Not for the money (Myanmar/Burma)

Yesterday, I posted an article by Aung Htoo claiming that the Hluttaw was so adamant about the Constitutional Tribunal’s “union-level organizations” decision because it denied the opportunity to claim the same emoluments and privileges as ministers. It seems like Hluttaw members have responded through The New Light of Myanmar. U Stephen of Kengtung Constituency asked whether any MPs have claimed ministerial emoluments or privileges. Secretary of Pyithu Hluttaw Rights Committee Dr Soe Yin responded that none had done so thus far. The article (reprinted below) then goes on to attack critics (presumably including Aung Htoo) who had claimed the Hluttaw only impeached the tribunal members because they wanted a higher salary. 

The justices might be gone, but the debate has only begun. I’m sure we’ll hear if any MPs do claim ministerial emoluments and privileges.

No representative has so far claimed the Union minister level rights and emoluments

NAY PYI TAW, 6 Sept- …

U Stephen of Kengtung Constituency asked whether the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives have claimed Union minister level rights and emoluments, whether Pyidaungsu Hluttaw committees, commission and board are acting like intervening in functions of ministries, and what form of intervention if there is any, whether the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw knows that the various forms of deliberate attack designed to defame the Hluttaws and Hluttaw representatives in deed mean an insult to the people and if the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw knows, how the Hluttaw views those actions and how the Hluttaw views the crucial role of legislature for flourishing of genuine democracy as the role of the legislature needs to be stressed if the country is really to be built democratic nation.

Regarding the first question, Secretary of Pyithu Hluttaw Rights Committee Dr Soe Yin replied that no representative has so far claimed the Union minister level rights and emoluments. Hluttaw representatives are serving the interests of the nation, country, people, undertaking legislative works in the Hluttaw and ensuring checks and balances in cooperation with executive and judicial branches without party attachment, racism, dogmatism, sectarianism, sacrificing self-interests, under the leadership of the Pyithu Hluttaw in accordance with provisions of the constitution.

They enjoy the parliamentary rights as vested by the Hluttaw and are not claiming for Union level status because they want to enjoy the emoluments of Union level personalities. The Hluttaw committees, commission and board, in exercising three branches of the sovereignty of the nation namely, legislative power, executive power and judicial power separately and undertaking checks and balances, need to have the Union level status, only then can they make checks and balances like executive and judicial institutions. That is why they want to define those agencies as Union level status.

Regarding the second question, The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw committees, commission and boards are not acting like intervening in functions of the ministries and have no intention to intervene. Under the constitution, they only make checks and balances and monitoring together with the ministries as assigned by the legislature.

They are making coordination to be able to enact necessary laws and comprehensiveness of provisions according to democracy practices. In so doing, it is critically required to carry out with mutual understanding and trust under equal status. The democracy of the country is still in its infancy with little experiences. It is required to enhance the capacity in practising democracy system. It would be required to effectively implement mutually beneficial systems and works in undertaking checks and balances along with the increased capacity. Collaborative efforts must be made for interests of the nation, country and people and emergence and perpetuation of democratic nation, building mutual understanding and trust. Particularly, administrative institutions need to monitor to ensure that works are implemented under the legislations enacted by the Hluttaw.

Likewise, the Hluttaw committees need to monitor the works of ministries in implementing plans and projects with public finance to ensure minimization of wastes. Committees are undertaking above-mentioned tasks and are not intervening in rights and functions of the ministries.

Regarding the third question, the secretary said that the entire Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and all Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives understand the one-sided criticisms in forms of comments leading to misunderstanding of the true situations and facts of the works the Hluttaw undertakes under the law, descriptions and remarks blackening the image of the Hluttaws and Hluttaw representatives, misguided writing that MPs want to have the rights of Union level personalities through State-owned newspapers, media and internet websites. Those writings are designed to create misunderstanding between people and the legislature and people and MPs. The role of the Hluttaws is cornerstone of the new democratic nation. All MPs understand that attempts to ruin the image of the Hluttaws mean attempts to destroy the dignity of democratic nation. The Hluttaws represent the population of 60 million people. So the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw views the attacks to blacken its image as an insult to the people. The people also have the same opinion. They would be punished by the people for their actions.

