Malaysia’s Anwar, Philippines’ Marcos discuss prospect of Asean engaging informally with Myanmar

Malaysia on Wednesday increased the tendency of Asean accepting member nations to involve personally with the junta “without sacrificing the issue of human rights”. Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said he talked about the matter with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who is in Kuala Lumpur for bilateral meetings. Malaysia and Asean have previously denied any interaction with the junta, though Thailand in 2023 hosted an informal meeting with Myanmar, considering  a requirement to maintain dialogue.

We did keep a check on Myanmar to polish the five-point consensus of Asean but also give some flexibility… for adjacent nations to involve on an informal basis without sacrificing the matter of human rights, and the treatment of minorities, mainly the Rohingya,” Datuk Seri Anwar said in a joint press conference with Mr Marcos. The Philippine President did not make any remark on Myanmar. Asean, which involves Myanmar among its 10 members, has pushed, without succeeding, for the execution of a five-point peace plan agreed with the junta shortly after a coup in early 2021.