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Myanmar’s Planning and Finance Minister Submits Resignation

NAYPYITAW — Planning and Finance Minister U Kyaw Win has submitted his resignation to the president amid reports that he is being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI), sources close to the matter told The Irrawaddy.

Since last week, news reports have circulated alleging that the minister and his son are being investigated for corruption by the commission and the BSI, which is under the Home Affairs Ministry. Their home in Yangon was searched, according to the reports.

After the news went viral, the Anti-Corruption Commission announced that it had created six teams to investigate 18 complaints, but declined to provide details of the cases. The commission has not officially denied the media reports.

At around 4 p.m. on Monday, the Planning and Finance Ministry’s permanent secretary, U Tun Tun Naing, denied the minister had resigned, telling The Irrawaddy that the minister was still in his office as of 3:40 p.m.

In Naypyitaw, meanwhile, National Economic Coordination Committee member U Myo Myint has emerged as one of two likely candidates to take U Kyaw Win’s place. U Myo Myint, who is also chairman of the Renaissance Institute, an independent policy think tank run by the ruling National League for Democracy, worked for the ministry for 21 years before retiring as deputy director due to his involvement in the pro-democracy movement in 1988.

Also tipped for the post is deputy planning and finance minister U Set Aung. He is chairman of the management committee for the Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Yangon.

Whether or not the investigations are real, the reports have stirred public interest and much talk about whether the commission is making good on its vow to go after “big fish.”

In his meeting with the commission on April 11, President U Win Myint instructed its members not to be influenced by powerful figures in undertaking their duties and to carry them out decisively.

The Anti-Corruption Commission was the first governmental body to meet the new president after his inauguration on March 30.

In recent cases, Food and Drug Administration director general Dr. Than Htut was arrested and sued under Section 56 of the Anti-Corruption Law for allegedly demanding bribes from a construction company worth more than 15 million kyats, while an administrator in Mandalay’s Pyin Oo Lwin Township and another local official were both sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for taking bribes from villagers in return for registering their land.

Source: The Irrawaddy

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