SDP leaders to hold protest outside Istana

Young business tycoon, Tay Za (left, Chairman of Air Bagan and a close associate of General Than Shwe), seen here enjoying a toast with Lim Kim Choon, director general and chief executive officer of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), at the launch of Air Bagan’s maiden flight to Singapore after its arrival at Changi International Airport on 7 Sep 2007 (AFP)Now that we’ve made our condemnation of the Burma military rulers unmistakable, it is time to turn our attention to the other half of the Burma-Singapore connection.

Starting tomorrow. 8 Oct 07, at around 12 noon, SDP leaders will hold a 24-hour protest outside the Istana at Orchard Road to denounce the Singapore Government’s involvement in Burma.

The Istana protest will be preceded by the petition being handed over to the Burmese ambassador U Win Myint at 11 am.

The SDP leaders will then proceed to the Istana to submit the second letter addressed to PM Lee Hsien Loong which calls for the Singapore Government to reveal the extent of its dealings with the Burmese military and its cronies.

The protest will then commence. It is aimed at raising awareness of the Singapore Government’s exploitation of the situation in Burma and to call on the PM Lee to cease this nefarious nexus.

We, the citizens of Singapore, have the right to demand answers from our Government and to hold it accountable.

The Singapore Government Investment Corporation (GIC) led by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, invests $160 billion dollars worth of our money. Temasek Holdings, controlled by Mdm Ho Ching, Lee’s daughter-in-law, holds another $160 billion of public funds under her authority.

These two companies operate in virtual secrecy with little accountability to the us the people.

This must change.

We demand that the Government opens its books of the GIC and Temasek to the people, starting with its investments in Burma.

There are also disturbing questions about Singapore’s sale of arms and military equipment to the Burmese junta and money being laundered in Singapore by drug barons in Burma.

As the crisis in Burma deepens and the atrocities of the Burmese army surface, it is no longer possible for the PAP Government to continue evading questions about the Singapore-Burma connection.

We call on Singaporeans and the international community to step up pressure on the Singapore Government to come clean and give a full account of its role in Burma.

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