Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, delivered the 43rd Singapore Lecture on 21 August 2018, while on a four-day working visit to Singapore.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi shared on Myanmar’s political transitions and the major priorities of the NLD government.
Tuesday, 21 August 2018 – Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, delivered the 43rd Singapore Lecture while on a four-day working visit to Singapore. She began her lecture with a brief history of the three major political transitions that Myanmar had gone through and is currently undergoing, namely, from colonial rule to independence; from parliamentary democracy to military dictatorship; and currently, from military dictatorship to democracy.
Her Excellency Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivering the 43rd Singapore Lecture. Seated at the table from left to right: Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Director, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman ISEAS Board of Trustees. [Photo credits: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute]
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi reiterated her government’s efforts at peace and national reconciliation and the need for peace in Rakhine. She outlined the steps that have been taken by her government to deal with the issues in Rakhine. With respect to the repatriation of the Rohingya, she described the memoranda of understanding between Bangladesh and Myanmar, and the UN, as well as the various initiatives that have been set up to receive returnees. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also mentioned that 81 out of the 88 recommendations of the Kofi Annan Advisory Committee have been implemented.
At this point Daw Aung San Suu Kyi paid tribute to Dr Kofi Annan for his generosity and constructive approach which exemplified the principles and values on which the UN was founded.
With regard to foreign direct investment, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke about the implementation of business friendly laws and regulations. In addition, she spoke about national priorities such as the building of roads and electrification, health and education. She provided figures showing the increase in the number of midwives, literacy and school enrolment rates. Finally, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi emphasised that amendments to the constitution through negotiation will be necessary for genuine and long-lasting democratic transition.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi responding to a question from the audience, under the chairmanship of DPM Teo Chee Hean. [Photo credits: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute]
DPM and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr Teo Chee Hean chaired and moderated the question and answer session after Daw Suu’s lecture, a candid session of exchanges with questions from students, academics and business people ranging from business environment, education, politics and humanitarian issues. There was much laughter amidst the exchange of perspectives.
At the end of the lecture, Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman Board of Trustees of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, and Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Director, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute; presented Daw Suu with a pottery piece crafted by one of Singapore’s foremost potters, Mr Chua Soo Kim, entitled “Sky, Forest, Green Land. “. The Sky, Forest, Green Land. is part of his Blue Planet series and is inspired by the colours of nature.
A group photo after the presentation of the token of appreciation from ISEAS to Daw Suu. [Photo credits: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute]
Over 600 people, including diplomats, government officials, business leaders, academics, students and members of the media, attended the lecture. [Photo credits: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute]
1. Transcript of opening remarks by DPM Teo Chee Hean at the 43rd Singapore Lecture on 21 August 2018
2. The 43rd Singapore Lecture “Democratic Transition in Myanmar: Challenges and the Way Forward” by H.E Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on on 21st August 2018