Let’s not have Burmese blood on our hands

The Singapore Democrats call on the Singapore Government to do more than just call on the military regime in Burma to show restraint.

It has been widely documented that the Singapore Government sells arms and military equipment to the SPDC generals who are the targets of the present uprising in Burma.

Chartered Industries and Allied Ordnance, companies controlled by Temasek Holdings must declare to the Singaporean people whether it still sells arms and ammunition to Burma. If it is, the abominable practice must cease immediately.

Providing the Burmese military with a proven record of brutality against its own people with weapons and then asking it to show restraint is like giving putting a hungry fox in a chicken coop and asking it not to eat the birds.

If the crackdown on the protesting monks and the civilians begin, and the weapons used by the soldiers are those manufactured in, and sold by, Singapore we will have blood on our hands. Such stains are hard to wash away.

In addition, the Government continues to stonewall about whether it is continuing to do business linked to drug-lords in Burma. Apart from the immorality of the business, revenue from the trafficking of narcotics in Burma find their way into the pockets of the military rulers.

For the sake of doing the right thing, not just what is profitable, the Singapore Government, together with its GLCs, must come clean with its dealings in Burma.

As the Chair of ASEAN, Singapore must take the lead to urgently formulate consequences that the Burmese regime will have to face if it cracks down on peaceful protesters.

ASEAN, if the signing of its Charter is to mean anything, must pull its head out of the sand and its thumb out of its deriere, and deal with the crisis happening right in its own backyard.

The SDP stands with the courageous Burmese defenders of democracy at this critical juncture. Freedom, it must be remembered, is never free. But the sacrifices made today will be rewarded tomorrow.

Chee Soon Juan

Singapore Democratic Party