This Week in Parliament (June 4-8)

By The Irrawaddy 9 June 2018

Monday (June 4)

In the Lower House, lawmaker U Maung Myint of the Union Solidarity and Development Party questioned the transparency of four gas-fired power supply projects in which the Ministry of Electricity and Energy gave initial permission to private companies without seeking tenders. The lawmaker had an argument with electricity and energy minister U Win Khaing and Lower House Speaker U T Khun Myat in response urged the lawmakers to mind their manners.

Tuesday (June 5)

New finance and planning minister U Soe Win was sworn in at the Union Parliament.

Wednesday (June 6)

USDP lawmaker U Sai Kyaw Moe submitted an urgent proposal, raising objection to the government’s plan to include an international member on an independent investigation commission that will investigate the issues regarding Rakhine State. His peer lawmaker U Maung Myint suggested that the commission be led by State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Lower House passed a bill amending the Anti-Corruption Law with minor changes to the legislation passed by the Upper House.

The most significant change made to the law was that the Anti-Corruption Commission will be allowed to investigate at its own will any civil servants who are seen to be unusually wealthy. Until now, it could only probe allegations of corruption in response to formal complaints filed with strong supporting evidence.

The Upper House passed the bill amending the broadcasting law as passed by the Lower House.

The new changes restrict a person from owning more than a 30 percent stake in a private broadcasting service or a private print media agency if that person already owns a 50 percent stake in an organization of either type.

Thursday (June 7)

Military representatives to Myanmar’s Lower House of Parliament criticized the Joint Coordination Committee of the Union Parliament, saying that it was formed and operated without transparency. They said they were never informed regarding the activities of the committee although it was formed in 2014 and has been cooperating with international agencies since then.

Friday (June 8)

There was no parliamentary session on Friday as the speakers of both houses attended an urgent meeting with the president, the state counselor, and the army chief.