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Posts Tagged ‘Malaysia

Malaysian opposition leader says he has enough votes to take power

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International Herald Tribune

Malaysian opposition leader says he has enough votes to take power

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BANGKOK: The Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, on Tuesday missed a self-imposed deadline to bring down the country’s government but asserted that he had secured enough support in Parliament to take power.

“We want the transition to be peaceful,” Anwar said at a news conference Tuesday. “That’s why we are not giving an ultimatum.”

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, whose electoral setback in March gave Anwar an opening, scoffed at the idea. He called it “Anwar’s mirage” and insisted that he would not cede power.

If Anwar really has the numbers, the prime minister said, “he will storm into my room with hundreds screaming behind him, shouting, ‘Victory!”‘

Anwar said he did not want to identify the people who had defected to him from the governing party because publicity could put them at risk of harassment. But he said that he would like to show the list to the prime minister to persuade him to leave quietly.

Anwar’s opposition coalition unexpectedly won 82 seats in the 222-member Parliament in the general election on March 8. He now says that he has pledges of support from more than 30 defecting members of the governing party, which would give him a majority.

Support for Abdullah has eroded even within his party, the Barisan National, since the election. The vote marked the first time the party slipped below its two-thirds majority in the Parliament. On Monday, the minister for legal affairs, Zaid Ibrahim, resigned, saying that he did not rule out joining the opposition.

At the same time, Abdullah faces a challenge for leadership from Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Anwar’s campaign is the most serious threat to the governing coalition since it took power in 1957, when Malaysia gained independence from British colonial rule.

Malaysia, one of the most stable countries in the region, has been plunged into political turmoil, alongside its neighbor Thailand, whose government is in disarray after three weeks of protests.

The Thai Parliament was scheduled Wednesday to select a prime minister to replace Samak Sundaravej, who was forced from office a week ago because of a conflict of interest. On Tuesday an apparent rift in the governing party was healed when a dissenting faction agreed to support the candidacy of Somchai Wongsawat for prime minister.

As he outlines them, Anwar’s plans would overturn some of the central pillars of government and would open Malaysia to the possibility of democratic reforms. He says he will scrap the Internal Security Act, which allows the detention without trial of people who are considered security threats. He also would do away with special economic status for ethnic Malays and cleanse the government of corruption and nepotism.

If he succeeds, Anwar, 61, will have completed an extraordinary political rebirth after having been fired as deputy prime minister in 1998 and spending six years in prison on charges of sodomy and corruption.

Anwar had largely been written off as a factor in Malaysian politics, but with the governing party weakened by infighting, he put together a successful coalition that includes his own multiracial People’s Justice Party and the country’s largest Muslim and Chinese parties.

Anwar faces new charges of sodomy based on a complaint by a young aide, which he says are political fabrications similar to the charges of a decade ago.

Since returning to politics in April, he has been wooing disgruntled lawmakers from the governing coalition. “We have received firm commitments in excess of the number required to form a new government,” he said Tuesday. “It is increasing by the hour. I am not joking.”

So far, none of the governing party’s 140 members of Parliament have publicly declared support for Anwar’s opposition coalition, which is why Anwar has said he wants to show his list of defectors to Abdullah.

“I am very optimistic that the PM will grant us a meeting,” Anwar said Tuesday, referring to the prime minister. “We are giving him some time and space to set up an appointment.”

At a rally of 10,000 people Monday night, the opposition leader said, “We want to negotiate with the prime minister and ask him, ‘Do you want one week, do you want two weeks?”‘

The government took evasive action last week by sending a delegation of lawmakers to Taiwan on what was described as an agricultural study mission, effectively putting the lawmakers out of Anwar’s reach.

Then on Friday the government cracked down on its critics, arresting an opposition lawmaker, an anti-government blogger and a reporter under provisions of the Internal Security Act.

A government spokesman was greeted with derision even in the government-friendly press when he said the reporter had been detained for her own protection. She was freed Saturday, although the other two remain in jail.

“Our promise is that we will not follow the rule of the jungle,” Anwar said at the rally Monday.

“There will be no witch-hunting. What is done is done. What we want is to rule without corruption, detention without trial or theft of the people’s resources.”

