Khin Nyunt should be told
in no uncertain terms when he visits Kuala Lumpur tomorrow that Malaysia and
ASEAN regard the Myanmese National Constitutional Convention as a failure
because of the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD boycott
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament House, Monday): Myanmar Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt must be told in no uncertain terms when he visits Kuala Lumpur tomorrow that Malaysia and ASEAN regard the Myanmese National Constitutional Convention as a failure because of the continued detention of Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the boycott of the National League for Democracy (NLD).
This is important as Khin Nyunt had hailed the Constitutional Convention as a success despite the opposition boycott and growing international criticism.
The greatest good that could come out of the Khin Nyunt visit to Malaysia tomorrow is for the Myanmese military junta to realize and understand that it has no friend or ally in Malaysia and ASEAN in its intransigence and truculence in defying regional and international opinion for an end to the political deadlock in Burma with the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners.
It is time that ASEAN leaders convey to Khin Nyunt that time is running out for the Myanmese military junta and unless it is prepared to respect ASEAN and international opinion in returning to the mainstream of responsible international norms and behaviour, the other ASEAN nations may have no choice but to consider the option of suspending Myanmar from ASEAN, as ASEAN and its member nations cannot afford to have a rogue state to head the regional organization in 2006 with far-reaching repercussions for the reputation of ASEAN as well as investment climate for the region.
Malaysia must play a leading role to get the Myanmese military junta to face up to the regional and international aspirations for democratization and national reconciliation in Burma, as Malaysia was chiefly instrumental in securing Myanmar’s admission into ASEAN at the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur in 1997 going against regional and international opinion as well as the better judgment of the other original ASEAN members.
In the past seven years, the Myanmese military junta had never been serious about its ASEAN and international responsibilities and commitments. In the past year, for instance, it had been playing games with ASEAN leaders, rebuffing one after another who had urged on Yangon to be more conciliatory and responsive, and even the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Burma, Tan Sri Razali Ismail, was put through the farce of a dozen fruitless and futile visits to Burma to secure the release of a repeatedly-detained Aung San Suu Kyi and to kickstart a political dialogue on democratization and national reconciliation between the military junta and the pro-democracy forces and the ethnic nationalities.
During this whole period, the obstinate, wily and irresponsible Myanmese military junta was engaged in the political and diplomatic fox-trot of “one-step forward , two-steps backward” to fool ASEAN and the world, the latest gambit being the meaningless “roadmap for democracy” with neither release of Aung San Suu Kyi after the first anniversary of her re-detention and other leading Burmese democracy activists nor was there any clear time-frames for the roadmap.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman