Myanmar’s junta chief Min Aung Hlaing sacked his agriculture and construction ministers on Monday and replaced them with close aides.
The regime gave no explanation and said agriculture, livestock and irrigation minister Tin Htut Oo and construction chief Shwe Lay were allowed to retire.
General Myo Thant of the Directorate of Military Engineering has been transferred to the junta’s cabinet as construction minister.
A construction entrepreneur, who requested anonymity, said Myo Thant was appointed because he had given many military construction projects to the company owned by Min Aung Hlaing’s son Aung Pyae Sone.
Hla Moe, the junta’s minister of cooperatives and rural development, will also take on the agriculture portfolio.
The former colonel graduated from Defense Services Academy’s intake 19 alongside Min Aung Hlaing, who reportedly always saw Hla Moe as his friend, despite his lower rank. Tin Oo Lwin from the same intake was recently appointed as Naypyitaw Council head.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation has a large budget and Min Aung Hlaing presumably wanted an ally in charge.
Former dictator General Than Shwe appointed his trusted ally General Htay Oo to head the ministry.
Under U Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government, Lieutenant General Myint Hlaing was appointed to the role. After leaving office he became very rich and is now the military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party’s agricultural chief.