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 16, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Burma's Geopolitics

Tagged with , ,

A blogger takes office in Malaysia

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A blogger takes office in Malaysia
Christian Science Monitor –
Five years of blogging has brought Jeff Ooi a measure of notoriety. His biting posts on Malaysian politics sparked police investigations.
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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 29, 2008 at 1:55 am

Anwar, back in Malaysia parliament, stages walkout

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Anwar, back in Malaysia parliament, stages walkout

By VIJAY JOSHI –

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim rejoined Malaysia’s Parliament on Thursday and staged a walkout to protest a proposed government law that critics say is meant to bolster a sodomy charge against him.

The government denies that the legislation, which would make it mandatory for criminal suspects to provide DNA samples, targets Anwar. He was forced to resign his Parliament seat in 1999 amid a sodomy allegation and now has been accused of sodomy in a separate case.

Anwar has dismissed it as a “sickening” government conspiracy to prevent his rise to prime minister. A special election was held Tuesday after his wife vacated her seat, which she had held for two terms during Anwar’s political exile. He regained the seat in a landslide victory.

Dressed in a dark-blue traditional Malay shirt, pants and cap, Anwar was sworn in as a legislator Thursday to take his seat amid loud thumping of desks by opposition members. He also was formally declared the leader of the combined opposition in Parliament.

“I am glad to be back after a decade. I really feel vindicated. I feel great,” Anwar said.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and most Cabinet ministers from the ruling National Front coalition were not present during Anwar’s swearing-in.

Anwar had been a rising star in the National Front, the heir apparent to then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, but they had a falling out over policy differences during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Mahathir fired him as deputy prime minister in 1998.

Anwar was jailed for six years after he was convicted of corruption and sodomizing his family driver. The sodomy conviction was overturned by Malaysia’s top court in 2004.

His triumph in Tuesday’s special election came on the heels of big gains by the opposition in the March general elections that loosened the governing National Front’s 51-year grip on power.

The Front returned to power with a simple majority of 140 seats in the 222-member house. Anwar’s People’s Alliance coalition increased its strength from 19 to 82 seats and needs 30 more to form a government.

Anwar said the alliance remains on track to topple the government by Sept. 16 with defections from the National Front. If he succeeds, he will lead the first opposition-led government in Malaysia, which has been ruled continuously by the National Front coalition since independence from Britain in 1957.

“Anwar — whatever we think of him and many of us are deeply skeptical — is looking more and more like our future prime minister,” columnist Karim Raslan wrote in The Star daily on Thursday. “There is a mounting sense of inevitability to his impending succession.”

Still, significant hurdles remain for Anwar, the biggest of them the new criminal charge that he sodomized a 23-year-old male aide. A court will hear his case on Sept. 10 to set a date for the trial. Under Malaysian law, even consensual sodomy is punishable by up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

Anwar refused to give a DNA sample during the investigations into the sodomy allegation, saying he fears police would fabricate evidence.

On Thursday, Home Minister Syed Hamid’s closing speech on the DNA legislation debate was interrupted numerous times by heckling opposition lawmakers.

Just as Syed Hamid was finishing his speech, Anwar led all opposition members in a walkout, watched by stunned government lawmakers. He told reporters that the opposition had demanded the setting up of a select committee to study the bill first.

“We have walked out because they have refused to respond” to the request, he said. “So there’s no point in staying and participating in this debate.”

Associated Press writers Eileen Ng and Sean Yoong contributed to this report.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gvk18e1IzUJ9V-VNzo1_wg-4mkWgD92RA4VG0

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Malaysian Opposition Chief Wins Parliament Seat

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar wins parliament seat despite sodomy charge against him

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm

World focus on Burma (30 July 2008)

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Cyclone relief in Burma going slowly: Canadian

CTV.ca, Canada –

TORONTO — Three months after cyclone Nargis swept into Burma, a Canadian aid worker says initial relief efforts to help its victims will take three months …

Thai Supreme Court to open new trial against Thaksin on state loan …

Xinhua, China –

… against coup-ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra on charges of abuse of power in pushing a state loan to Myanmar allegedly to benefit his family business. …

Burmese rock star Lay Phyu to sing for cyclone victims

Mizzima.com, India –

Cyclone Nargis, which lashed Burma on May 2 and 3, left at least 138000 dead and missing, and devastated the lives of more than 2.4 million people.

