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What Singapore Can Learn from Myanmar

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi meets Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Image from Facebook

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi meets Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Image from Facebook

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi visited Singapore where she attended a leadership summit aside from meeting her compatriots in the prosperous city state. During a press forum, Suu Kyi praised Singapore’s economic success but she also warned against the impact of materialism:

…what is work all about? What are human beings for? What are human lives about?

So I think perhaps Singapore could learn from us, a more relaxed way of life, perhaps warmer and closer relationships. I want to learn a lot from the standards that Singapore has been able to achieve but I wonder whether we want something more for our country.

Bertha Henson reacts:

We should do some furious thinking and soul searching.

Are we just a money-grubbing nation, efficiently churning out digits for the future workplace? Are we all about the Central Business District skyline? Is that really how other people see us? As calculative individuals who do not put much stock in human relationships?

Wonderpeace agrees with Suu Kyi:

Ms Aung acknowledged that material achievement is necessary to a certain extent to enable us to be free from want. However, there are many intangible things which material achievement could not provide – love, loyalty and spirituality…so many things that helped us survive that had little to do with material achievement. She summed up that S'pore could learn from Myanmar a more relaxed way of life, warmer and closer family relationships.

Xuyun reminds Singapore leaders to go beyond the GDP in measuring quality of life:

Aung San Suu Kyi simply pricked the bubble of our materialistic minds, exposing our emptiness beyond that magnificent façade which we built our self-esteem on and from which defines our success.

(GDP) should not be pursued to the extent of reducing quality of life for the majority of the people in the process. And GDP alone does not define the spirit and the soul of a nation.

I may not guess what exactly Aung San Suu Kyi wants for her country. But it should be closer to the heart and further from the pockets.

On Twitter, @OccupySG echoed the message of Suu Kyi:

  • tocharian

    Singapore is well known in the rest of the world as a safe haven and a money-laundromat for all the crooks, thieves, drug dealers, warlords, despots, dictators, … of the region (even princelings from China like Guagua Bo ! )

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