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Myanmar military junta must be told in no uncertain terms that the circumstances and secrecy of the   relocation of capital  an acute embarrassment to ASEAN which raises the  question about its suitability as an ASEAN  member


Media  Statement

by Lim Kit Siang  

, Friday): Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar is to be commended for speaking out that Myanmar should inform Asean if it has shifted its capital from Yangon to Pyinmana.

As Hamid said in Busan for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Summit: “When an Asean member country shifts its administrative centre and the others don’t know about it, it can be quite embarrassing.”

ASEAN countries must let the Myanmar military junta know in no uncertain terms that  the circumstances and secrecy of its  relocation of capital is  an acute embarrassment to ASEAN and raises the  question about its suitability as an ASEAN member.

While it is the domestic and sovereign right of every country to move its  capital without having to consult any other country, just as Malaysia has shifted its administrative centre from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya,  ASEAN governments must  take cognizance of the circumstances of the shift of the Myanmar capital from Yangon to Pyinmana, which even caught civil servants by surprise as they were kept in the dark about the two-year construction of a new and better-fortified seat of government.

Government officials have told foreign correspondents  that they had been given no option but to decamp from Yangon, with one stating anonymously: “We don’t know anything about this place – where to live, what to eat, et cetera.”

Was the secretive  shift of capital because the Myanmar military junta is  fearful of being attacked by the United States like Iraq  or is it because it will provide fruitful opportunities  for new corruption considering the Myanmar military junta’s reputation as one of the most corrupt regimes in the world.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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