Myanmar is moving forward

Joint media statement by Datuk Kamaruddin Jaffar, Liew Chin Tong and Yusmadi Yusoff in Kuala Lumpur on Monday 2nd April 2012

Myanmar is moving forward

Pakatan Rakyat would like to congratulate Suu Kyi for this historic achievement by the NLD. This positive development is a step forward following its decades-long fight for democracy. From now on the fight continues in parliament. Overall, everyone can now have a more optimistic outlook of Myanmar’s future.

It was reported that the leader of National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi, had won her bid for a seat in parliament in the recent Myanmar’s by-election held yesterday. It was also reported that NLD has claimed victory in 43 of the 44 seats it contested.

The victory, if confirmed, would be a major breakthrough in the Myanmar’s democratic process. A free and fair election is a crucial factor for Myanmar to move forward.

However, it would be naïve to believe that the journey will be all smooth from here. Despite being voted in, Suu Kyi is set to face a very hostile lower house with 80% of the seats belonging to the governing party.

Also, one should be cautioned of being too optimistic as in spite of the guarantee that elections will be conducted freely and fairly, there are more than 50 reports of vote irregularities surfacing, plus allegations of illegal activities and intimidation by official entities.

For the time being, though the result of the by-election seems to indicate a brighter future, events and developments from today onwards need to be carefully observed before we can be certain that Myanmar is moving forward.

As Myanmar moves forward, Malaysia needs to be reminded not to fall behind as far democratic practices are concerned. The Malaysian Government should also play a more important role in facilitating Myanmar’s democratic transition.

Datuk Kamaruddin Jaffar – PAS International Bureau Chief – MP for Tumpat.
Liew Chin Tong – DAP International Secretary – MP for Bukit Bendera.
Yusmadi Yusoff – PKR International Bureau Chairman – MP for Balik Pulau.

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