I read with interest your article about boycotting Singaporean
businesses in Australia. Considering that the Singapore government is known to
do business with Burmese drug barons (Google: http://www.google.com/search?as_q=singapore+burma&num=100&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=steven+law&as_oq=&as_eq=&lr=&as_ft=i&as_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=&as_rights=&safe=images for
several examples) and that Singapore’s support has been one of the key factors
in ensuring that the Burmese junta stays in power means that, really, Singapore
is a criminal accomplice in much of the drug trafficking (… and smuggling …
and people trafficking … and terrorist funding) that takes place within the
region. A nation such as this has no right to demand the death penalty for
something as relatively minor as the offence for which Nguyen has been
Rather than proposing a boycott, isn’t it time we started to
propose sanctions? After all, Australia, the United States etc… have sanctions
in place against Myanmar: why not have some sanctions against the nation that
allows the Burmese government to stay in power and that launders the drug money
that keeps the Burmese economy (and its drug business) afloat?
Singapore needs Australia more than Australia needs Singapore.
Rational argument will never sway the Singapore government because, as an
unelected government it is completely immune to public opinion or the opinion of
the outside world (yes, I know they have elections but surely the definition a
real election involves a MAJORITY rather than a MINORITY of the seats being
contested: Singapore’s elections have failed that basic test for at least two
decades) . The constitutional argument is similarly useless: the Singapore
government can change the constitution at will and the government has been known
to completely ignore the constitution as it sees fit (eg: the only
democratically elected president that Singapore has had, President Ong, asked
for information on the national reserves that he was obliged to have under the
constitution… and was told that he could not have this information for fifty
or so “man years” as it would take that long to compile).
It’s time Australia took some action.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
(I’m a Singapore resident and my comments above make me guilty
of sedition under the draconian laws that are in place here)