Regarding the fourth question, he replied that it is an opportune time to establish a new democratic nation. That is why constitution was promulgated and approved as well as Hluttaws established. Only when, the Hluttaws enact necessary laws and abide by those laws for emergence of democratic nation, will the new nation emerge. In the view of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, it is necessary to consider that whether a new nation would really be built through democratization process or not. If the new democratic nation is really built, it is necessary to accept the Hluttaw committees, commission and boards as union level organizations in order to implement Hluttaw affairs. As such, check and balance tasks can be carried out executive, judicial and legislative sectors, and the new democratic nation will be built with development in perpetual existence.

The Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw said that he is worried about misunderstanding of people and Hluttaw representatives over attitudes of Committees, Commission and Boards constituted by Hluttaws asking their status as Union level included in the report of the secretary of Pyithu Hluttaws and Pyithu Hluttaw Rights Committee. The provision that states commission, committees and boards formed by Hluttaws are at the Union level is included in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw.

That includes in Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw laws. Complaining that Committee and Commission and organizations are not union level, it can not accomplish rights of Hluttaw and Hluttaw representatives and its duties.

Likewise, the Deputy Minister for Information is urged to release complete news on the media like yesterday coverage.

The Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker said that 34th session of Fourth Regular session of First Amyotha Hluttaw held on 28 August, 2012, decided to impeach chairman and members of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Union under the section 334, sub-section (a), paragraphs (2) and (5) of the constitution, and Amyotha Hluttaw’s resolution was sent to Pyithu Hluttaw to take actions under sections 71 and 334 of the constitution.

Pyithu Hluttaw formed a 15-member investigation board on 29th August, 2012 to take action against chairman and members of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Union under the section 71 and 334 of the constitution, and duties have been assigned to the board to present the report to the Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw on the findings not later than 5th September, 2012.

Concerning the Constitutional Tribunal of the Union’s case, members of the investigation board U Ngon Maung and U Win Myint read out board’s report, and Representative U Saw Hla Tun from ChaungU Constituency seconded it.

Representative U Than Myint from Salingyi Constituency presented committee’s findings on Hluttaws and investigative board undertakings for impeaching chairman and members of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Union.

Chairman of Pyithu Hluttaw Rights Committee U Nanda Kyaw Swa explained the follow-up programme and presented original signature list of Hluttaw representatives to the Hluttaw Speaker.

Hluttaw took vote to decide investigation board’s comments, and more than two-thirds of representatives agreed on the impeachment.

The Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw said that investigation board’s comments have been approved with the vote of more than three-thirds of representatives.

A total of 408 of 429 Pyithu Hluttaw representatives- 101 Defence Service Personal representatives and 307 people’s representatives including the Speaker attended today’s session to impeach the chairman and members of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Union under the section 334, sub-section (a), paragraph (2) and (5) and to sent it to Pyithu Hluttaw to take necessary actions after decision has been made by Amyotha Hluttaw.

All representatives gave no objection to investigation board’s report. So, the Speaker will have to give yes vote when the number of Yes vote and No vote are same. The Speaker would get 306 votes even if he does not vote. The decision was approved that 286 of 429 representatives voted it.

There would be more yes vote including twelve representatives who missed the today’s session. Two Hluttaws’s impeachments in accord with the constitution of Chairman U Thein Soe of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Union and members Dr Tin Aung Aye, Daw Khin Hla Myint, U Soe Thein, U Tun Kyi, U Khin Tun, U Myint Kyaing, Daw Mi Mi Yi and U Hsan Myint, for breaching the provisions of the Section 334, Sub-section (a) and paragraph (2) of the Constitution and for lack of capability to discharge their duties vested in line with section 334, sub-section (a) and paragraph (5) of the constitution, are true. So, the Chairman and members should not continue to discharge their duties.

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