Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi travelled to Brunei on Tuesday in an initial effort to rally fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to formulate a “better” response to the political turmoil in Myanmar. Retno said she would also visit other Southeast Asian countries after her stop in Brunei, which holds the Asean chairmanship, in addition to speaking with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, where both expressed deep concern over the Myanmar coup. The Indonesian minister is expected to discuss the matter with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday. Retno announced her Brunei trip during a joint press conference in Jakarta with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó on Tuesday afternoon, saying “Asean’s mechanism should work better to constructively help solve” Myanmar’s political crisis. She said the Indonesian government “prioritised” efforts to ensure a democratic transition in Myanmar. Retno also said that she has been communicating with regional foreign ministers and counterparts in India, Australia, Japan and Britain, as well as with the United Nations’ special envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener. Retno’s visit to Brunei and other Asean states comes weeks after Indonesia and Malaysian leaders called for a special Asean meeting to discuss the Myanmar situation. The response by Asean countries to the Myanmar military coup has been mixed, with Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore expressing concerns over the power seizure, while the Philippines initially said the matter was an “internal affair” before calling for a “complete restoration” of the status quo in Myanmar. Cambodia and Thailand have also referred to the coup as an internal matter, while Vietnam has called for the situation “to be stabilised”. Brunei released a statement calling for “dialogue, reconciliation, and the return to normalcy”, although it did not condemn the coup. Singapore’s foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, said on Tuesday that the developments in Myanmar – including internet blackouts and crackdown against pro-democracy protesters – were “alarming”, but added that he saw no reason for widespread sanctions against the country. While one of Asean’s tenets is to not interfere in member states’ internal matters, Balakrishnan said that the grouping could play a “constructive role in facilitating a return to normalcy and stability in Myanmar”. Singapore’s foreign minister says sweeping Myanmar sanctions won’t work Dylan Loh, assistant professor of public policy and global affairs at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said that Asean “can’t do much more” than appeal for calm and a return to normalcy. “It is also not in Asean‘s interest to intervene strongly on this issue if it wishes to keep lines of communication open with Myanmar’s leadership,” Loh said. “It is worth bearing in mind that Asean played a pivotal role in convincing the junta government to open its doors to international assistance [in the lead-up to Myanmar’s national elections in 2010], so I don’t believe Asean would want to do anything prejudicial to whatever limited influence it has,” she said. But Teuku Rezasyah, an international relations expert at Padjadjaran University in Bandung, Indonesia, said the Indonesian government could be seeking Brunei’s support for a solution that Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Indonesian President Joko Widodo may already have agreed upon during their meeting earlier this month. Indonesia, Malaysia call for Asean meeting to discuss Myanmar coup “There might be very good details of the meeting regarding Myanmar that were not released to the public”, Teuku said. He said Indonesia’s move to seek a better response to the military coup from its neighbours and the international community underlined its regional role as a peacekeeper and communicator. Indonesia has called for Myanmar to adhere to Asean’s charter of good governance and rule of law – possibly the strongest statement among all 10 Asean member states. Additional reporting by Dewey Sim in Singapore.