Lending a hand in Malaysia

Arab Tribune, AL –

A military junta launched a coup in 1962 and took over Burma. Renaming it Myanmar was the least of their crimes. The military abolished the constitution and …

The Frank Marshall Davis Network in Hawaii

Canada Free Press, Canada –

After graduating from the MIS Language School, Yoneda served in the China-Burma-India Office of the War Information Psychological Warfare Team. …

Why the Media Fears John McCain

Huffington Post, NY –

asked the Time Magazine Editor (who caused a storm earlier this year for his calls to invade Burma). Obama’s progressive side flashed, and the Illinois …

Burma Permits 12 Local, Foreign Companies to Invest in Cyber City

istockAnalyst.com, OR –

Burma has three Internet service providers – the state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), BaganNet/Myanmar Teleport (formerly known as Bagan …

Asia Gets Mixed Review in Global Fight against HIV/AIDS Spread

An unidentified abandoned baby girl, who nurses said was HIV infected, lies on the floor at the Phnom Penh Nutrition Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (File)

조선일보(영문판), South Korea –

Sun says there has been a decline in overall prevalence rates in Cambodia, Burma and Thailand. But Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and Pakistan …

UN calls for doubled aid to Burma

United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –

Ibrahim Gambari, special envoy of the UN secretary-general to Myanmar, met with ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan to express his appreciation for the …

The Evolution of the National Security Concept of China

Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey –

[7] In 1999, the then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin proclaimed at a UN Conference that “the new international situation has called for a new security …

Burmese junta skimming UN aid

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia –

THE United Nations has admitted that £5 million ($10.4 million) of aid intended for Burmese cyclone survivors has been skimmed off by banks run by the …

Thaksin faces new charge

The Age, Australia –

The investigators claim Thaksin wrongly ordered another bank to increase a 3 billion baht ($A94 million) loan to 4 billion baht so that Burma’s ruling junta …

What Will ASEAN say to a Malaysian Islamic State?

American Muslim, MO –

Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei remain predominantly Muslim, but they are flanked by predominantly Buddhist Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and even Vietnam. …

London’s Link to Burmese Junta Revealed

Buzzle, CA –

… the generals running the oppressed south-east Asian nation. The London insurance involvement, to be exposed this week in a report by Burma Campaign UK, …

Thailand Court Agrees to Hear Case Against Thaksin in New Blow to …

Voice of America –

The case against Thaksin Shinawatra alleges that he used his influence as Prime Minister to arrange low-interest loans to Burma so that the military …

Millions In Aid For Myanmar Disappears

Evening Bulletin, PA –

Mr. Holmes explained that roughly a third of approximately $200 million so far spent by UN agencies in Myanmar had been used to buy local products and …

Burma’s Fishery Industry near Standstill

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

A barrel of diesel is around 320000 kyat (US $273)” According to the Myanmar Offshore Fishing Vessel Owners Association, there are 536 registered offshore …

Bush Signs Burma Jade Act, Adds to Sanction’s List

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The Department of Treasury said the sanctions target two conglomerates, the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEH) and the Myanmar Economic …

Thai Court Agrees to Hold Trial on Thaksin’s Burma Loan

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

The funds were earmarked for improvements to Burma’s Internet system. The loan approval drew criticism that Thaksin, who supervised the bank at the time, …

UN’s Lost Aid May Be Tip of the Iceberg

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

It was instrumental in forcing the UN this week to admit to losses to the junta of at least US$10 million on cyclone cash aid transmitted into Burma. …

/REPEAT — Media Advisory – Relief for Cyclone Survivors Continues …

Canada NewsWire (press release), Canada –

Threats to children’s wellbeing remain three months after storm Andrew Kirkwood, Save the Children Myanmar Country Director, discusses humanitarian efforts …

(Re)insurers fingered for ‘insuring repression’ in Burma – report

Post Magazine (subscription), UK –

The Burma Campaign UK has fingered some of the world’s biggest insurers, accusing them of facilitating the “flow of billions of dollars to the Burmese …

Burmese loan case is fourth supreme court charge against Thaksin

Crain’s Manchester Business, UK –

Thailand’s Supreme Court today agreed to hear another case against Manchester City Football Club owner Thaksin Shinawatra, the second time a new charge has …

