At the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar paid a working visit to Singapore from 19 to 21 August 2018 and arrived back to Nay Pyi Taw on 22 August 2018.
On 20 August 2018, Myanmar Delegation led by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. At the School, the State Counsellor was welcomed by H.E. Mr. Goh Chok Tong, Emeritus Senior Minister and
Professor Danny Quah, Dean of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Professor Danny Quah explained the history of the School, future visions, functions and subjects taught at the School. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi then observed a class room in the School. After that, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi attended the High Tea hosted by H.E. Mr. Goh Chok Tong, Emeritus Senior Minister.
In the morning of 21 August 2018, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi called on Madame Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore and met with Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore on separate occasions at Istana Presidential Palace. During their meeting, the leaders discussed further strengthening of the existing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries, promoting trade, investment and economic cooperation, concluding of a bilateral investment treaty, providing vocational training for youth, to strengthen ASEAN’s cooperation in coping with natural disasters, recent developments in Rakhine State, Myanmar Government’s efforts for peace process in Myanmar. After that, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and party attended the luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Mr. Lee Hsien Loong.
In the afternoon of 21 August 2018, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi met with H.E. Mr. Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Afterwards, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivered the 43rd Singapore Lecture, “ Democratic Transition in Myanmar: Challenges and Way Forward” at Grand Hyatt Hotel.
The State Counsellor’s lecture covers wide range of issues related to Myanmar’s different phases of transition, Myanmar’s Sustainable Development Plan, 21st Century Panglong Conference, measures taken to address the Rakhine issue and the government’s efforts for economic development, creating enabling environments for promoting foreign investments in Myanmar.
In her lecture, State Counsellor explained that, during the last three quarters of a century, Myanmar has undergone three major transitions: from colonial rule to independence in 1948, from parliamentary democracy to military dictatorship in 1962, and still in progress today since 1988, still incomplete, is the transition from dictatorship to democracy. The first transition was a straight forward culmination of a hard and costly struggle: a clean-cut change from the status of colonial subject country to that of sovereign independent nation. The second transition too was sharp and clearly placed in time: tanks on the streets of the capital one morning, a crisp declaration on the radio. The present transition is the most complex, the most challenging of all. The degree of progress of the current transition has to be measured by the extent to which we are able, together with the people, to realize our aspirations.
On Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan, a roadmap for the transition, identifies five goals, supported by three pillars. Goal 1 is Peace, National Reconciliation, Security and Good Governance and Goal 2 is Economic Stability & Strengthened Macroeconomic Management. These rest on the pillar of Peace & Stability. Goal 3 is Job Creation & Private Sector-led Growth, held up by the pillar of Prosperity & Partnership. The third pillar, People and Planet, supports Goal 4, Human Resources & Social Development for 21st Century Society and Goal 5, Natural Resources & the Environment for Prosperity of the Nation. Regarding three pillars, Myanmar Government is determined to persevere because without peace, transition could not blossom and bear fruit.
The Twenty-first Century Panglong Conference seeks to put an end to the armed strife that has ravaged Myanmar since its birth as an independent nation, and to construct a strong democratic federal union founded on a lasting unity created out of diversity. Serious challenges remain and armed conflicts continue to break out between the Tatmadaw and the EAOs, as well as between the EAOs themselves. Myanmar Government is constantly alert to the challenges and it aims to resolve them through dialogue and negotiation, by persevering in the endeavor to build mutual trust and understanding.
Addressing destabilizing issues in Rakhine State was a fundamental part of building of Pillar 1. Dr. Kofi Annan wanted Myanmar Government to succeed, to reach the goals of peace, prosperity, security and progress for our country. The recommendations of Dr. Kofi Annan’s Commission, 88 in all, of which 81 have been implemented so far, aimed to establish lasting peace and stability in Rakhine State.
The Government of Myanmar also signed with the UNDP and the UNHCR an MOU that aims at assisting speedy and efficient resettlement and rehabilitation. Involved at various fronts and levels is the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine State. An Independent Commission of Enquiry, led by Ambassador Rosario Manalo, an eminent diplomat from ASEAN, has been established. Myanmar Government hopes to work with Bangladesh to effect the voluntary, safe and dignified return of displaced persons from northern Rakhine State. The danger of terrorist activities, which was the initial cause of events leading to the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine, remains real and present today.
The investment that is paramount for the transition is investment in human resources. It is also fundamental to the sustainable development plan. The greatest strength of a democratic transition, the involvement of the people, is also its greatest challenge. To weld together the will and purpose of millions into a whole that allows the wonderful diversity of our country to shine through is a formidable undertaking.
Myanmar believes that its people have the capacity to meet this challenge and to carry the transition to a successful conclusion which will be the starting point of a new, better era for the nation.
In the evening of 21 August 2018, State Counsellor and party visited Myanmar Embassy in Singapore and met with officials and families of the Embassy and the Military Attache Office. After that, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi attended dinner hosted by Myanmar Ambassador to Singapore. After dinner, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited the Gardens by the Bay.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was accompanied by Union Minister for Government Office U Thaung Tun, Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin and Deputy Minister for President Office U Min Thu and Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Myanmar Delegation led by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi arrived back to Nay Pyi Taw by special flight on 22 August 2018 at 1030 local time.—Ministry of Foreign Affairs