|Home Contact Feedback FAQ Useful Links|
Straits Times: Singapore observers impressed with Myanmar Polls
YANGON: Singapore's observer delegation is impressed with Myanmar's polls, which it says were well-organised, free and fair.
Its members, who include MPs Hri Kumar Nair and David Ong as well as government and embassy officials, were up at the crack of dawn on Sunday. By the end of the day, they had visited 70 polling centres in different constituencies in Yangon and Mandalay.
'It's satisfying that we participated and helped the process in some way as foreign observers,' said Mr Robert Chua, Singapore's ambassador to Myanmar, who observed the voting process in Kawhmu, which opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi contested.
Mr Nair, who soldiered on despite suffering from suspected food poisoning, said he was heartened by what he saw, especially the strong turnout.
'That speaks volumes for the people's determination for democratic reform,' he said.
Mr Ong felt there was some room for improvement.
He noted that while some delegation members were allowed into the polling centre to watch the vote counting, others could do so only outside the centre.
He said he hoped there would be more consistency in the future, as well as voter education among the young and illiterate.
The delegation came across several instances of Myanmar people who did not know how to vote, especially those in the rural areas.
The role of foreign observers in Myanmar's landmark by-elections on Sunday was a crucial one, with their endorsement seen as key to Myanmar's reform drive.
Looking ahead, Mr Chua said there were still challenges to tackle, including strife in ethnic areas, as well as economic reform to attract foreign investment.
| About MFA
Vision, Mission & Values
History and Achievements
Countries & Regions
G77 & NAM
| International Issues
UN Millennium Development Goals
Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
International Peace Keeping Efforts
| Consular Information
For Singapore Citizens
For Foreigners Visiting Singapore
Singapore Missions Overseas
Foreign Missions Accredited to Singapore
|Singapore Cooperation Programme
Careers & Scholarship