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Tuesday September 24, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday September 24, 2013 MYT 6:47:17 AM
Myanmar icon: Lee introducing his officials to Suu Kyi during her visit to the Istana presidential palace in Singapore. — AFP
SOLDIERS should not be in government, Myanmar’s democracy icon and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said.
Instead, Myanmar should change its Constitution to have a professional army, as in Britain, which is “well looked after by a civilian government and loved by its people”.
“It’s not that I want the leopard to change its spots.
“I just want the leopard to stay very beautiful and dignified in the jungle,” she said of the military, half in jest.
She was answering a question on whether, given the military’s tendency to claim power by force, a leopard can change its spots, during a lecture at Singapore Management University yesterday.
She recalled how her father, General Aung San – who led then Burma to independence from British colonial rule – set an example when he resigned from the military to join politics in 1945.
After decades of military rule, Myanmar under President Thein Sein, a retired general, has undergone political reforms that give it a semi-civilian government in which the military is given 25% of seats in Parliament.
On the subject of leadership, she gave an example of how a leader can, through respect, win over the electorate.
Suu Kyi is in Singapore on a five-day visit.
Today, she will call on several Singapore leaders, including President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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