Protesters against the military in Myanmar have taken to social media to call for the boycott of Singapore products and brands, such as Tiger Beer and Ya Kun Kaya Toast.
Myanmar protesters call for boycott of Singapore products
Graphics and posters calling for the boycott of brands and goods from Singapore have been circulating widely on Twitter.
We boycott in Myanmar this also. pic.twitter.com/TYqvMkhZPm— Myo Ei (@MyoEiEiWin) February 17, 2021
Urging people to boycott brands such as Tiger Beer, BreadTalk, and Crystal Jade, the illustrations read:
"Singapore is not respecting the voices of Myanmar People. Singapore is supporting the Dictatorship."
The graphics also added that Singapore is the largest investor in Myanmar.
Protesters outside Singapore embassy in Yangon
On Feb. 13, protesters were also seen gathering outside the Singapore Embassy in Yangon, calling on Singapore's financial institutions, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and United Overseas Bank (UOB) to stop processing transactions for banks linked to the Myanmar military.
An activist from the International Federation of Human Rights had urged international companies to break all partnerships with the military regime in Myanmar, and mentioned that Singapore, being the largest investor in Myanmar, is key, according to The Japan Times.
Vivian Balakrishnan stressed importance of separating politics and business
During a parliament sitting on Feb. 16, Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan urged Myanmar's authorities to "exercise utmost restraint" in light of the burgeoning protests in Myanmar against the military takeover.
He added that he hoped for the release of detained political leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi and Win Myint.
However, the minister emphasised that it is crucial to separate political and business decisions, and let businesses make commercial decisions based on their own interests, mentioning that businesses should be able to evaluate the risks for themselves. He said:
"The current volatile operating environment, including a report that a foreign national had been arrested, will certainly affect the investment outlook and undermine business confidence.
Our own businessmen are aware of this downside risk, and I have no doubt that Singaporean businesses are re-evaluating their risk profile and their exposure to this market."
Vivian pointed out that while Singapore is Myanmar's largest foreign investor, the major proportion of Singapore's investments in the country have occurred in the last five years, under the National League of Democracy's (NLD) civilian leadership.
"In fact, this period -- the last five years -- saw a tenfold increase in Singapore's direct investments in Myanmar compared to the preceding five-year period," Vivian said.
Top image via Mratt Kyaw Thu/Twitter