Activism in Crisis (AIC), a Singapore-based democratic grassroots movement dedicated to transition the country’s environmentally extractive economy to one that is fair to the environment and ordinary people, has extended its full support to the #NoMoreTopDown campaign.
As an organisation that is dedicated to democratic decision-making, #NoMoreTopDown and its aims to end the top-down decision-making that characterised the recent ‘mergers’ in National University of Singapore (NUS) resonates with AIC’s own objectives to demand greater accountability from the decision-makers in power.
“For example, our very own petition campaign to demand that the representative of the Republic of Singapore vote against recognition of the military junta in Myanmar when the next session of the UN General Assembly in New York opens later today shares a similar spirit to #NoMoreTopDown,” said AIC in a statement on Tuesday (14 Sep).
It continued, “We demand that the Singapore government must respect and recognise the democratic will of the Myanmar people, who thoroughly reject military rule.
“As our campaign has 5 more demands addressed to various other entities, we have submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a ‘solidarity’ heat map of over 460 Singapore residents as of 13th September 2021 who have signed the petition.”
As can be seen in the heat map, residents from almost every district in Singapore have called for the Singapore government to not recognise the military at the UN General Assembly session later today.
As of 8am today, 473 residents have signed the petition. The number of signatories continues to grow.
Both campaigns are linked
According to AIC, both the NUS #NoMoreTopDown and Myanmar petition campaigns are even linked.
It explained that the Chair of the Yale-NUS College Governing Board and Director of Shangri-La, Madam Kay Kuok Oon Kwong, oversees the Sule Square development project which leases land from the Myanmar military junta.
AIC went on to say that Yale-NUS students and staff have called for accountability behind closed doors, but the issue was swept under the carpet in yet another exercise of top-down decision-making, while Madam Kay Kuok remains as Chair.
It continued, “As Singapore is Myanmar’s largest foreign investor, we believe that businesses in Singapore who continue to invest in Myanmar are complicit in the oppression of the Myanmar people, and they should denounce the coup and halt such business immediately.
“We believe that the same structure of top-down decision-making that refuses transparency, evades accountability and insists upon ‘business as usual’ is present in both campaigns.”
AIC also stands in solidarity with both the students and staff affected by NUS’ top-down decision-making hierarchy, as well as the people of Myanmar who continue to bravely resist military rule.
“In both circumstances, we believe we should not see ourselves as resigned to undemocratic, opaque and bureaucratic decision-making, and greater ownership should be given to the people in each of the spaces they inhabit,” it expressed.