Five-point consensus on Myanmar could be a basis for negotiation – Syed Hamid


KUALA LUMPUR – The five-point consensus reached at the special ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) in Jakarta, Indonesia last Saturday can serve as a basis for negotiation in seeking a solution for the ongoing political turmoil in Myanmar.

Nonetheless, Chairman of the Malaysian Advisory Group on Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar (picture) foresees a tough road ahead at the moment for ASEAN in seeking a solution for the country’s woes since the military coup on Feb 1 that ended civilian rule.

“This five-point consensus looks nice on paper, but if both sides (ASEAN and Myanmar’s military) can accept it as a basis for negotiation, then it is fine,” the former Malaysian foreign minister told Bernama through WhatsApp when responding to the five-point consensus reached with regards to the situation in Myanmar.

The five point consensus are; end the violence, hold constructive talks among “all parties concerned”, ASEAN provides aid to Myanmar, a special ASEAN envoy appointed to conduct talks, and for the envoy allowed to visit to the country.

Myanmar has been going through upheaval since Feb 1 when armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing ousted an elected government led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup triggered mass protests met by deadly violence, resulting in more than 700 people having been killed since then.

Gen Min also attended the ALM at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta with the meeting chaired by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, the current ASEAN Chair.

After the ALM, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported saying that Myanmar had accepted all three proposals put forward by Malaysia in tackling the crisis.

The first is de-escalating the situation on the ground, and stop the killing and violence against civilians,, the second release political detainees promptly and unconditionally, and finally allow the ASEAN Chair and ASEAN Secretary-General to have access into Myanmar, including to all the parties concerned.

“Myanmar responded well and did not reject all the three proposals by Malaysia,” said Muhyiddin during a press conference after attending the ALM.

Prior to this, Syed Hamid was reported to have said ASEAN leaders should call for immediate cessation of post coup violence in Myanmar adding that safety and protection of the civilian population should be the top priority at the meeting.