Lifelong learning is the concept that "It's never too soon or too late for learning", a philosophy that has taken root in a whole host of different organisations. Lifelong learning is attitudinal; that one can and should be open to new ideas, decisions, skills or behaviours..........................................!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Orchids for Aung San Suu Kyi but it’s not from PAP

John Moe

The Singapore Government honoured unelected Burma Prime Minister General Thein Sein by naming a new orchid after him ("Dendrobium Thein Sein") at the Botanic Gardens on Thursday. This was roundly rejected by Singaporean activists.

The Singapore Government wants a first world class image for Singapore, but the ruling People's Action Party leaders failed to consider whether the hypocritical Burmese general deserves such an accolade.

The Government of Singapore enjoys warm relations with the military junta for self-interest and in doing so continues to ignore the desires of ordinary Burmese.

Singapore's bilateral trade with Burma reached up to $1.2 billion dollars in fiscal year 2007-08, making with Singapore Burma's second largest trading partner after Thailand. The total amount of Singapore exports to Burma amounted to $816 million, while its imports reached $402 million.

But the biggest question to ask is, is the PAP government doing business well? The portfolios of Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and state-owned Temasek Holdings reportedly fell by 25% and 31% respectively.

The Singapore Government rarely mentions either the democratic process of Burma or human rights situation of its own city-state. In Singapore the freedom of speech and assembly is strictly prohibited.

But true-hearted and valued Singaporean activists have shown their concern for Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been serving long years of illegal detention under the Burmese military rulers.

Singaporeans activists amazingly dedicated a bouquet of eight Orchids intended to echo the digit 8 of the uprising started by students in Yangon on on 8 August 1988. Student protests spread throughout the country. Hundreds of thousands of ocher-robed monks, young children, university students, housewives and doctors demonstrated against the regime. 8-8-88, a date that now carries great significance in Burma, was violently suppressed and a new military junta holds power till today.

Did the PAP find out what was the role of the invited Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein during the 8-8-88 days?
The Singapore Government does not dare to honour, a hero for democracy in Asean like Aung San Suu Kyi. The first-world class Tiger island should honour the first-world class democracy icon with places such as Aung San Suu Kyi Garden or Aun San Suu Kyi Street instead of naming a flower Dendrobium Thein Sein, after a brutal military elite.

The United States House of Representatives awarded Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal, bestowed to only a few prominent people, including Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr, Robert Frost and Elie Wiesel. It remains the highest civilian award in the United States.

Aung San Suu Kyi was also given the honorary citizenship of Canada by the Canadian Parliament, the highest civilian award in Canada. She was only the fourth person in Canada’s history to receive this award.

Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew may not have forgotten her father, Aung San, who founded the modern Burmese army and negotiated Burma's independence from the United Kingdom in 1947. He was assassinated by his rivals in the same year.

Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong should be aware that according to the 1990 general elections result, Aung San Suu Kyi earned the right to be Prime Minister as leader of the winning National League for Democracy. Her subsequent detention by the military junta prevented her from assuming that role till today.

As a matter of fact the PAP Government very much hesitates to appreciate a global democracy icon like Aung San Suu Kyi. The Singapore Government's motives are obviously absurd because one of strongest Singapore pro democracy activists, Dr Chee Soon Juan and Burma’s Nobel Laureate are of the same vision, mission and values to stand against such totalitarianism.

The PAP has been well aware of the corrupt Burma generals and their mismanagement of the economy. During the extravagant wedding of Senior General Than Shwe’s daughter, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew commented that, "Flaunting these excesses must push a hungry and impoverished people to revolt," and that the ruler's daughter looked "like a Christmas tree" in the video.

MM Lee also commented that Burma's ruling generals "are rather dumb generals when it comes to the economy. How could they so mismanage the economy and reach this stage when the country has so many natural resources?"

Despite knowing and saying all this, the PAP Government has been ordering Burmese pro democracy activists to leave the island. Thousands of Burmese nationals who are working in Singapore find the invitation of the Burmese premier’s, and his flower-naming ceremony, hugely demoralising.

The Burmese are working hard-in-hand with Singaporeans intending to overcome this recession. Burmese love Aung San Suu Kyi but they hate the military generals who violate human rights through murder, torture and rape of the innocent, including nuns and monks.

The Burmese are overwhelmed with gratitude to the Singaporean activists who stood up for righteousness when they displayed a banner reading “Long Live Aung San Suu Kyi" and placed at the gate of the Burma Embassy in Singapore the bouquet of orchids.Sadly, it’s not from the PAP.

One more Asean Summit, same old jingle

J Moe

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ 14th Asean Summit chairman’s statement was an old folk song used to sang at the Asean summit. Comparatively whilst 13th Asean Summit affiliated in Singapore 2007, Myanmar activists in Singapore peaceful protested Asean Summit at the Orchard Road near the Shangri-la hotel which is the place of Asean governments assembled. Activists displayed large banner of “Listen to Burma’s desires and do not follow Junta’s order” it called for Asean to stop while military soldiers brutal crackdown on the peaceful monk-lead Saffron Revolution.