US renews Myanmar sanctions

PRESS TV, Iran –

President Bush has signed a punitive legislation against Myanmar, freezing assets of its leaders and banning import of its gems into US. …

Thai court to hear another case against Thaksin

Radio Netherlands, Netherlands –

Thailand’s Supreme Court has decided to hear a case against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The former prime minister, who was ousted in a …

US extends Myanmar gem sanctions

Aljazeera.net, Qatar –

The Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, referring to Myanmar’s former name, renews a sanctions regime imposed since 2003 over the suppression of the …

Burmese exiles’ leading media websites under attack

Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –

… hundreds of thousands during the September protests in Burma last year and in May and June this year, following the destruction wrought by Cyclone Nargis.

Junta censors magazine story on Burmese journalist

Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –

A SEAPA partner, it aims to promote awareness about the situation in Burma and promote democracy and freedom of expression in the country.

Junta skims UN cash aid

The Province, Canada –

BANGKOK — The United Nations has admitted that $10 million of aid intended for Myanmar cyclone survivors has been skimmed off by banks run by the country’s …

Price rise force farmers to reduce fertilizer use

Mizzima.com, India –

New Delhi — Several farmers Cyclone-hit Irrawaddy delta’s Bogale Township, said they are forced to reduce the use of fertilizers on their paddy fields to …

Supreme Court opens new case against Thaksin

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

… to open a new case against ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been accused of abuse of power in pushing a state loan to neighbouring Burma. …

UDPATE 1-Top Thai court hits Thaksin over Myanmar loans

Reuters India, India –

In the Myanmar case, an army-appointed graft panel accused Thaksin of ordering a state bank in 2004 to increase the size of a loan to the military-ruled …

Supreme Court accepts Myanmar EXIM loan case against Thaksin

Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

The EXIM Bank loan scandal originated in the bank’s decision to lend B t4 billion to Myanmar for the purchase of machinery for national development during …

Rep. Pitts key in new Myanmar sanctions

U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, third from right, watches President Bush on Tuesday sign a bill that renews import restrictions on Myanmar. Also watching the ceremony are, from left, Rep. Don Mansullo, R-Ill.; Rep. Chris Smith,R-N.J.; first lady Laura Bush; Annette Lantos; Shiloh Tilleman; Rep. Rush Holt, DN. J.; and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

Lancaster Newspapers, PA –
Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been under military rule since 1962. The current government took power in 1988 after crushing prodemocracy demonstrations …

The Al-Jazeera Effect

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

The last time we were in Burma was not only during the crackdown (in October last year). We were in Burma a week before Cyclone Nargis, and we have been …

Aid work opens ‘positive door’ for UN, Myanmar cooperation

Myanmar Times, Burma –

With a full assessment completed, monitoring schemes in place and wide access for aid workers, the conditions requested by donors at the ASEAN Donors …

Thai court accepts another case against Thaksin

International Herald Tribune, France –
The complaint, brought by the Assets Examination Committee, said a 2004 low-interest loan to Myanmar by the state-controlled Export-Import Bank of Thailand …

Top Thai court hits Thaksin over Myanmar loans

Reuters –

An army-appointed graft panel has accused Thaksin of ordering a state bank in 2004 to increase the size of a loan to the military-ruled former Burma to buy …

Court agrees to hear Exim bank loan against Thaksin

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

… decided Wednesday to hear a case against ex-premier Thaksin Shianwatra, which involved a four-billion-baht loan given Burma during his administration. …

Thai court takes new case against Thaksin over Myanmar loan

AFP –

… agreed Wednesday to hear new corruption charges against deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra, involving a controversial loan to military-ruled Myanmar. …

Supreme Court decides to consider the Exim Bank loan case against …

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

AEC accused Thaksin of abusing his position to order a Bt1 billion increase in the amount of loans to Burma, allegedly for the benefit of his family’s …

Supreme Court accepts to consider Exim Bank case against Thaksin

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

The Supreme Court decided on Wednesday to consider the Exim Bank loan to Burma against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. …

World’s Press Calls for Release of Burmese Journalist

Media Newsline, India –

“The continued imprisonment of U Win Tin constitutes a deep blemish on the international standing of Myanmar (Burma) which can only be erased by his release …

