The media, which the Minister Mentor yesterday described as “credible”, will not even give Dr Chee Soon Juan his right of reply to a forum letter written by Mr M M Aung (see the letter below). Below is Dr Chee’s letter which was faxed to the Straits Times yesterday.
To: Forum, Straits Times,
It seems strange that M M Aung feels that signing a petition to the Singapore Government demanding whether it is selling arms to the military junta and doing business with Burmese druglords is exploitation of innocent people.
Analysts and experts have documented this insidious relationship between the two regimes. Even European parliamentarians have expressed their concern over this matter. Such information is available on the Internet but, of course, censored by the state media of Singapore.
As a Burmese-Singaporean, one would think that M M Aung would be especially alarmed at such information as these weapons and funds are used by the generals to commit their atrocities. And yet instead of demanding answers from the Singapore Government, the writer chooses only to praise it.
M M Aung also points out that the on-going signature campaign outside the Burma embassy is unlawful. He forgets that in Burma, it is also unlawful for the monks to protest in public. Has he wondered why the only places in Asia that have not had public protests against the killings in Burma are Vietnam, Laos, and Singapore? The truth is that only dictatorships make it illegal for their citizens to assemble in public because they fear the people.
The reason why the SDP has chosen to collect signatures at St Martin’s Drive is because the embassy is the military’s representative office. What better place than for people to express their outrage there? Notes have been posted on the entrance of the embassy, candles lit and prayers said. The ambassador could not have missed it.
It is curious that M M Aung has suggested that Peninsula Plaza be the place for another petition. He may like to know that the Singapore police have visited the building, stopping Burmese nationals from surfing the Internet and ordering them to remove their T-shirts with pro-democracy slogans.
If protests need to be conducted, let them be done openly and boldly, not furtively holed up in some building. The former serves the people, the latter serves the autocrats.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party
4 October 2007