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Singapore Democratic Party's worry
Subject: Singapore Democratic Party's worry over drug trade.
Letter to the Editor: SDP's worry over drug trade
YOU reported a letter from a Myanmar official who
claims that the international media is
making false claims about drug lords in Myanmar.
The writer has conveniently left out the fact that
the evidence from these statements have come
from governments, drug enforcement agencies and
academics -- not just the media.
The US State Department said in its International
Narcotics Control Strategy Report of March
1995 that "Burma remains the undisputed leader in
world illicit opium output, providing over 50
per cent of known global illicit production...".
Raw opium is subsequently refined into heroin. It
is estimated that Myanmar's heroin production rose
from 53 tons in 1987 to about 200 tons in
Both Lo Hsing Han's and Lin Mingxian's involvement
in this drug trade is not exactly peripheral
as the writer would have us believe. The
French-based Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues
says: "Our sources have tracked Lin's heroin trail
since 1989." Bags of heroin are transported
to ports where Hongkong- and Bangkok-based gangs
ship them to international markets.
Thailand's Office of Narcotics Control Board
indicated that Lo Hsing Han is still actively
Not only are these drug activities allowed to
operate in Myanmar, they are also actively
supported by the Slorc, Myanmar's military regime.
In fact, the US State Department has said:
"It is unlikely that the heroin trade can be
curtailed without fundamental political change in
Burma." But what has all this to do with
Singapore? Earlier this year, the Government said
hard-core addicts are more likely to commit
crimes. A repeat drug offender is one of the two
men suspected of murdering a Japanese tourist at
the Oriental Hotel recently. In order to deter
these addicts and their crimes, the Government has
increased the penalty for repeat drug
offenders. They now face up to 13 years of
detention and six strokes of the cane. Drug pedlars
are routinely hanged in Singapore for carrying
And where are all these drugs coming from? Drug
lords like Lo Hsing Han are the big-time
pushers aided by the Slorc generals. Now there are
allegations that our GIC funds are invested
with Lo's investment company and that Lo travels
freely in and out of Singapore. Up to now,
the PAP Government has refused to answer
specifically whether these allegations are true or
The GIC funds come from the money of Singaporeans.
It is not only the right but the paramount
duty of Singaporeans loyal to this nation to ask
why and how our money is invested in
Myanmar and elsewhere. This is not a matter of
foreign relations. It is lives and deaths that we
are talking about -- Singaporeans' lives and
deaths. Can the writer now see why the SDP is so
concerned about the drug trade in Myanmar?
CHEE SOON JUAN
Singapore Democratic Party
[Straits Times, 18 December 1996].