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Singapore’s investments in Myanmar

Vivian Balakrishnan

In response to WP’s questions on Singapore’s investments in Myanmar, Foreign Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, says that Singapore should separate politics from business.

He further adds that investment decisions are the prerogatives of business owners, that they should do so with eyes wide open and that the government does not tell them what to do, although the government will endeavor to provide as much relevant information as possible.

In other words, the free market principle prevails.

How wonderfully said, but I wonder if he sees the double standards that the government is applying.

Just last year, when the pandemic hit, the government rushed to unlock citizens’ hard earned reserves to bail out businesses, including many government linked businesses.

When SMRT could not keep up with its obligation to renew and upkeep its trains, tracks and other fixed assets resulting in frequent breakdowns, the government through Temasek bought over the company, using state reserves of course.

Business and politics are inseparable. Governments need the employment and social stability as well as taxes that businesses create. Businesses need governments to create conducive and friendly policies for them to prosper. Oftentimes, they are in bed together. To say that we should stick to the discipline of separating politics from business is both disingenuous and dishonest.

Singapore is the largest investor in Myanmar. According to the World Bank, Singapore’s investments, from 2016 to Jan 2021, is almost equal to all the other countries’ investments combined. It is 3 times as much as the investment of the second biggest investor, China.

Given the humongous and pervasive nature of the investments of the Myanmar military, many Singapore linked companies will be doing business with them. It is highly likely money accruing from these businesses funds the military, contributing to the crackdown and murder of the anti-coup demonstrators.

Although Vivian is right to say widespread sanction of businesses in Myanmar will hurt the general population, there are some businesses that benefit the Myanmar military disproportionately. These businesses should be told to stop supporting the military.

A case in point is Emerging Towns and Cities Singapore Ltd (ETC) which raises funds in the Singapore Stock Exchange. It owns substantial share in the Myanmar company that develops Golden City, a sprawling office cum residential development in Yangon. The land that Golden City sits on is leased from the military. Millions of dollars of rent and sales proceeds from Golden City is channeled to the military.

Bank loans to purchase units in Golden City is provided by YOMA Bank, which Singapore’s GIC bought a substantial stake in 2020.

The sanction of the Singapore businesses involved in Golden City will affect the military more than it will affect the ordinary people of Myanmar.

Golden City is probably one of many examples.

Not all Singapore companies doing business with the Myanmar military are fronted by Singaporeans. They may be incorporated in Singapore but owned by foreigners. Either way, they are giving Singapore a very bad name because by doing business with the military means Singapore is complicit in the murder of the young demonstrators fighting for a better future.

The Singapore government needs to show moral leadership and cannot hide behind ASEAN’s stand of non-interference nor the principle of separating business from politics.

 

Foong Swee Fong

 

 

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26 Responses to “Singapore’s investments in Myanmar”

  • Asking PAP to do what?:

    What kind of request is this?
    You want PAP to stand together with protestors?

    We can all go protest anywhere and any time in Singapore if PAP has such a big change of heart (wait, they have no heart).

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  • Fork-tongued Ms Vivian:

    No wonder Ms Vivian says don’t shoot demonstrators?

    What he actually meant was don’t upset the applecart of gic………you know his boss is the boss of gic!

    Ms Vivian speaks with a fork-tongued!

    Remember he never thought the Police can use info from token to catch Sinkies in crime………..or even those they do not like………like Chee!

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  • xoxo:

    VB has the inclination to *BLOW BUDGETS* eversince YOG?

    TALK BIG IS NOT SAME AS DO BIG .

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  • Cathy:

    The deadly strain of another form of virus has imerge in mymmar.in the form of bullets!

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  • Lee Kuan Yew eat shit:

    Good news now CPF withdrawal age will extant to 85 years old.It is no problem for the PAP FAT PIGS they have problems spending their money.They are as corrupt as the PIGS ain animal farm.No PAP mp or minister has the BALLS to talk their mind.LHL has shut up their mouths with such sky high pay that non of them will ever have a different view to that of the party.This is also a FORM OF CORRUPTION.
    MPs like Daral David are just a WASTE of tax payers money.They DO NOT speak about minority issues and DO NOT REPRESENT MINORITY INTEREST.
    All these GRC mp CANNOT stand on their own they need a heavy weight minister to protect and support them.
    The GRC is a double edge sword.Opposition should produce good caliber men to challenge these heavy weight mp in every ward.This is the DEATH OF THE USLESS MONEY MINDED PAP?LHL is the LAST EMPEROR and PAP IS A SPENT FORCE.
    If PAP is not severely crippled in the next elections FORGET ABOUT YOUR CPF.

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  • Lee Kuan Yew eat shit:

    Every country PAP a goes loss money.First China than India and now Burma.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dear Foong,
    You said :…by doing business with the military means Singapore is complicit in the murder of the young demonstrators fighting for a better future.
    =======================================================

    You are really a Ang Mo Tua Kee (AMTK) yellow banana.
    Tell me who is the biggest murderer here when your (AMTK) Americunts drop 2 atomic bombs on Japan.

