Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met Singapore’s political leaders on Monday, on the fourth day of her first visit to the city state since released from house arrest.
Suu Kyi, who is here for a five-day official visit as chair of a lower house committee of Myanmar, called on Singapore President Tony Tan. She also met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Speaker Halimah Yacob and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the leaders of Singapore and Suu Kyi discussed the recent developments in Myanmar.
Myanmar’s democracy icon again called for amendments to the current constitution of Myanmar, which is expected to hold an important election by 2015. Suu Kyi is unable to run for presidency under the current constitution.
“I would like to be president if I could be, because you could do a lot more as a president than as a leader of the opposition,” she told a press conference in the evening.
Suu Kyi arrived here last Friday for a five-day official visit. She also received briefings on some of Singapore’s government agencies and statutory bodies including the Economic Development Board, which is charged with attracting investment, and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.
“I am happy that although corruption is rampant in Burma, the people still in general do not think of corruption as an acceptable way of life,” Suu Kyi told reporters.
She did not elaborate on the plan of her party if it is elected, but said that the rights come with responsibilities under a democracy.
The chairperson of the National League for Democracy said that she does not seek vengeance and wants to pursue national reconciliation. She also said earlier in a public speech at a business leaders’ forum that what she wanted to see in the short run is an improvement in the rule of law situation and an independent judiciary.
She did not elaborate on how this can be achieved.
She also received briefings on Singapore’s Education Ministry and visited a local technical education institute, telling reporters at the press conference that education is important.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that she exchanged views with Singapore’s President Tan on the development priorities for Myanmar, “including job creation, health and education.”
Suu Kyi indicated that “ensuring the employability of Myanmar’s citizens was one of her key concerns,” the statement said.
The Singapore prime minister “reaffirmed Singapore’s support for Myanmar’s chairmanship of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in 2014, and reiterated our commitment in facilitating Myanmar’s development,” the statement said.
Lee has said at a forum earlier that Myanmar has been left in a situation like a “time capsule” over the past decades.
Lee said that Singapore’s policy is to work with the legitimate government of the country, according to local media reports.
Singapore’s investment in Myanmar has been growing rapidly over the last few years, with business delegations going in to see if there are opportunities of investment.
Suu Kyi told business leaders that she would like them to continue investing in Myanmar but try to make it as responsible as possible.
However, she said it should not be worrying to see Chinese investment in Myanmar falling, citing quality over quantity.
“The fact that Chinese businesses are investing less now, I think, is less important than the possibility of Chinese businesses investing in a more responsible way, and a more responsive way to the needs of our people,” said the opposition leader, who is considered to be closer to western countries.
“That would improve relations between our two countries in a way that no investment could do … I do believe that the friendship between our two countries will be strong and enduring,” she added.
Suu Kyi, who came to Singapore at the invitation of Singapore’s Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam, is expected to leave on Tuesday.
Source: Mizzima News