NAY PYI TAW—If officials in the current government are deemed to be corrupt, action can be taken against them by the next government in accordance with provisions of the new anti-corruption law, legal analysts say.
The anti-corruption law was enacted by the Union Assembly parliament on August 7 this year and took effect on September 17.
Section 2 of the law states: “If anyone inside the country, whether Myanmar citizens or those living in Myanmar permanently, breaks the law, action can be taken.”
Section 31 reads: “Even if an accused official has given up a position in government, action will continue to be taken in line with the enacted law. Action can be taken in accordance with staff codes of ethics. The government can confiscate the properties of the accused. Investigations can be launched.”
Lawyer Han Shin Win noted that while every law has a punishment, there is some gray area when it comes to how the law deals with corruption.
“There are forms of corruption among government officials. There is also tax evasion. These matters are unclear. Some cases are related to the politics. Rule of law can’t be established if political problems cannot be solved,” he said.
“Corruption can even be seen in the courts, and this means it will always be there. We should consider a way to make the system capable of stopping corruption. The current corruption is related to political problems. We have to take time to fight against corruption.”
Section 44 says that complaints about bribery and corruption can be sent to an investigative organization, concerned government departments, and other organizations. “Only if a person actually makes a complaint can the corruption case ever be known. Corruption is carried out in secret,” said advocate Than Soe (Tun).
According to Section 55, any official found guilty of bribery and corruption is liable to a prison term of no longer than 15 years, plus fines.
“Anti-corruption law has existed for a long time, but the previous government did not practice this law. No action was taken by the previous government despite the law’s official release. Bribery and corruption still happen in the new government. Effective actions have not been found so far,” Than Soe (Tun) continued.
In the case of corruption by officials from the current government, action can be taken by the next new government when applying the anti-corruption law.
Source: ELEVEN Myanmar