Scandal-Hit Tenasserim Region Chief Minister Fired

By Zue Zue 12 March 2019

YANGON—The President’s Office on Monday announced the dismissal of Tenasserim Region Chief Minister Daw Lei Lei Maw, who has been charged under the Anti-Corruption Law.

The regional minister for resources and environmental conservation, U Myint Maung, is serving as the acting chief minister.

Daw Lei Lei Maw and three officials of Global Grand Service (GGS) Company—managing director U Thein Htwe and directors U Aung Myat and U Thura Ohn—were remanded and sent to Dawei Prison on Monday, according to Police Colonel Sein Win of Tenasserim Region Police Force.

Inspector U Than Zaw Oo of the Anti-Corruption Commission filed a complaint with Dawei Police Station on Sunday against the four under the Anti-Corruption Law.

Daw Lei Lei Maw allegedly awarded business contracts to GGS Company, which is reportedly owned by her relatives.

On Sunday evening, the Anti-Corruption Commission released a statement saying that it had conducted an investigation from Feb. 4 to March 6 in Naypyitaw, Yangon and Dawei in response to complaints about the chief minister.

The regular session of the Tenasserim Region Parliament is scheduled to start in the first week of April, but the parliament will hold an emergency meeting due to the dismissal of the chief minister, regional Parliament Speaker U Khin Maung Aye said.

“The investigation will be conducted as the Anti-Corruption Commission has said in its statement,” President’s Office spokesperson U Zaw Htay told The Irrawaddy.

“Since U Aung Kyi took charge, the commission has worked effectively. And U Aung Kyi has been given a mandate in line with the law. We have said that we will practice zero tolerance for this [corruption and bribery],” U Zaw Htay said.

The Anti-Corruption Commission said Daw Lei Lei Maw abused her position and awarded many contracts to GGS in exchange for bribes, in violation of financial regulations and the instructions of the Union government.

GGS Co. produces electricity from gas purchased from the government. The company owes over 8 billion kyats for gas supplied between July 2017, when it launched its power supply service, and late 2018.

Daw Lei Lei Maw, who is charged under Article 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law, faces up to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine if convicted.