Rare glimpse of Myanmar history on show here

Curator Stephen Murphy shares information on a sculpture with Ms Suu Kyi and PM Lee at the opening of the Cities and Kings: Ancient Treasures from Myanmar exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Curator Stephen Murphy shares information on a sculpture with Ms Suu Kyi and PM Lee at the opening of the Cities and Kings: Ancient Treasures from Myanmar exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A quarter of artefacts in exhibition had previously not travelled outside country

A new exhibition that chronicles Myanmar's long and rich history dating back to the 4th century, was opened yesterday by the country's state counsellor, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong .

Held at the Asian Civilisations Museum, it traces Myanmar's heritage and history through its showcase of 60 artefacts from between the 4th century and 19th century.

A quarter of the artefacts had previously never travelled out of Myanmar. They tell the story of how early city-states emerged in the Pyu and Mon periods, the flourishing of Buddhist temple architecture in the Bagan period, and the courtly arts of the Mandalay period.

The exhibition will run until March next year .

Ms Suu Kyi, who is here on a three-day visit that ends today, began her day having breakfast with Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

Mr Goh has visited Myanmar many times and was a staunch supporter of the country's peaceful transition to democracy.

During the closed-door meeting, they discussed Myanmar's economy and the areas where Singapore businesses can contribute to Myanmar's development, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

Ms Suu Kyi then toured the Botanic Gardens, amid a morning drizzle, where a hybrid orchid was named after her - a traditional honour for visiting foreign leaders.

Called the Papilionanda Aung San Suu Kyi, it has pastel purple petals and upright flowering sprays, each bearing up to 10 large blooms.

She also called on Acting President J.Y. Pillay and briefed him on Myanmar's domestic concerns, including job creation, infrastructure, education, electricity generation and public health.

Over lunch, Ms Suu Kyi and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean discussed security and social issues, such as the importance of education and equipping youth with the right skills for jobs. Mr Teo is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security.

In the afternoon, Ms Suu Kyi, who has vowed to control corruption in her country, was briefed by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau on anti-graft efforts here. She ended her day at the Big Box megamall in Jurong East, where she met Myanmar nationals living and working here.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2016, with the headline 'Rare glimpse of Myanmar history on show here'. Print Edition | Subscribe