Monday, 20 January 2020

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Thein Sein calls for further governmental reform

Burma’s President Thein Sein on Wednesday called for administrative improvements from the grassroots level to the Union level as the third step of a national bid to promote further development.

Burma's President Thein Sein addresses issues of administrative efficiency, governmental reform, bribery and corruption during a speech in Naypyitaw on Wednesday. (PHOTO: President's Office)Delivering an address to government department officials broadcast live on state TV, Thein Sein, accompanied by newly appointed Cabinet members, emphasized the importance of improving the management and administrative capacity of the government.

The reformist president pointed out several of the government’s “weak points,” such as: an ignorance of public opinion, a lack of transparency, and ineffective governance.

He called for the present administration to “undertake administrative reforms from the ward/village level to the union level,” in the quest for good governance and clean government.

Practical measures include setting up a new administrative system by forming committees at township level as well as ward/village and district levels with representatives from all offices invited to “joint discussions, joint decisions and joint leadership,” he said.

“The administrative reforms … should transform government officials into public servants who truly serve the public,” said Thein Sein.

The President, who has received a stream of international awards recently, also called for a cut in bureaucratic “red tape” and a crackdown on bribery and corruption.

Assuming power from a military junta in March 2011, Thein Sein’s administration has enacted a steady series of reforms and has sidelined many hardliners. A Cabinet reshuffle in September saw large-scale adjustments among 36 ministries.

In May, the government entered into what has been broadly called its “second step” in a plan of strategic reforms by: undertaking monetary and exchange rate reforms; promulgating a new Foreign Investment Law; and announcing plans to develop special economic zones and industrial zones—moves the administration say are designed to improve the living standards and economic status of the general public.

“Myanmar’s previous government, following the wishes of the people, entrusted our new government with the duty to undertake democratic and market-oriented economic reforms,” said Thein Sein. “The transition process in Myanmar has been remarkably smooth.”

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