Sunday, October 7, 2007

Burmese Sanction Unnecessary?

CNN's interview with PM Lee was aired on Friday evening but I was unhappy with PM Lee's answers to the questions on whether Singapore is a money laundering centre for members of Burmese junta and on whether Singapore should have more concrete actions other than just issuing statements. I will quote the interview reported by Reuters and Channelnewsasia.

If you have read through the whole article on both news providers, you might notice quotes by PM Lee like "dirty money and money laundering" were not published in the CNA article. I feel it might be an intentional effort by our news provider to prevent Singaporeans from questioning the government on this aspect probably because recently Singapore has had some hard time with Indonesia and the international media on the allegations of corrupt Indonesians running off to Singapore and parking their illegal money into our banks because of Singapore's strict bank secrecy laws which could make it convenient for money laundering activities to take place.

"Secondly, if you want to have sanctions, it cannot just be Singapore or even ASEAN, but all of the countries in the world have to do that, and that includes the Western countries, investors in Myanmar and its neighbours like China with big stake in Myanmar."

It is, of course, wonderful if all countries with economic ties with the regime could come together and agree on a trade sanction. Although calling for a total trade sanction against Burma may indeed be counter-productive, PM Lee does not seem to understand that, in the current situation, the junta leaders and their cronies seemed to be benefitting themselves more rather than benefitting the general population. Why, then should these countries continue to enrich the Burma dictators and help them to strengthen their grip on power? Cripple the military government by restricting exports of critical supplies (such as arms and telecommunication devices) necessary for the survival of their army and their stranglehold on the Burmese society. So it is wrong for PM Lee to say trade sanctions are useless but he should, instead, initiate talks with China and India for more real actions as suggested.

And I wonder if he would still say the same thing if there were Singaporeans killed during the crackdown? Is he still going to ignore the atrocities by the junta?

4 comments:

BACTS said...

"And I wonder if he would still say the same thing if there were Singaporeans who were killed by the Burmese soldiers during the crackdown? Is he still going to ignore the atrocities by the junta?"

It is not likely that he will say same thing, but I guess the 'different thing' will not have heavier weight anyway.

Anonymous said...

"And I wonder if he would still say the same thing if there were Singaporeans who were killed by the Burmese soldiers during the crackdown? Is he still going to ignore the atrocities by the junta?"

He will say that Singaporeans should not be there in the first place. MFA have issued warnings to Singaporeans in Burma. BLAME THE SINGAPOREANS FIRST BUT NOT THE JUNTA.

And of course, he will send his usual messages to the families of the deceased.

James Chia said...

I do hope this would not be the underlining mentality of the government that economy overrides everything even in the event of a death during the protest.

Burmese said...

All talk only! I am sick of hearing