Singapore takes a ‘principled position’ on weapons for Myanmar following UN envoy’s claim

By Mizzima
19 May 2023
Singapore takes a ‘principled position’ on weapons for Myanmar following UN envoy’s claim

Singapore says it has worked to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in response to a United Nations expert Mr Tom Andrews who reported that entities in Singapore provide "critical supplies" to the junta's weapon factories, according to a MFA statement issued 19 May. 

An MFA spokesperson said Singapore has taken a “principled position” against the Myanmar military’s use of lethal force against unarmed civilians, and noted that Mr Andrews had noted that the Singapore government was not involved in the supply or weapons or associated materials to the Myanmar military. 

Singapore’s response came after UN Special Rapporteur Mr Andrews published a report on Wednesday, which said the Myanmar junta has imported at least US$1 billion in arms and raw materials to manufacture weapons since it carried out a coup in February 2021 – the main suppliers being China, India and Russia. 

According to Mr Andrews’ report, about US$254 million of supplies were shipped from dozens of entities in Singapore to the Myanmar military from February 2021 to December 2022, and that Singapore banks have also been used “extensively” by arms dealers. 

The MFA spokesperson said they appreciated Andrews’ report and would help with investigations under Singapore law into whether any offences were committed.  

In the meantime, the spokesperson said Singapore is committed to supplying humanitarian aid to Myanmar, and were committed with fellow ASEAN members to facilitate peace and reconciliation in Myanmar.