This Week in Parliament (August 28-31)

By The Irrawaddy 2 September 2017

Monday (August 28)

In the Lower House, lawmaker U Thet Naing Oo raised a question about the progress of the long-delayed Dawei Special Economic Zone. Deputy commerce minister U Aung Htoo said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is conducting a master plan survey to revive the project suspended in 2013.

The Lower House approved lawmaker U Kyaw Aung Lwin’s proposal which called for responsible and sustainable extraction of Myanmar’s gems and minerals.

In the Upper House, member of parliament Daw Nan Ni Ni Aye asked about the Central Bank of Myanmar’s measures to ensure Kyats are used instead of foreign currency in border towns such as Muse, Tachilek, Myawady, Kawthoung, and Tamu on the China, Thailand and India borders. Vice-Governor of the Central Bank U Bo Bo Nge said the bank has opened exchange counters in those towns and action will be taken against those who use foreign currency.

The Upper House approved lawmaker Dr Win Myint’s proposal to establish a fishery university for sustainable development of the country’s fishing industry and domestic food sufficiency.

Tuesday (August 29)

The Lower House voted down parliamentarian Dr. Maung Thin’s proposal which urged the government to develop DNA profiles of each ethnic group in Myanmar.

The Upper House approved to debate lawmaker U Khin Myo Win’s proposal to regulate fishing and fishery exports for the conservation of Myanmar’s water resources, and the sustainability of fishing industry.

Wednesday (August 30)

In Lower House, lawmaker U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo asked if the government has a plan to appoint graduates of education universities and college to schools to meet demand for teachers. Union education minister Dr Myo Thein Gyi said that his ministry has appointed 482 graduates from universities of education, and 9,953 from education colleges, totaling 10,435, as teachers to schools across the country in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

The Upper House approved lawmaker U Khin Maung Latt’s proposal to take action against suspected militants in northern Rakhine State under the 2014 Counter-Terrorism Law and help locals who have fled their homes because of killings in the area.

Thursday (August 31)

The fifth regular session of the two houses come to an end on Thursday.

The Union Parliament during the fifth regular session enacted eight new laws, amended 11 laws and scrapped one law.

In the Lower House, over 1,000 questions were asked and answered, 23 motions including two urgent proposals were submitted—11 were approved. The Lower House debated 33 bills and approved 16 of them.

In the Upper House, over 400 questions and answers were asked and answered, and four proposals were approved.

According to Lower House Speaker U Win Myint, no lawmaker proposed amending the controversial colonial-era Unlawful Association Act during the fifth regular session. He also denied the military representatives’ allegations that he blocked their proposals about the attacks in Rakhine State. No military representative submitted such a proposal, he said.