Malaysian PM Anwar Calls for Ceasefire and Political Engagement in Myanmar Crisis

As Malaysia prepares to take over the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has reiterated his call for an end to the violence and political marginalization in Myanmar. In his keynote address at the 37th Asia-Pacific Roundtable, Anwar emphasized the importance of adhering to the Five-Point Consensus (5PC) and expressed Malaysia’s commitment to working with ASEAN member states and influential dialogue partners to promote peace and effective humanitarian mechanisms in Myanmar.

Anwar stressed the need for ASEAN to convey a unified voice regarding the Myanmar crisis, describing failure to act in the face of violations of the ASEAN Charter as a moral dereliction. He urged ASEAN to facilitate assistance to Myanmar but acknowledged that such efforts must wait until all relevant stakeholders in the country are ready. However, Anwar advocated for exploring multipronged and creative approaches, including the possibility of a federation-like system in Myanmar, to help facilitate discussions about the country’s future.

Highlighting Malaysia’s upcoming chairmanship of ASEAN in 2025, Anwar affirmed Malaysia’s commitment to leading with moral character, as exemplified by the principles of Malaysia Madani, which promote civil inclusivity and interconnectivity. He underscored Malaysia’s stance for peace and progress, reaffirming the nation’s dedication to international law and cooperation.

In addition to addressing the Myanmar crisis, Anwar emphasized Malaysia’s strong and fruitful relationships with China and the United States. He highlighted Malaysia’s 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties with China and the 10 years since elevating its relationship with the United States to a comprehensive partnership. Anwar emphasized Malaysia’s commitment to maintaining productive relations with all partners, including longstanding strategic allies and friends in the Global South.