KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda) today urged the Foreign Ministry led by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to clear the air after pictures showed Malaysia’s Ambassador to Myanmar Datuk Zahari Baharim in a meeting with Myanmar minister Aung Than Oo yesterday.
The pictures raised questions about Malaysia’s stand coming after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin joined other world leaders condemning the Myanmar military junta’s oppressive rule that has led to violence and deaths after toppling its democratically elected government.
“I call upon Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to offer an explanation, and to give his assurance that such an episode will not occur again in Malaysia’s dealings with the Myanmar junta.
“I also call upon the Malaysian Government to urge the Myanmar junta to end their ruthless power grab, step down from office and return democracy back to the Myanmar people,” Muda vice-president Lim Wei Jiet said in a statement.
He said an explanation is necessary as the pictures could be interpreted as Malaysia’s endorsement of the Myanmar junta, which has drawn worldwide attention with the killing of civilian protesters, and total abandonment of democracy and human rights.
Zahari was even reported to be the first South-east Asian envoy to formally meet a representative of the newly-installed Myanmar junta government.
“The Malaysian Ambassador’s actions are at odds with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s recent joint-statement with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, which had criticised the Myanmar junta for destabilising the country and seeking to “promote their own vested interests”, as well as its “persistent use of lethal violence against unarmed civilians,” Lim added.
Images of the meeting between Zahari and the Myanmar electricity and energy minister in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidiaw has been widely circulated on social media in Malaysia since yesterday.