Burma

State Counselor Calls For Corruption Complaints

By Tin Htet Paing 2 November 2016

RANGOON — The State Counselor’s Office, under Burma’s de facto leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, on Tuesday called for the public to submit complaints against corrupt government officials, ensuring the confidentiality of all submissions.

The announcement stated that such an effort would contribute to the fight against deep-rooted corruption in Burma and quicken the country’s economic development. Submissions must be addressed to the State Counselor’s Office deputy minister U Khin Maung Tin and include the sender’s name, complete contact details (mobile number and email address if any) and a copy of their citizenship scrutiny card.

The sender has to specify the corruption and wrongdoing in detail, with evidence and facts, the announcement said.

It also stressed that the content of the complaints should be concise and transparent, and should expose government corruption that could harm public welfare.

The statement ensured that all submissions would be kept confidential and would not be disclosed.

The announcement also highlighted, however, that the office would not take action against cases that are being brought to court, are already in the legal process or have received a legal judgment.

The announcement was released following the encouragement of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at a meeting with the country’s top business people in Naypyidaw on Oct. 23 to file corruption complaints with the State Counselor’s Office. She stressed the important role played by every citizen in the fight against corruption.

In April, in the opening days of the National League for Democracy government, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in her capacity as President’s Office minister ordered all civil servants not to accept any gifts worth more than 25,000 kyats (US$21), an amount 10 times lower than the threshold set by the previous government. Public expectations have since been raised.

Burma’s current anti-graft law, enacted in Aug. 2013 under former President U Thein Sein, mandated a new commission to investigate corruption, which was formed six months later with 15 members appointed by U Thein Sein. U Mya Win, a former major-general in the Burma Army, chairs the commission.

Lawmakers urged the cabinet in August to take a stronger stance on deep-rooted nepotism and corruption in Burma, commenting that Burma’s three-year-old anti-corruption commission had not achieved any significant reduction in corruption and suggested forming a new commission under the popularly-elected government.

During the legislative discussion, one lawmaker highlighted the profound impact of corruption on Burma’s economy, politics and society. He stated that corruption could harm the country’s reform process and its dignity, and that the need to fight it is one of the most challenging realities facing the new government.

The discussion prompted the house speaker to order the parliamentary bill committee to review the country’s anti-graft law.

U Tun Tun Hein who chairs the Lower House’s Bill Committee told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that the review process has not yet started.

“We have many ‘emergency’ cases that ministries have asked us to review ahead of this case,” he said.

“We don’t see any prospect of reviewing it anytime soon.”

Burma is considered among the world’s most corrupt countries, ranking 147 out of 168 in 2015, according to an annual index published by the Berlin-based graft monitor Transparency International.

Observers have cited several drivers of corruption in Burma, including low pay for government employees, and a complex and nontransparent bureaucracy, which creates an abundance of opportunities for bribery and other forms of corruption.

All complaints can be submitted to the State Counselor’s Office located at:

The State Counselor’s Office Ministry

Office No. (20)

Naypyidaw.

Email address    : [email protected]

Fax Number        : 067 409292

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