Myanmar democracy: Merkel urged Singapore and ASEAN to discuss Myanmar problem

Why does it usually have to be westerners who lead the way while we Asians merely follow? For example, in care of the environment, fighting against animal cruelty and on more serious issues like human rights, democracy and so on. 

So when the visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Singapore and ASEAN members to discuss the issue of democracy in Myanmar, I laughed so hard that I spilled my coffee at HQ (regular coffee shop)!

Hahaha, hahaha. Good one, Dr Merkel, asking Singapore to talk about democracy. 

This is like asking China leaders to talk about democracy to North Korean strongman, Kim Jong Il, isn’t it? 

Dr Angela Merkel’s comment only serves to confirm my suspicion that western leaders have a limited understanding of the political realities in Singapore.

What’s the big fuss you may ask?

In the more than 40 years the ruling party has governed Singapore, the word “democracy” has yet to be uttered by its leaders and MPs. It is a taboo it seems.

Ironically, Singaporeans reciting The National Pledge “pledge to build a democratic society”.

Western media describe Singapore as a dictatorship albeit a benign one while well-respected international organizations consistently rank Singapore at the bottom of the heap in the democracy and human rights stakes.

Perhaps, the German Chancellor should have asked  Indonesia instead since it is ranked as the only free country in ASEAN. 

Good joke, Dr Merkel but next time ask your embassy here for the factfile on Singapore. 

There might not be a third Singapore orchid named after you but don’t worry, Indonesia has orchids too.

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