briefer asserts that ASEAN countries must exercise their substantial
influence on Burma’s military leaders to secure the delivery
of genuine political and economic reforms, instead of using China
as an excuse for inaction. The briefer reveals that:
* Burma relies on petrol and diesel
supplies from Malaysia and Singapore to keep business running and
military vehicles on the road. The military is the biggest consumer
* Burma relies on trade with ASEAN
for 51.3% of foreign exchange revenue, with gas sales to Thailand
alone accounting for 48.4% in 2005/06.
* Burma relies on Thailand and
Singapore as their biggest sources of new Foreign Direct Investment,
constituting a total of 98.61% of FDI in the past 2 years.
* Burma relies on Singapore’s
financial services to store and move the wealth that they drain
away from Burma.
The briefer recommends an ASEAN
freeze or even a slowdown on economic, material, and diplomatic
support in order to shepherd the regime to political dialogue and
the achievement of genuine reforms. Action should include a temporary
freeze on large Burmese-held bank accounts and other financial assets
in Singapore as part of a money-laundering review.