Aid work opens ‘positive door’ for UN, Myanmar cooperation

Myanmar Times, Burma –

Mr Holmes told The Myanmar Times in an interview on Thursday that the UN wants to expand the level of “trust and confidence” already reached with the …

UN Says Millions in Cyclone Aid Lost From Interference by Burmese …

MyFox Spokane, WA –

… who called the losses “unacceptable” and said he raised the issue with the leaders of Burma, also called Myanmar, during a recent trip. …

Bush signs sanctions against Myanmar into law

AFP –
But Congress moved in the aftermath of this year’s devastating cyclone, when the junta blocked entry to many foreign aid workers and relief shipments. …

Sanctions: US puts more pressure on Myanmar regime

Cheif Officers’ Network, Malaysia –
“We are tightening financial sanctions against Burma’s repressive junta and the companies that finance it,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. …

Bush Tightens Sanctions on Myanmar Junta, Targets Gem Trade

Bloomberg –

New York-based Human Rights Watch welcomed the steps against Myanmar’s gem trade. “Since 2003, the US government has banned products from Burma, …

Official confesses world body ‘arguably a bit slow to recognize …

WorldNetDaily, OR –

By Matt Sanchez NEW YORK – As much as $10 million of United Nations relief funds designated for Burma in the wake of Cyclone Nargis have been siphoned off …

Unjust Chinese policies cannot be divorced from Olympics

Irish Times, Ireland –
It has also repeatedly called for the release of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was honoured some years ago with the Freedom of Dublin …

Burma and Zimbabwe witness the last gasps of the supreme global …

guardian.co.uk, UK –
The first was Burma (or Myanmar as it should be known). We can all agree that the regime is odious. The question facing the rest of the world in the …

UN loses $10m aid in Burma exchange rate scam

Independent, UK –

… certificates with a nominal value of $1 each that are then exchanged for the local currency, the kyat, at a rate set by Burma’s military government. …

Myanmar: A month in the Delta

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

‘Some villages were literally erased from the landscape,’ says Mascall, Merlin’s logistics manager in Myanmar. He went on to spend a gruelling and demanding …

Is the Philippines a failed state?

Manila Times, Philippines –
Among ASEAN member states, we are a little better than Burma, Timor Leste, Laos, and Cambodia. However, we are worse than Muslim majority countries …

Taiwan Records Dengue Infection Charity Workers Caught in Burma

RedOrbit, TX –

A subsequent investigation conducted by health authorities found that she and 10 other members of her group had visited Myanmar to help with the aftermath …

US Tightens Burma Sanctions

Voice of America –

By Michael Bowman President Bush has signed bills to renew and extend sanctions on Burma in hopes of prodding the country’s military junta towards democracy …

Mobile Medical Teams Help Cyclone Victims in Burma

Voice of America –

It is part of a broader health program for Myanmar. We have also, with our partners, set up 15 temporary clinics, these are tented clinics in places where …

Khalizad: Low rates for UN aid troubling

United Press International –

… reportedly acknowledged a $10 million loss in currency exchange in Myanmar because government officials for the country formerly known as Burma tell the …

Bush signs Myanmar sanctions bill

The Associated Press –

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been under military rule since 1962. The current junta took power in 1988 after crushing pro-democracy demonstrations at a …

UPDATE 1-US Treasury imposes new sanctions on Myanmar firms

Reuters –

The legislation bans the import of Myanmar rubies and jade, freezes assets of the military leaders and aims to stop the country, formerly known as Burma, …

US clamps down on firms linked to Myanmar

The Associated Press –

It marked the latest administration move to financially punish the repressive junta in Myanmar, also known as Burma, and its backers for a crackdown on …

Julie Benz in the Warzone

Crave Online, CA –
I do a lot of work for the US Campaign for Burma because of my experience with the movie. And I’ve become very involved in what’s going on over in that part …

UN loses US $ 10 million in distorted Burmese official exchange rate

Mizzima.com, India –
In Burma, foreign aid groups, including UN agencies that are directly transferring money, have to go through the government-owned Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank …

N Korea coming in from the cold

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
Close ties to Asean will help North Korea usher itself into a new era. Asean members Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Burma, Indonesia and Vietnam have good ties …