    And how about your Americunts genocide on the native Red Indians ?
    1) https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/7302
    2) https://oxfordre.com/americanhistory/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-3

    Only the brainless and stupid Oppie will licks every drips from the Americunts.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • They lost narrative control:

    Fork-tongued Ms Vivian:
    No wonder Ms Vivian says don’t shoot demonstrators?

    What he actually meant was don’t upset the applecart of gic………you know his boss is the boss of gic!

    Ms Vivian speaks with a fork-tongued!

    Remember he never thought the Police can use info from token to catch Sinkies in crime………..or even those they do not like………like Chee!

    One Bala called Dr Chee “people like you….”

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dear Foong and other brainless Oppie supporters,
    I would suggest you get yourselves educated on World’s current affair before you condemn my great PAP.

    國際直球對決】中美會談才結束 雙方又「拉幫結派」較勁 @全球大視野​ 20210321 完整版
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2QQ_AXtGhQ

    From the video, you will understand that international politics is all about protecting/advancing self interest.

    In short, Money Talk Bull Shit Walk.

    We must support PAP to protect Singapore interest at all cost.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • Dr. Chan:

    How can PAP keep loosing Billions, then pay themselves Millions,
    And also keep importing Millions of Foreign Trash mouths to feed?

    Something is going to break.
    Definitely, not the PAPIGs bank because they have stashed away multi millions of taxpayers money.
    Can run road anytime.

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  • Free-riders:

    Free-riders reap the profits; tax-payers bear the losses. Free-riders sure win.

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  • Vivian Very Panic Now:

    He is acting as if he is the leader of ASEAN. SO HOW, WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP ?

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  • PAP is Finished:

    You are suggesting people in Singapore are self serving?

    Singaporeans R Free Riders:
    Dear Foong and other brainless Oppie supporters,
    I would suggest you get yourselves educated on World’s current affair before you condemn my great PAP.

    國際直球對決】中美會談才結束 雙方又「拉幫結派」較勁 @全球大視野​ 20210321 完整版
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2QQ_AXtGhQ

    From the video, you will understand that international politics is all about protecting/advancing self interest.

    In short, Money Talk Bull Shit Walk.

    We must support PAP to protect Singapore interest at all cost.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • Nathan Chen:

    For how long has the PAP government been selling arms to the military in Myanmar? What tpye of military weapons and equipment is being sold and what is the dollar value of these arms transaction? Taxpayers have the right to know, where the money goes to in all these secretive deals with the Myanmar war-pigs.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Nathan Chen:
    For how long has the PAP government been selling arms to the military in Myanmar? What tpye of military weapons and equipment is being sold and what is the dollar value of these arms transaction? Taxpayers have the right to know, where the money goes to in all these secretive deals with the Myanmar war-pigs.

    Dear Nathan Chen,
    Ok, you are trying very hard to look intelligent and so you think you have asked the smartest questions er ?

    You are nothing but just a Ang Mo Tua Kee (AMTK) brainless yellow banana.
    Tell me who is the biggest murderer here when your (AMTK) Americunts drop 2 atomic bombs on Japan.

    And how about your Americunts genocide on the native Red Indians ?
    1) https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/7302
    2) https://oxfordre.com/americanhistory/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-3
    3) How about your Americunts funding/training terrorists to fight USSR ?

    How much money did the Americunts made from selling weapons to all the warring states ?

    Dear Nathan Chen, can you please answer the questions?

    Only the brainless and stupid Oppie will licks every drips from the Americunts.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    PAP is Finished:
    You are suggesting people in Singapore are self serving?

    And you are suggesting your Ang Mo Tua Kee are Angels, not self serving ?

    Americunts genocide on the native Red Indians ?
    1) https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/7302
    2) https://oxfordre.com/americanhistory/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-3

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • Dio leh Luo MO:

    @ PAP NO 1 c***sucker
    March 23, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Don’t worry, I answer you. What the American did to you. Fcuk your backside,er?

    How much PAP pay you? PAP also pay me. But they pay me to screw them not like you sucking their cock.

    If I want to people think well of me, would I talk and write as I do you on social media.

    Once you a while I want to share something that matters to me with readers here. That’s all. Whether they want to listen or not it’s their choice.

    I am talking about Singapore government selling arms to Myanmar, now using these weapons trained on their defendless citizens to kill them.

    The selling of arms to Myanmar was brought out in Parliament recent by WP Png Eng Huat but in another context.

    You are the one who should give me answer to my questions. Don’t bring the Americans in it’s about Singapore and Myanmar.

    CB, you think no want dare to fcuk you. You want to insult other for nothing it’s your business. They don’t want to fcuk you that’s also their business.Hahaha.

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  • Ya loh, ya loh:

    All these pappy ibs trying to distract people with America lah, China lah. All dare not face pappy problems.

    Dio leh Luo MO: You are the one who should give me answer to my questions. Don’t bring the Americans in it’s about Singapore and Myanmar.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dio leh Luo MO:
    @ PAP NO 1 c***sucker
    March 23, 2021 at 9:08 pm
    You are the one who should give me answer to my questions. Don’t bring the Americans in it’s about Singapore and Myanmar.

    First, Dio Nai Ma Gor hai.

