ASEAN Countries Urged To Play Role In Helping Myanmar Achieve Democracy – Syed Hamid

msa
By February 26, 2015 15:54

ASEAN Countries Urged To Play Role In Helping Myanmar Achieve Democracy – Syed Hamid

JOHOR BAHARU, Feb 26 (Bernama) — Asean countries that are also members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are requested to remain active in their role of helping Myanmar achieve democracy.

This included contributing towards solving various issues such as the racial tension between the Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists, said the OIC’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.

He said the three countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, had their own strengths and the OIC believed they could all play a role.

“We play the role not to force, but to ensure that the voice of humanity in Myanmar is taken into account and recognised because this is not just a question of politics, religion and racism in the country, but a question of humanity.

“We also hope that the democratic process is often discussed in the media, whether locally or internationally, so that we can persuade the Myanmar government to ensure democracy in that country,” said the former foreign minister.

He was speaking to reporters after the international conference on ‘The Future of Democracy in Burma – The fate of the Oppressed Minority’, at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Thursday.

Syed Hamid, who holds the post of Special Envoy since May last year, said at the OIC level, although there was a proposal to open an office in Myanmar, the time had not come for it to be realised yet.

“However, we will continue to work with them so that the humanitarian aid given by various countries could be channelled to the people of Myanmar, not only the Rohingya Muslims, but also to areas populated by Buddhists,” he said.

Myanmar, which has an estimated total population of over 53 million, will hold its general election later this year.

Some 150 participants from various countries including Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar joined the one-day conference that explored the issue of minorities in Myanmar.

— BERNAMA

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