Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (center) and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi (right) walk while attending the ASEAN leaders’ summit at the bloc’s secretariat building in Jakarta on April 24, 2021. (Handout/Muchlis Jr/Indonesian Presidential Palace via REUTERS)
With no end in sight for the Myanmar crisis that has followed the Feb. 1 military coup, it’s about time for Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi to encourage President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to take over ASEAN’s mission to help the people of the newest member of the regional bloc.
ASEAN is now becoming a laughing stock in the eyes of the international community, not only because it is failing to address the plight of the Myanmar people as promised but also because it has fallen into the trap of military junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. The army general pretended to sincerely bow to ASEAN leaders’ pressure to stop military cruelty when he met with them in Jakarta on April 24, but as soon as he arrived home, he showed his real intentions: to take all necessary measures to hold on to power, including by the use of violence.