met in Putrajaya Tuesday to discuss issues of common interest to the two countries, as well as regional and international issues.

Dr Balakrishnan is on a two-day working visit to Malaysia starting today, which is part of his regional tour that includes Brunei and Indonesia.

Following the meeting with Hishammuddin, he was scheduled to call on Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at Perdana Putra at 2.30 pm.

Dr Balakrishnan is also scheduled to hold meetings with Senior Ministers – International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali and Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob – and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. – Bernama


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