By Zin Linn
President Thein Sein of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) made a speech at the work coordination meeting to carry out the national and regional development tasks held at the President Office on Friday, the New Light of Myanmar said today.
Vice- President Dr Sai Mauk Kham, Deputy Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw Nanda Kyaw Swa, Union ministers, region and state chief ministers, chairmen of self-administered zones, and officials were also attended the meeting.
Vice President Tin Aung Myint Oo, who is said to be resigned from his position for health reasons, did not appear at the meeting. Other absentees were Upper House Speaker Khin Aung Myint, Deputy Speaker Mya Nyein, Lower House Speaker Thura Shwe Mann who are on oversea trip to Japan and Europe respectively.
In his speech, President said that the new government has been undertaking a series of reforms covering national solidarity, prevalence of peace and stability, ensuring security of the people, enhancing the international cooperation and introduction of clean government and good governance in order to promote multiparty democratic system. In addition, he explained the importance of implementing the country-wise tasks that need reforms for improving the socio-economic status of the people as second-step strategic change.
Thein Sein also suggested the government officials to make use of the international financial aids in poverty reduction, human resource development and other development tasks in respective areas. The foreign supports have to put under the proper management of the central committee, the work committee and region/state governments, he noted.
In order to fulfill those tasks, the Myanmar Socio-Economy Advisory Council has to be created, he said. As a result, social organizations and private sectors can help each other and submit proposals to the government. And social and economic organizations plus private sectors have to challenge ensuring the active participation of the people in the reform course, the President said.
After the investments, human resource development plays an important role in reform process, he said. Thus, the country needs to have skilled works at different levels in banking, hotel and tourism industry and other investment sectors. With this objective, Burma’s president has urged the millions of Burmese exiles who have been abroad for various reasons to come back home. He advised the exiles who were abroad include technicians, experts, businessmen and other careers to return.
In conclusion, the President said while carrying out reforms, the respective local-wise administrators must be polished to avoid corruption, bribery and unfriendly relations with the public.
The President made his conclusion by saying: “When it comes to the efforts for national economic development, it is needed to do business and make investment in line with the laws, rules and procedures without irregularities and to mobilize public cooperation without putting reliance on a handful of people alone. Only then, will the country be able to do good practices on a par with the international community,” the New Light of Myanmar reported.
According to some analysts, the President’s policy of good governance is still on the paper and grassroots people could not enjoy as yet. The privileged authorities and the cronies are as always above the law while workers and farmers have less benefit of equal rights in front of the law. For instance, the government fails to take action on its cronies and the military those confiscate lands and properties of workers and farmers without following the existing laws.
U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre highlights the corruption in Burma (Myanmar) as follow: “After more than four decades of military rule, political violence and systematic repression of democratic opposition, the country’s political and economic environment has continued to deteriorate in recent years. Myanmar faces major challenges of endemic corruption, consistently ranking at the bottom of TI’S Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Little is known on the specific forms and patterns of corruption in the country, but the scale of the informal and illicit economy suggests strong links between the ruling elite and organised crime activities, such as drugs and human trafficking, and illegal logging. In the absence of sound democratic institutions and an effective system of checks and balances, the legal and institutional frameworks against corruption appear rudimentary and likely to be misused by the junta for political reasons.”
The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index, released annually by Transparency International, shows Burma (Myanmar) tied with Afghanistan as the world’s second-most corrupt nation.
So, President Thein Sein has to work harder to materialize his speech especially on fighting against the corruption and abuses of power. Without fighting corruption and abuses of power, it will be a castle in the wind to introduce clean government and good governance with the intention of upholding multiparty democratic system.