International Asia WP's Gerald Giam to question Vivian Balakrishnan on effects of Myanmar coup

WP’s Gerald Giam to question Vivian Balakrishnan on effects of Myanmar coup

He says "it affects not only the people of Myanmar but also the entire Asean, of which Singapore is a member"

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Singapore — Workers’ Party (WP) treasurer Gerald Giam is set to raise concerns over the Myanmar coup and its effects on Singaporeans with Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan at the Parliament sitting on Feb 16.

On Monday (Feb 1), the Myanmar military seized political control by detaining the nation’s leader, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi. The military also put the nation under a state of emergency for a year. The event has shaken Myanmar, prompting student protests, civil disobedience and a call at the United Nations for the release of Ms Suu Kyi. It has also worried neighbouring and other countries.

Mr Giam, who is also a Member of Parliament for the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC), shared his plan of action at the coming parliamentary session.

On Thursday afternoon (Feb 4), Mr Giam, in a social media post, published his thoughts on the current political situation in neighbouring Myanmar. Referring to the recent military coup as “a matter of grave concern”, he also stressed that the scope of its effects surpasses Myanmar’s borders, saying “it affects not only the people of Myanmar but also the entire Asean, of which Singapore is a member”.

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According to a recent article by the BBC, the World Bank reported that Singapore was Myanmar’s largest foreign investor in 2020, taking up 34 per cent of approved investments. Given the political instability caused by the coup, financial experts have predicted that Myanmar’s economy is bound to feel the hit.

Given these circumstances, Mr Giam plans on raising crucial questions with Dr Balakrishnan, who is from the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

Mr Giam will raise three central concerns: (1) Singaporeans in Myanmar who may be seeking consular assistance; (2) the possible issuance of a joint statement by Asean  nations on the issue; and (3) the effects of these recent developments on Asean as well as its ties with major powers in the region.

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