Myanmar citizens hope for positive change after government shake-up

Myanmar’s new government is expected to announce its cabinet line-up for 18 of the 21 ministries next week, and the public have expressed hope that they will be able to see a positive change.

YANGON: Myanmar’s new government is expected to announce its cabinet line-up for 18 of the 21 ministries next week. Key ministries include National Planning and Finance, Health and Resources and Environmental Conservation.

The public have expressed hope that they will be able to see a positive change as the new ministers are being introduced.

Mother of three Soe Kyi survived the devastating Cyclone Nargis in 2008, and the disaster forced her to move to Yangon. The 54-year-old has been a street hawker since, selling noodles and fruits. If she is lucky, she would earn about 10,000 kyats (US$8) a day selling pork sticks.

“I had to struggle as a street vendor and my husband works as a construction worker. We could barely go through our daily lives and we were in huge debt,” she said. “With the new government, I think that my daily life will become easier. I heard that they are providing housing for us and I am hoping that I’ll be able to own a house too.”

Larger corporations also told Channel NewsAsia that they are also expecting an administrative shake-up with the new appointments.

Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, who has been operating his energy-related firm for more than 20 years, said he hopes the new government will reorganise the ministry structure.

“Under the Ministry of Energy, MOGE (Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise) is an enterprise and MOGE has three hats, they’re the E&P company, they’re the regulator, they’re the service provider, so a conflict of interest is there. So I want them to separate these hats,” said Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, chairman of the Smart Group of Companies.

However, in order to improve the systems within individual ministries, the civil servants must also step up as they are the backbone of the government administration.

Moe Myint Kyaw, secretary-general of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said: “The ability and capacity of the minister is important. But it’s not the only factor to have ministry success. The most important is the ministry itself – not totally dependent on the ministers.

“In the past, (in) every ministry, when a minister comes, they try to change everything. Every staff works for three years, they are just waiting on what the minister likes or doesn’t like. Then they just act on it – that means professionalism is lost among government staff. In the real democratic process, the minister, deputy minister will not be the real heroes in the ministry.”

The National League for Democracy had said that it will only appoint about seven ministers from its party while the rest will come from the private sector or from other political parties.

 

Source: Channel News Asia

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