Singaporeans in Myanmar say situation appears ‘calm’ a day after military coup

SINGAPORE: A day after the military seized power in Myanmar, Singaporeans residing there mentioned there the situation appears to be “calm” regardless of disruptions to work.

Phone traces and cell knowledge companies that had been shut down have been restored, they mentioned. The lengthy queues of individuals attempting to withdraw cash at ATM machines have additionally abated. 

Mr Raymond Phee, who owns a logistics agency and lives in Yangon, mentioned he drove round to examine the situation a day after the military seized energy in a coup on Monday. 

“I made a round from the port to the warehouse to the supermarket to the banks. There was nothing (happening). It was very much normal,” he mentioned. 

“The banks are open, the customs are open, the ports are open,” said Mr Phee who has lived in the country for 25 years. 

Similarly, Mr Joshua Tan, chief administrative officer in a rice-producing firm said that everything in Naypyidaw was “calm”. 

“But we are quite concerned that it’s too calm, it’s not normal,” he mentioned. 

“It feels like the calm before a storm.” 

READ: Singapore gravely concerned over events in Myanmar, monitoring situation closely: MFA

There, nonetheless, continued to be some disruption to day by day life.

Mr Tan mentioned that final week, the military began to arrange short-term checks alongside the borders of Naypyidaw. All autos coming into the capital metropolis are checked and a few are turned away, he mentioned.

“My staff coming to work are body searched,” he mentioned, including that his workplace shall be closed for yet one more day “in case something goes south”. 

“We are being careful, just waiting, telling staff to avoid going to places where there may be riots,” he mentioned. 

READ: Myanmar nationals in Singapore express disbelief over military coup back home, worry about families

Similarly, Mr Kenneth Lim, a developer, mentioned that his firm operations shall be closed for a few days to “see what happens”. 

He added that a not too long ago drawn-up enterprise technique has been scrapped, given the change in the local weather in the nation. 

“Banking hours are reduced; government offices, can’t find people there,” he mentioned. 

“Life is not about waking up and going to work, but what are you going to do at work.”

Mr Phee on the other hand has tightened security at his warehouse for the week. 

The men have also generally stayed indoors. 


Many Myanmar nationals scrambled to stock up on essential items once news of the coup broke. Alongside them was Mr Tan. At the top on his list of items was water. 

“The (tap) water here is not drinkable, so I sent out a lorry and a truck to stock up on water,” he said. 

“Usually, we call and the water truck would come, but the phone lines were down,” he said.

While he and his colleagues had rice in abundance, he stocked up on other lasting items such as biscuits, rice puffs and instant noodles. 

He also sent one week’s worth of food to his workers. 

Mr Lim similarly found himself in a very crowded supermarket buying items such as rice and instant noodles. 

“You just need to be more prepared,” he said. 


Those who spoke to CNA said that while things seem quiet at the moment, they were concerned and apprehensive about what is to come. 

Mr Lim said: “You’re afraid of live demonstrations on the road. So far, I haven’t seen protesters, but I’m very very concerned.” 

“There’s absolutely nothing you can do – just keep yourself busy instead of being stressed.”

Despite the sense of normalcy, things can take a turn anytime, Mr Phee added. 

“There’s just a lot of uncertainty regarding what’s happening and what’s going to happen,” mentioned 17-year-old pupil Ethan Swee. 

The worldwide faculty he research at was transitioning to bodily lessons, after providing solely on-line lessons because of COVID-19, however that has come to a halt, he mentioned.  

While Internet companies have allowed him to remain related to the remainder of the world, he fears that they could be minimize off anytime. 

“The situation seems really volatile, so I have no idea what to expect later today, let alone tomorrow,” he mentioned.

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