Quest for freedom and justice has no end

Pacific Daily News, GU –

Last week, I quoted Burma’s dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who advised those feeling “hopeless and despairing: ‘Don’t just sit there. Do something. …

Cash scam in Myanmar swallowing UN cyclone aid: Report

Thaindian.com, Thailand –

A joint assessment report by Myanmar, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the UN has estimated the total damage and losses at 4.4 to 4.5 …

Malaysia to Burma: Allow S. Asian militaries to help

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SINGAPORE (AP) — Malaysia’s deputy leader urged Burma’s junta Sunday to let Southeast Asian militaries play a bigger role in providing aid to cyclone victims, a rare plea for foreign intervention in a region where nations generally stay out of each other’s affairs.

The appeal by Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak at an international security conference came after Burma’s Deputy Defense Minister Aye Myint used to forum to claim his government acted promptly to provide relief in the aftermath of the May 2-3 Cyclone Nargis.

Najib said the tragedy is of such a huge scale that it is “something that we cannot take lightly.” More than 75,000 died from the cyclone and some 2.4 million survivors are in need of fresh water, food and medical care.

Burma has not allowed foreign militaries to deliver aid directly to cyclone victims, but Najib suggested that militaries of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations be allowed to do so.

“Certainly … we would like to see ASEAN being allowed to play a much bigger role because the situation is very, very serious in Burma,” Najib said, sitting on the stage with Aye Myint.

“The only viable organization that can really be effective is the military,” he said, because of its ability to deploy a large number of helicopters and boats.

“At the risk of offending my colleague here I would certainly speak on behalf of ASEAN that we do want to play a bigger role in the context of tragedy in Burma,” Najib said.

It was the most direct public appeal so far by a member of ASEAN for Burma’s military rulers in to give up their stubborn refusal to allow foreign intervention. ASEAN has generally followed the principle of noninterference in each other’s affairs, and Najib’s plea was unprecedented.

Najib, however, rejected the suggestion that countries should unilaterally go into Burma to provide relief if the junta does not provide help for its people quickly.

“You cannot simply override (national sovereignty) no matter how strongly you feel about the need to provide support,” he said.

Several people in the audience spoke up after Najib’s comments to lambast Burma, with one questioner calling its actions “a scandal.”

Aye Myint sat stoically through the verbal attack and he also did not respond to Najib’s plea, saying only that his government is not preventing aid workers from doing their work.

Earlier in a speech, Aye Myint claimed his government acted promptly in rescuing and providing relief the 2.4 million cyclone survivors. He also claimed that food, water and medicines have been provided to all victims, and the government has now moved to a rehabilitation phase.

Many international aid agencies and foreign governments say little government aid had reached most of the survivors.

Aye Myint said the cyclone killed 77,738 people and left 55,917 missing. At least 19,359 were injured.

Najib said that according to Malaysian aid workers in Burma, the scale of the disaster could become even bigger than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami if aid does not soon reach people.

“I don’t know if that is a correct assessment but it is one view delivered to us by people who have been on the ground,” he said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

BURMA TAKES A BEATING

Photo gallery:
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak
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Malaysia wants bigger ASEAN role in Myanmar relief

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Xinhua, China –
He told an Asian security conference that Malaysia welcomes Myanmar trust and confidence in the 10-member bloc’s lead role in coordinating foreign …

Myanmar welcomes foreign aids to engage in rebuilding

Xinhua, China –
SINGAPORE, June 1 (Xinhua) — Myanmar’s Deputy Defense Minister Aye Myint told a Asian security forum here on Sunday that the focus of cyclone relief is now …

Myanmar Welcomes Cyclone Aid as Long as `No Strings Attached’

Bloomberg –
By Wes Goodman June 1 (Bloomberg) — Myanmar’s military regime said it welcomes aid from overseas to help areas stricken by Cyclone Nargis as long as the …

Burmese aid should have ‘no strings attached’

Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia –
… Burma, has deplored the slow response of the military regime to the disaster. “It’s regrettable that the Myanmar government has responded in this way. …

ASEAN must play a bigger role in Myanmar: Malaysia

Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates –
SINGAPORE – Malaysia’s deputy leader has urged Myanmar’s junta to let Southeast Asia’s main bloc play a bigger role in providing relief to cyclone victims. …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 1, 2008 at 8:16 am