11 New Ministers Sworn In

By Nyein Nyein 7 September 2012

Burma’s Union Parliament on Friday approved 11 new ministers and a new auditor-general.

On the final day of a two-month-long parliamentary session, the bicameral Houses of Parliament approved the proposed candidates for the ministries of defense; railways; construction; social welfare, relief and resettlement; culture; finance and revenue; labor; tourism; national planning and economic development; mining; and technology—as well as a new auditor general who had been proposed by the president, and a new member of the Union Election Commission—all without objection.

Five of the new ministers are former deputy-ministers from the respective ministries. Others are experts in the relative fields, said Khin Maung Yi, a Lower House MP representing the National Democratic Force.

“One of the new ministers is a woman—Dr. Myat Myat Ohn Khin, who was an Upper House representative before moving on to be deputy-minister at the Ministry of Health,” he added.

Myat Myat Ohn Khin is now Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, and becomes the first and only female minister among the 36 ministerial heads in the government.

Lt-Gen Wai Lwin, who was appointed to the Rangoon Regional parliament in July, replaces Defense Minister Lt-Gen Hla Min who returns to his former posting within the ministry.

Former Mining Minister Thein Htike becomes auditor-general, replacing his former boss, Lun Maung, who resigned last month. Civil Service Board member Dr. Myint Aung will now take Thein Htike’s place as Minister of Mining.

The regional chief of Northern Command, Gen. Zay Yar Aung, has been given the job as Railways Minister, a position previously occupied by Naypyidaw’s chief peace negotiator Aung Min.

The five former deputies who have been promoted are: Tourism Minister Htay Aung; Science and Technology Minister Dr. Ko Ko Oo; National Planning and Economic Development Minister Dr. Kan Zaw; Finance and Revenue Minister Win Shein; and Construction Minister Kyaw Lwin.

The other two new ministers are Labor Minister Maung Myint, who was formerly Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Culture Minister Aye Myint Kyu, a former Deputy-Minister of Sport.

Four previous ministers have been moved to new ministries within the President’s Office following a cabinet reshuffle in the last week of August.

Friday’s parliamentary session also saw the approval of the controversial Foreign Direct Investment Bill after amendments in the Upper House.

Parliament will resume in the third week of October.