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‘No more dilly-dallying on Myanmar’

Saifuddin added that even if a meeting is required, it can be done at any time with technology, noting that the next meeting is in November.

The Star/ ANN | KUANTAN |

Asean needs to have a greater sense of urgency in dealing with issues related to Myanmar and not just rely on one meeting after another, says Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said this is because the situation has been prolonged and is deteriorating.

Saifuddin added that even if a meeting is required, it can be done at any time with technology, noting that the next meeting is in November.

In addition, he also voiced his dissatisfaction with the reports and data related to developments in Myanmar – such as the number of battles, number of victims killed and arrested, and those who became refugees – which were not updated and communicated accurately to him or other Asean foreign ministers.

“I will write to the Asean secretariat for the foreign ministers to make an assessment of the actual situation in Myanmar. What is actually happening, with accurate and latest figures, should always be updated.

“We can’t wait for another meeting. We in Asean manage this issue with meetings and I think this can’t be done anymore; Malaysia is ready to help in terms of expediting aid, and so on,” he told reporters after visiting SJK(T) Ladang Jeram here yesterday.

Saifuddin also said the progress report on humanitarian aid delivered through a special task force jointly established by Asean and the Myanmar junta is also dismal – and he is of the view that Asean should evaluate this, Bernama reported.

This needed to be improved, or another way must be found to deliver aid to those who are still in Myanmar because that aid is very much required, he added.

“There are a number of local organisations that seem to be successful in carrying out their duties such as organising vaccinations and delivering humanitarian aid on their own without the cooperation of the junta because they do not trust them (the junta),” he said.

Saifuddin said there are also international organisations and parties interested in sponsoring humanitarian aid to Myanmar, but they have doubts on whether the humanitarian aid can be delivered in cooperation with the junta.

He added that it is important to continue engaging with the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar and the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC).

He said he has also expressed his intention to hold a meeting with the representatives of the two parties in the near future, either physically or by video conference.