ASEAN must take bold steps to avert tragedy in Myanmar


Gurmit Singh Kullar

Published: 4:02 AM, July 6, 2013
Updated: 11:00 PM, July 7, 2013

I received an email this week from petition website Avaaz.org about the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar.

The message speaks of threats made with impunity against the Rohingya. It recalls what happened in Rwanda when 800,000 people were murdered in ethnic violence.

Singapore and Myanmar are members of the Association of South-east Asian Nations.

Notwithstanding the organisation’s stance of non-interference in member states’ internal affairs, I feel that it must take bold steps to avert a human tragedy.

If Singapore is a beacon of tolerance and respect between different races, then it must urge the same among its neighbours to prevent discrimination and bloodshed.

It would be unforgivable to stand idly by and watch the horrible consequence of apathy play out in our backyard.