Subsequently those Myanmar activists were deported from Singapore, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) notify to Myanmar activists after their immigration passes expired, activists were told to leaves the island without given any reasons. The activists revealed their concerns of overall Myanmar political crisis and courage of national reconciliation. Woefully pro-democracy activists’ lives were end up as refugees.

Myanmar activists from Singapore have been seeking asylum to the United Nation Human Rights Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) around the world such as; Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and United States. An Indonesia civil society helps temporary shelter with assistances for some asylum seekers from Singapore.

Since July 2008 Myanmar activists had been departing Singapore in batches, in fear of facing unjust discriminatory laws and inhumane punishment if they return to Myanmar. Many studied in Singapore chose to build their lives in the island which they consider their second home. They made a choice to live in harmony within a multi-racial society, evidently Singapore government was an ill-treated to the Myanmar those whose were working diligently for freedom and democracy.

Singapore government’s monopoly news media intentionally bent the Myanmar activists image turning it into a ferociousness group, a distorted image used to rebuke the Singapore Democrats Party and Dr Chee Soon Juan.

Expulsion of Myanmar pro-democracy activists from the glamorous island shows accurately the Singapore government is bias towards with Myanmar military junta and ignoring of the over 50 million Myanmar people’s desired despondently. Expulsion of Myanmar activists is not the proper solution, Asean countries have to tackle with the root cause of the military junta's oppressing and violating human rights issue in Myanmar.

14th Chairman’s statement mentioned ASEAN Human Rights Body “promote and protect human rights of ASEAN's peoples would be one of the most important undertakings to make ASEAN a genuinely people-oriented community.” Astonishingly read that statement despite two Civil Society activists could not affiliate under the one roof. That was absolutely discontent for the Asean leaders ineffectively negotiate with military Junta and Cambodia counterpart for their dissent. Even though Asean charter stated under article (2) (i) Respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice.

No matter how the entire world convinces Myanmar military elites to respect human rights; the words of Human Rights, Democracy and Civil Society are yet to translate into Myanmar language for the military junta’s dictionary.

For the evidences learnt from the past, to be cautious for the 2010 general election and aware of Myanmar military junta’s tactics; Myanmar constitutional referendum was hold in Singapore for Myanmar national to vote, that was first time such a practise outside the country of Myanmar, during the Myanmar referendum held at St Martin's Drive in April 2008, thousands of Myanmar arrived to their embassy where officials repeatedly refused to accept Myanmar voters due to unfavourable votes. Only Myanmar with invitations to vote was admitted. In majority of voters were not granted an invitation although they had their right to vote as abiding tax payers to Myanmar government. There are about 80,000 eligible Myanmar voters but about 3,000 junta’s supporters were the only one permitted to vote.

Asean nations failed to react on the super-ultra cheated referendum in 2008 nationwide. Instead of reacts on treacherous regime, Myanmar activists were receive typically brusque action from Singapore government in spite of many Singaporeans expressed their conciliated public opinion of Myanmar activists on peaceful protests.

Ultimately military announced the constitution had been approved by 92.48% of voters, Notwithstanding 14th Asean Chairman’s statement had expressed again forthcoming Myanmar general election, statement said “the release of political detainees and the inclusion of all political parties in the political process leading to the general elections in 2010”. Singing again the old jingle, it is dubious speculation for the release of all political prisoners and the political parties’ participation. Obviously military general doesn’t allow single attendee from civil society to coven face to face at the Asean summit. Will there be any opportunity for Myanmar opposition party to take part in the 2010 general election. There seems to be The Unite Nations, Asean and the western leaders’ shows their optimism for 2010 general election which is already thrown into abyss.

The two Civil Society activists episode, palpably exposed military junta have had more influences to Asean than Asean influences onto military general clique. Asean incurred the opprobrium due to labyrinthine military generals.

Asean leaders should not believe military junta’s travesty anymore. This is the time Asean to halt defensive posture for the military elites. If Asean is not seriously address the political root cause of Myanmar, there will never conclude problems of Rohingya migrants, ethnics’ rebellions along the border, drugs trafficking and discrediting of Asean nations.

Presently, Asean leaders have been signalling western nations to lift up sanctions on Myanmar. If the western and European lifted up the sanctions on Myanmar, there will be huge victory for plethoric wealthiest generals and their business ethos. Ultimately there will not occurred genuine change of Myanmar politics. Sanctions should hold up until post election 2010 for the counterproductive of democratisation process of Myanmar.

Friday, February 27, 2009


J Moe

Preamble days in Indonesia
Different modus operandi
Without travesty, I am a refugee
Need not to find the word exculpate in dictionary
Never yearning totalitarian states of sleazy
Open one new page in history
Conscientious humanity and scruple community
Compassionate speech with commiserate society
Why not I live here eternity