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Zero Tolerance for NLD Members Who Misuse Funds: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

By San Yamin Aung 20 June 2019

YANGON—State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi warned her party members not to misuse public funds or act arrogantly toward public servants or the general public.

National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmakers from the Union Parliament paid their respects to their party leader at a celebration of her 74th birthday at the parliament building in Naypyitaw Wednesday.

As her party’s elected representatives gathered, she reminded them of her guiding principles and of the need for them to fulfill their duties to their constituents—words perhaps also intended for party members at all levels of government, state and regional too.

“Amay said there won’t be forgiveness for [anyone] who misuses public funds,” NLD Lower House lawmaker Ko Myo Zaw Aung wrote on his Facebook page, using the motherly term Daw Aung San Suu Kyi often goes by.

“Don’t be arrogant in engaging with public servants or the general public. When I hear that our party’s lawmakers are arrogant, I am so embarrassed,” he wrote, quoting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

It is tradition in Myanmar for elders to give advice to their juniors when they are paid respect on special occasions.

NLD Upper House lawmaker U Myat Nyana Soe said the State Counselor told them several main things: to remain loyal to the country, the party and the public; to not interfere with government administration; to not behave haughtily; and to not overstep rules or abuse public funds.

The NLD’s stepped-up efforts in fighting corruption have been widely praised as one of the most significant reforms attempted by the civilian government. The government’s anti-graft body has prosecuted a number of high-ranking officials.

NLD-appointed Tanintharyi Chief Minister Daw Lei Lei Maw has been detained since March on corruption and abuse of power charges. She was dismissed from her position soon after her arrest.

The party has also disciplined some 45 of its own party members for violations of party rules, including showing arrogance toward the public and interfering with government administration.

The State Counselor also urged party lawmakers on Wednesday to fulfill their promises to the public and to work hard to lay a foundation for democracy, lawmakers said.

The NLD is now working with ethnic parties in parliament to amend the country’s military-drafted constitution—one of its 2015 election campaign promises—to bring it in accord with democratic standards. The effort has drawn strong opposition from military representatives and members of the military-backed and former ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, as well as nationalist groups that support the military.

“Before I leave this world, I want to repay my debt of gratitude, loyalty and sympathy to the people,” the 74-year-old State Counselor said.

“I would like to urge you to repay yours to the people who have elected you.”

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