Govt needs to account for investments in Burma

December 3, 2003
Singapore Democrats

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Since 1988…over half of [the investments from] Singapore have been tied to the family of narco-trafficker Lo Hsing Han, says Mr Robert Gelbard, former US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Indeed, this controversial issue was the subject of a TV programme produced by the Australian Special Broadcasting Services. The documentary led to a couple of articles published by a US journal called The Nation which came up with more questions about the Singapore Governments investments in Burma.

In spite of this, however, the world knows very little about Singapores involvement with Burma and its ties with the totalitarian State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Dr Chee Soon Juan will address this matter at a forum to be held this Sunday, December 7 at the Le Meridien Hotels Garden Room (100 Orchard Road) starting at 2 pm. The forum is open to the public and admission is free.

Organised by the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and the Open Singapore Centre, the forum is entitled Democracy in Burma: How can Asians help? It will include a panel of speakers comprising of prominent Asian democrats.

Even as the world imposes tough economic sanctions against the military rulers in Burma in the hope of freeing Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace laureate and the leader of the democracy movement in Burma, and the Burmese people, the PAP Government continues to invest huge amounts of our tax dollars and CPF savings in an economic system that has no chance of succeeding.

Singaporeans need to be better-informed about how our money is being invested overseas and to exercise our right to question the Governments involvement with a murderous regime in Rangoon which is notorious not only for its suppression of the Burmese people, but also for its the protection of Burmese drug lords. It is time that we demand transparency and accountability from the PAP on this matter.

Join our Asian counterparts as well as Burma experts in a discussion of this highly controversial issue. It is a golden opportunity to examine how we can help the Burmese people free themselves and do the right by them as well as for ourselves.