Burma

President Warns Officials that Reforms Require a Change of Mindset

By San Yamin Aung 24 May 2019

YANGON—Myanmar President U Win Myint on Friday stressed the need for government officials to change their old habits and to take part in reform, while warning them to refrain from focusing on financial rewards and insignia.

“In making reforms, it is important to change ourselves first. I would like to remind all of you attending the meeting of that. If not, how can we straighten the mindsets of those working under us?” U Win Myint told officials from the administrative, judiciary and legislative sectors in Naypyitaw.

Friday’s speech shows the biggest remaining challenge of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government—that is reforming the well-established bureaucratic system which formed deep roots during the decades of military regime.

Since his inauguration, President U Win Myint has repeatedly emphasized the need to change the rigid mindset and habits of government and public servants during the democratic transition period, warning that close supervision would be imposed on departments reluctant to make changes, referring to the fact that some department officials loyal to the previous government had resisted implementing changes ordered by the NLD government.

On Friday, U Win Myint said the government and public servants must implement and follow the policies of the Union government.

He said the government’s ultimate goal of building a democratic federal Union will be successful only if all relevant officials work together.

“Some are afraid of reforms. Some are reluctant. The reforms are not something to be scared of. They are not a threat. It is an opportunity for all citizens and for the development of the country,” he said.

U Win Myint said the government will change and establish political, economic and social fairness as guided by the late independence architect Gen. Aung San.

“I would like to say openly here, no one will be above the law. Regardless of being a president, chief minister, minister or lawmaker. All will be the equal before the law.”

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