Myanmar activists put pressure on Robert Kuok’s niece over alleged business ties with military

Sule Square in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Shangri-La/Facebook
Sule Square in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Shangri-La/Facebook

Justice for Myanmar activists against the military coup in their country are putting pressure on Kay Kuok Oon Kwong, who is the niece of Malaysia’s richest man Robert Kuok, over her alleged business ties with Myanmar’s military. 

The nonprofit that has been hounding corporations for doing business with Myanmar’s junta since the coup d’etat in February this week placed the spotlight on the director of Traders Square Company, which owns Yangon’s Sule Square office tower and retail mall, calling on her to end ties with the military. Citing findings from a 2019 report submitted to the Human Rights Council, the nonprofit said that the military’s Quartermaster General Office had leased the land for the Sule Square development through the latter’s parent, Shangri-La Asia. 

Nearly a thousand people have also signed an online petition today, demanding that she be removed as the chair of Singapore’s Yale-NUS College Governing Board. She was also the director of Shangri-La Hotel Limited in Singapore. 

“We are appalled at Shangri-La Asia’s continued business with the junta,” Justice For Myanmar activist Yadanar Maung said. “The military has deliberately killed more than 700 people, and arrested and tortured more than 3,000 people since the coup.”

“They are conducting air strikes in ethnic areas, maiming and killing civilians, including children. The military’s crimes are made possible by their business interests and Shangri-La has continued its relationship with the same body that purchases weapons used to murder our people,” she added. 

Myanmar has been under a military coup and experiencing a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters against the takeover. 

Shangri-La Asia Ltd is registered in Hong Kong. Its board of directors is chaired by Robert Kuok’s daughter Hui Kwong Kuok.

Neither Shangri-La, The Kuok Group, nor Kay Kuok immediately responded to Coconuts’ requests for comment via email. 

Kay Kuok (in blue) at the Sule Square opening in 2017 attended by Yangon mayor U Maung Maung Soe. Photo:
Kay Kuok (in blue) at the Sule Square opening in 2017 attended by Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe. Photo:

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