Malaysia – Malaysia completely supports Brunei’s decision on Myanmar’s participation at the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
He said this on Twitter in response to Malaysia’s remarks at the three-day summits commencing Tuesday via virtual conference and chaired by Brunei.
On Oct 15, at an online conference of ASEAN foreign ministers, the regional bloc took the extraordinary move of excluding Myanmar’s junta from the summits and rejected a request by Myanmar’s shadow government, the National Unity Government (NUG), to attend.
Rather, the gathering opted to invite an unaffiliated person to represent the nation.
Myanmar has seen domestic upheaval since the military deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratic administration on Feb 1, with almost 1,000 people slain by security forces.
Ismail Sabri also addressed the Covid-19 pandemic during the 38th ASEAN Summit, urging ASEAN to strengthen cooperation with like-minded countries and relevant international organizations in order to ensure that vaccines are affordable, accessible, and equitably shared for all, while also prioritizing engagement in health diplomacy through increased collaboration.
Meanwhile, he said that the High-Level Task Force (HLTF) on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision is tasked with preparing ASEAN to be more adaptable to challenges and changes.
He emphasized the need of the regional grouping identifying steps that would enable ASEAN to operate more efficiently and effectively while maximizing resource use.
“Include possibilities generated from the pandemic’s experience and lessons,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said that Malaysia encouraged Myanmar to continue its efforts to fulfill its pledge to initiate and guarantee successful repatriation of refugees, as well as to respect the returnees’ human rights.
Malaysia is likewise adamant that disputes over the South China Sea be addressed peacefully and productively, in line with internationally recognized norms of international law, notably the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Malaysia is also committed to ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) before the end of this year, since it would contribute to the region’s recovery and resilience.