Corruption-Tainted Planning and Finance Minister Resigns

By The Irrawaddy 25 May 2018

YANGON — Myanmar Planning and Finance Minister U Kyaw Win’s resignation has been accepted after the Anti-Corruption Commission confirmed that he was under investigation for corruption, the President’s Office announced on Friday evening.

His resignation is the first since President U Win Myint vowed to make the fight against corruption a priority in his inauguration speech in March. U Kyaw Win is the most senior official in the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government official to be investigated on corruption charges so far.

The President’s Office said the minister was allowed to resign from his post of his own volition, in accordance with the Constitution and the Union Government Law, which state that a Union minister or deputy minister may resign from office voluntarily before his term expires after submitting a written resignation to the president.

The Union minister submitted his resignation to the president on Monday, sources close to the matter told The Irrawaddy.

Since last week, news reports have circulated alleging that the minister and his son are being investigated for corruption by the commission and the Bureau of Special Investigation, which is under the Home Affairs Ministry.

Their home in Yangon was searched and U Kyaw Win has also been banned from leaving the country, according to reports.

When the ruling NLD listed its nominees for ministerial positions in March 2016, it emerged that the doctoral degree in finance listed by U Kyaw Win on his publicly released CV was fake.

The investigation into the minister stirred public interest and much talk about whether the Anti-Corruption Commission is making good on its vow to go after “big fish.”

In his meeting with the commission on April 11, President U Win Myint instructed its members not to be influenced by powerful figures in undertaking their duties and to carry them out decisively.

The Anti-Corruption Commission was the first governmental body to meet the new president after his inauguration on March 30.

In recent cases, Food and Drug Administration Director General Dr. Than Htut was arrested and sued under Section 56 of the Anti-Corruption Law for allegedly demanding bribes worth more than 15 million kyats from a construction company, while an administrator in Mandalay’s Pyin Oo Lwin Township and another local official were both sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for taking bribes from villagers in return for registering their land.