    Let me give you my answer.
    1. Why cannot bring in the Americunts when many of you yellow banana Ang Mo Tua Kee use Americunts as the yardstick of demoncracy?

    Since Americunts is Opposition yardstick for demoncracy, so please answer:
    1. Why is US world’s biggest arms seller?
    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56397601
    2. US ethnic cleansing / genocide of the native Red Indians?
    http://santafefilmfestival.com/index/film/whitewashed-the-ethnic-cleansing-of-america/

    Hello, WP and all Opposition supporters, before you criticized my great PAP, please go question your AMTK.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    To all fair minded readers,
    We must defend Singapore, and defend PAP.

    Go to Wayang Party facebook, tweeter etc and ask them the following questions:
    1. Singaporeans also benefited in the arms sales in term of employments, why Singaporeans never complain? Singaporeans are also murderer right?
    2. Likewise Americunts also benefited in the arms sales in term of employments, why Singaporeans never question the Americunts? Americunts sell arms for killing are Angel ?
    3. Why is US world’s biggest arms seller for killing and murdering?
    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56397601
    4. US ethnic cleansing / genocide of the native Red Indians?
    http://santafefilmfestival.com/index/film/whitewashed-the-ethnic-cleansing-of-america/

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Ya loh, ya loh:
    All these pappy ibs trying to distract people with America lah, China lah. All dare not face pappy problems.

    All fair minded people knows that politics is about whose fist is big.

    Only idiots like you is ignorant and always being make used of as canon fodders.

    Americunts, Bricunts, Cheenacunts are all big bully. period.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • Diversions:

    Ya loh, ya loh:
    All these pappy ibs trying to distract people with America lah, China lah. All dare not face pappy problems.

    You see through them! Nothing more than distractions. Try to make people forget PAP’s “gaps” and “mistakes” by diverting attention to China and America.

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  • RunSilentRunDeep:

    Dont mixed business with politics?

    Then why did MAS direct banks to increase monitoring of money flows in/out of Myanmar?

    To fend off potential renewed interest by the Feds of Golden Triangle money?

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  • War Dogs:

    What’s the difference between selling arms and selling drugs, an arms dealer and a drug dealer? They both kill and destroy lives. If you hang one, you should also hang the other. LOL!

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  • US Sabotage China Belt Road:

    US created chaos in Myanmar aim to destroy China belt road project. Singapore is largest investor in Myanmar followed by China and Japan. US and the west is also deliberately stir up chaos in Xinjiang.

    Singapore and Japan join forces ask US to stop it because they are allies? Wishful thinking?

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on Straits Times :Quote-”
    For Archegos’ Bill Hwang, one of world’s greatest hidden fortunes is wiped out in days

    PUBLISHED5 HOURS AGO…
    NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) – From his perch high above Midtown Manhattan, just across from Carnegie Hall, Mr Bill Hwang was quietly building one of the world’s greatest fortunes.

    Even on Wall Street, few ever noticed him – until suddenly, everyone did.

    Mr Hwang and his private investment firm, Archegos Capital Management, are now at the centre of one of the biggest margin calls of all time – a multibillion-dollar fiasco involving secretive market bets that were dangerously leveraged and unwound in a blink.

    Mr Hwang’s most recent ascent can be pieced together from stocks dumped by banks in recent days – ViacomCBS, Discovery, GSX Techedu, Baidu – all of which had soared this year, sometimes confounding traders who couldn’t fathom why.

    One part of Mr Hwang’s portfolio, which has been traded in blocks since last Friday (March 26) by Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co, was worth almost US$40 billion (S$54 billion) last week.

    Bankers reckon that Archegos’ net capital – essentially Mr Hwang’s wealth – had reached north of US$10 billion. And as disposals keep emerging, estimates of his firm’s total positions keep climbing: tens of billions, US$50 billion, even more than US$100 billion…

    It evaporated in mere days.

    “I’ve never seen anything like this – how quiet it was, how concentrated, and how fast it disappeared,” said Mr Mike Novogratz, a career macro investor and former partner at Goldman Sachs who’s been trading since 1994. “This has to be one of the single greatest losses of personal wealth in history.”

    Late Monday in New York, Archegos broke days of silence on the episode.

    “This is a challenging time for the family office of Archegos Capital Management..

    The cascade of trading losses has reverberated from New York to Zurich to Tokyo and beyond, and leaves myriad unanswered questions, including the big one: How could someone take such big risks, facilitated by so many banks, under the noses of regulators the world over?

    One part of the answer is that Mr Hwang set up as a family office with limited oversight and then employed financial derivatives to amass big stakes in companies without ever having to disclose them. Another part is that global banks embraced him as a lucrative customer, despite a record of insider trading and attempted market manipulation that drove him out of the hedge fund business a decade ago.
    ..
    “Unquote.

    Response :Mr Hwang more than $100 billions evaporated in days ! Singapore investments in Myanmar may also suffer huge losses,who knows ? Temasek model is also similar to Mr Hwang method of function with no disclosure at all till the money most gone ! So is it right to continue Temasek model of non disclosure of Ho Ching massive salary ! Wake up,our CPF is indirectly managed by Temasek too !

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