by Thomas Daniel & Yanitha Meena, 10 October 2022
The violence and political fracture resulting from the February 2021 coup by the Tatmadaw continues to not just destabilise Myanmar but have an impact on its immediate region and ASEAN at large. The regional organisation, and its rotating Chairs, face the dilemma of how to manage the resulting fallout of the coup. Given the intricate complexities at play and ASEAN’s self-imposed constrictions, it is likely to not make much progress.
This paper aims to outline a Malaysian perspective on seeking strategic options for Myanmar. In particular it will focus on ASEAN’s FPC, which was agreed to at the ASEAN Leaders Meeting on April 24, 2021 in Jakarta, then chaired by Brunei. It is structured into four broad parts. First, it will outline Malaysia’s national interests concerning Myanmar that shape its engagement with the country. Second, it aims to articulate the importance of the FPC to ASEAN and the reputational risks for the regional organisation should its engagement with Myanmar be mishandled. Third, the paper will address the prospects of ASEAN working with selected Dialogue Partners to see progress in Myanmar and the need for a more minilateral focused approach. Lastly, and by way of conclusion, the prospect of a “troika” or focused working group within ASEAN dedicated specifically to Myanmar will be explored.
This policy paper was first published in the publication by Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Indonesia, 10 October 2022.