15 Oct 07
A pro-democracy activist staged a one-man protest on Monday over Singapore’s ties with Myanmar, one week after he and others were arrested for a similar demonstration.
Chee Soon Juan, 45, stood close to the presidential palace holding a placard that read: “No arms no deals with the junta.”
Chee is one of a few people in Singapore, where protests are rare, to have spoken out against the ruling People’s Action Party. He is secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party, which does not hold a seat in parliament.
Chee and three other SDP officials, along with their cameraman, were arrested in the same spot on October 8 during a protest. Police said the group had gathered in an area where assemblies are forbidden for security reasons.
Chee vowed to continue his one-man protest until Friday in a bid to get the government to clarify whether government-linked firms do business in Myanmar.
“We want them to tell us. What is going where? How much?” Chee said while police filmed him from a distance.
Chee said he and his party colleagues have also given palace police a petition with more than 1,100 signatures, asking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to clarify Singapore’s relationship with Myanmar.
Lee has expressed “revulsion” at the Myanmar junta’s crackdown on anti-government protesters that began last month and killed at least 13 people.
Singapore also strongly denies allegations that it allows banks based in the city-state to keep illicit funds on behalf of Myanmar’s secretive generals.
But human rights activists and other Myanmar experts say companies from Singapore still do business in the Southeast Asian nation.