Civil servants urged to change mindset to speed up reforms
President U Win Myint met with the Magway Region’s authorities, MPs, judiciary officials and government employees as part of his tour in which he hopes to speed up the momentum of reforms.
In his speech at the meeting, the President spoke of the important role of government employees in the administrative, judiciary and legislative sectors for bringing about reforms that would ensure success of the democratic transition.
Change dogmatic mindsets and habits
Regarding the purpose of his Magway tour, President U Win Myint reiterated the essence of his inaugural speech when he was sworn in as the president, saying that to make the country’s democratic transition process smooth and successful, it is very important for the people, government employees and civil servants to change their dogmatic mindsets and habits. In order to effect this change, managers and department heads need to lead the way.
“Those government institutions which are lagging behind in the transformation process will need to be put under tight management controls,” he said.
The effort would require changes across all departments, with an eye toward eliminating cronyism and criminal acts, he said.
“The country’s weak judiciary system would need to be strengthened. More efforts need to be exerted to stamp out corruption. More efforts need to be exerted to prevent human rights violations. More efforts need to be exerted to crack down illegal drug trade,” said the President.
“We need to manage public funds properly so that there is no wastage. Measures need to be taken to return confiscated farmland to farmers and to give compensation to farmers for losses they have suffered in accordance with the law,” said the President.
A successful democratic transition requires government employees to obey the law and perform their duties in the interests of the people and country, as they are civil servants who enjoy salaries and benefits given by the State.
“Reform is not an enemy, but our good friend. Reform is not a threat, but opportunities. So, civil servants are to change their mindsets and habits to be able to adapt to reforms,” he said.
Executive sector should not be a burden for people
Regarding the executive sector, President U Win Myint stressed the need to create administrative machinery that can guarantee security, safety and peace for the people, adding that the administrative machinery should not be a burden for the people.
Authorities concerned are to take responsibility and be held accountable while supervising their staff, and employees must cooperate with their superiors, he said. Successful democratic reforms require cooperation from CSOs, NGOs and the media, with some added momentum, said the President.
The Judiciary sector should be impartial and those who are taking part in the judiciary sector must obey existing laws and the Union Judiciary Law. The judiciary system should be free from interference by the authorities, and only when the judiciary system is fair and right will it gain trust from the people.
In the legislative sector, laws that are truly beneficial for the people of the Region are required. Laws to be enacted should be reviewed so that it is truly beneficial for the Region, appropriate to the guidelines and policies of the State and the Constitution. There should be check and balance among administrative, judicial and legislative sector but care must be taken so that one is not influencing the other in anyway.
No friend nor foe in anti-corruption drive
Anti-corruption works are to be conducted regardless of being friend or foe and haves or have-nots. State/Region anti-corruption committees will be organized to become a corruption-free society. Eradicating corruption, rule of law and the country’s development are interconnected.
As per the saying of no-one is above the law, works on eradication and elimination of drug are to be conducted according to the law. There is a need for CSO, NGO and media to cooperate and participate in this. The works are to be conducted without any influence from those who have powers and rights. A Drug Activity Special Complaint Department was opened at the Office of the President where public complaints were handled with the Ministry of Home Affairs and successes were being achieved.
Authorities need to point out and prevent wastage of public fund and cooperate towards properly using it for the benefit of the region. Projects using public funds need to be appropriate and beneficial to the region. State/Region Auditors are to ensure that fund usages are according to financial rules and regulations.
All levels of committees on assessing and reviewing confiscated farmlands and other lands are to conduct their works according to the policies set by the State and not use any personal interpretations. Works must be done speedily to return the lands to the rightful owners.
Public servants are to bear in mind that they are at their respective departments to serve the people and perform their duties for the benefit of the country and the people. They must not let-go of the opportunity to participate in the democratic transformation process. Performing their duties and responsibilities are raising their own dignity. There are challenges in transiting from an old to a new system. That is why all are urged and instructed to participate together in establishing democratic federal union and achieving internal peace said the President.
Next, Magway Region Chief Minister Dr. Aung Moe Nyo explained about the status of conducting Region development works. Magway Region Hluttaw Speaker U Tar explained about Hluttaw affairs and Magway Region Chief Judge U Sein Htun explained about judicial matters.
Afterwards, President U Win Myint explained about the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations made and to follow the tender rules and regulations when calling for tenders. If responsible persons conduct their works in ignorance of the law, they are liable to be taken action under the anti-corruption law. Motions and questions tabled in the Region Hluttaw are to be assessed and reviewed so that they are in accord with the Hluttaw laws.
The judiciary sector needs to judge the cases speedily, truthfully and without bias. All decisions and judgments are to be according to the law, and all are to be equal in the face of the law. Punishments or rulings need to be according to the law and appropriate to the crime committed. Human rights are to be respected and defended.
The Region Government is to successfully implement the State policies and guidelines. The prompt and correct decisions and conducts of the Region Government are connected to the development of the country. Furthermore the Region Government need to manage, guide, control and monitor the departments and more emphasis need to be placed towards rule of law, stability, peace and security in the Region.
The President then cordially greeted the meeting attendees, left Magway on a Tatmadaw special flight and arrived in Nay Pyi Taw in the afternoon.
Also present at the meeting were Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr. Aung Thu, Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win, Deputy Minister for Electric and Energy Dr. Tun Naing, Permanent Secretary of the Office of the President U Khin Latt, Chief of Myanmar Police Force Police Lt-Gen Aung Win Oo and officials.