Malaysia's foreign minister says the recent political change in Burma has hurt the image of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Syed Hamid Albar told reporters that the departure of General Khin Nyunt as Burma's prime minister hurt ASEAN because it caught the regional body's members by surprise.

Mr. Syed Hamid said Malaysia considers the leadership change in Burma an internal matter, but said he hopes the political changes do not affect efforts to bring democracy to Burma.

ASEAN is made up of Burma, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam. ASEAN members generally follow a policy of not interfering in each other's internal affairs.

Meanwhile, Singapore says it hopes Burma will continue its national reconciliation process in the wake of General Khin Nyunt's recent departure from the office of prime pinister.

Singapore's Foreign Ministry issued the statement Friday in response in media inquires.

It says that like other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Singapore is following developments in Burma closely.