WikiLeaks: Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew disdains Myanmar leaders
Dec 15, 2010, 7:09 GMT
Singapore - Singapore politician Lee Kuan Yew in a confidential US diplomatic cable released Wednesday by WikiLeaks expressed his scorn for Myanmar's military regime, saying the generals were 'stupid', 'dense' and difficult to deal with.
Recording a supposed meeting between Lee and US diplomats in Singapore in October 2007, the cable published by the whistleblower website quoted Lee as saying that dealing with the regime was like 'talking to dead people.'
Singapore's former prime minister and now minister mentor said China had the greatest influence over the Myanmar junta and it was worried that the country could 'blow up,' according to the cable.
Lee also said he was wary about some members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), noting that Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam should not have been accepted.
He said that stability in the region would be enhanced the more ASEAN was able to 'get its act together,' according to the cable.
'However, ASEAN should not have admitted Burma [Myanmar], Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as members in the 1990s, Lee argued,' it said.
The older ASEAN members shared an antipathy to communism and common values, which had been 'muddied' by the newer members, Lee was quoted as saying.
The economic and social problems of the new members made it doubtful they would ever behave like the older members, he said according to the US diplomatic message.
ASEAN comprises Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.
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