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WORKING VISIT OF SPECIAL ENVOY OF DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI, STATE COUNSELLOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE UNION OF MYANMAR, H.E. U THAUNG TUN, TO MALAYSIA
5 SEPTEMBER 2018
Special Envoy of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to Malaysia, H.E. U Thaung Tun, undertook a working visit to Malaysia on 5 September 2018. During the course of his visit, H.E. U Thaung Tun paid courtesy calls on the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah.
Both countries exchanged views on bilateral relations and ways to enhance existing cooperation, ASEAN solidarity, and potentials for investments in Myanmar such as in the agri-business, education and manufacturing sectors. The Special Envoy invited Malaysian companies to explore business opportunities in Myanmar especially in rural states such as Rakhine State. Bilateral trade with Myanmar has increased throughout the years with trade in 2017 amounting to USD 1.186 billion.
The Special Envoy also shared the successes and challenges facing the peace and reconciliation efforts in Myanmar. On the situation in Rakhine State, the Special Envoy spoke on repatriation of displaced persons, the current socio-economic situation and efforts required to improve it.
Malaysia expressed its grave concern on the perilous situation in Rakhine State and disappointment over the ill-treatment of the Rohingyas and other minorities. The dire situation faced by the Rohingyas has adverse consequences for regional security as a whole, as well as the reputation of Myanmar and its leadership.
On repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar, Malaysia expressed its views that their reluctance to return is primarily caused by the distrust and uncertainty for their safety and security. Hence, Malaysia emphasised the importance of measures to cultivate trust and acceptance among the communities there.
Malaysia believes that peace, progress and prosperity of Myanmar lie in the expeditious resolution of this issue. Malaysia called on Myanmar to grant the Rohingyas citizenship and let them live as part of Myanmar society.
Despite differences in the Rakhine State issue, Malaysia will continue to engage with Myanmar to enhance bilateral cooperation. At the same time, Malaysia remains committed to help Myanmar to find a just and durable solution to the grave and protracted situation in Rakhine State.
PUTRAJAYA 5 September 2018