Than Hlaing (Sittwe), Minthu Win Htut
The Rakhine Parliament has decided that Rakhine State’s minister of municipality Min Aung should cease and desist from his administrative duties.
On January 2, MPs voted 37 for and 8 against on the decision to bring the accusation against the minister forward to higher echelons of the central government, namely President Htin Kyaw.
Min Aung, a member and appointed as minister on April 7, 2016 when the National League for Democracy (NLD) came to power, has been accused of working in discord against the constitution by abusing his authority to award tender projects in Minbyar and Yathaedaung, and providing other “deals” regarding properties and more to those close to him.
Those accusations were reportedly looked into by five members of the parliament and were found to be true.
San Kyaw Hla, the Rakhine Parliament’s Speaker, said: “We are able to monitor the government through our proposals and negotiations through the parliaments. It is also well within our constitutional rights to bring forward those accusations. We had tried to negotiate with the Rakhine State’s administration to not let things come to this point – we waited for too long.”
He continued to claim that accusations regarding tenders and projects that are underway through Minister Min Aung were not brought up in the parliament, let alone given approval.
Regarding the decision by the parliament, Minister Min Aung says that he will respond via legal means and that he welcomes all investigations and scrutiny on him.
“Since this is all within constitutional boundaries, legal means are the only way forward. The Speaker will have to submit it to the President. I deny those accusations. I wasn’t allowed to explain myself at the parliament so I will be hosting a press conference with all the details,” said the minister.
Meanwhile in the Ayeyawady Region, Minister Ba Hein had filed a formal request to withdraw from his duties as the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources on the same day.
He had cited his age and failing health as the main and only reasons for his resignation. He will be turning 73 this year.
Many Ayeyawady Region residents expressed their shock and sadness over social media, claiming that the minister’s health was holding up just fine and that it would be a great loss for the Ayeyawady government as Minister Ba Hein has been skillfully handling numerous long standing issues regarding agriculture, fisheries and livestock in the region.
However, many also raised questions regarding the timing, as the government is in the midst of drafting a controversial bill regarding the catching of sweet water fishes.
There have also been protests by fishermen and other groups of marine workers against Ba Hein. Minister Ba Hein was educated in Myanmar as well as United States and is someone well known in Myanmar for putting together numerous agriculture related research, thesis and other scientific documents.