Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said that education and health are very helpful for the development of the country and that he will continue working to develop the country as the saying “Moving Forward”. He made the remarks at the Union Government Meeting No 5/2022 held yesterday afternoon at the meeting hall of the Office of the Chairman of the State Administration Council.
The Senior General stated that a five-point roadmap and nine objectives have been established since the military assumption of State responsibility. The roadmap and the objectives are to implement a multiparty democratic system and to build a Union based on democracy and federalism.
There is the right to dissent in a democratic system. In every democratic country, it will naturally be found that parties are operating with different political ideas, and factions within one party but with different opinions.
When Myanmar gained independence in 1948, the parliamentary democracy system was used, and only the Pha-Sa-Pa-La party led the country and the other parties were only small parties. Later, there were differences of opinion within the Pha-Sa-Pa-La, and it was found that factions within the party were divided due to the power structures of individuals or factions, and political immaturity.
In 1962, under the revolutionary council government, the central leadership system was implemented. The Socialist Party was established and implemented under the one-party system. There were different opinions on the socialist system in the party. Since there was only one party without the right to form other parties, there were no political exits and factional divisions occurred within the party.
In 1988, the Tatmadaw had to assume responsibility for the State, and although it was not a political party, efforts were made to walk on the path of democracy. The formation of parties was allowed and put the country on the path of multiparty democracy. As a multiparty democratic system, there were advantages as well as weaknesses. As long as the existing law was not violated, there were no restrictions but freedom.
As the results of the 2020 multiparty democratic general election resulted in political instability, the Tatmadaw had to take responsibility under the Constitution. They are doing the best they can under the Constitution, and they have given outlets regarding politics. Apart from measures to prevent national unrest, party conferences, meetings and inter-party meetings are allowed as democratic political outlets.
Democracy means dialogue, negotiation and consensus. This can be said to be a “democratic culture”. If these democratic political cultures are destroyed, the stability of the country will be destroyed. It has been found that such political situations have arisen due to improper use of political outlets.
The government has already increased the salaries and benefits of the government employees. Civil servants are free from party politics and are to carry out the duty of the country, not to carry out politics. If they want to do politics, they need to do it on the political path. Regarding politics, as a citizen, a citizen has the freedom to act as long as he does not violate specific provisions prohibited by the existing law.
Regarding international relations, there are attempts to marginalize us in the international community when we are carrying out our responsibilities. In 2011, while walking on the path of multiparty democracy, some big countries used money and resources to keep those who can do what they want on the political stage. When the people they wanted were no longer on the political stage, the aid stopped for various reasons. We faced discrimination against ourselves by turning a blind eye to the constitutional law that was enacted by 92.48 per cent of the people who had the right to vote. Similarly, in international relations, they are acting blindly towards our country’s real existence.
The Need for Peace
If the government provides for the living and food of the ethnic groups in the areas of armed conflict, it will be able to help in one way. Things desired by the ethnic armed organizations must be fulfilled within the framework of the law.
Therefore, at the time of the peace talks, we clearly stated our national goals and political goals and were able to have positive discussions. The political goal is to walk with a multiparty democratic system and to build a union that combines a democratic administrative system and a federal administrative system. Since these points have been accepted, we can continue to discuss to achieve peace.
I have said that the national goal is the prosperity of the country and the abundance of food for the people. We have given political outlets to our political goal and it is necessary to make efforts to achieve peace by using these political outlets. Looking at the elections, the elections were not fully conducted in all townships. Political results must be improved. Therefore, the government must make efforts to strengthen the basis of the fundamentals we are working on.
We reviewed the country’s rule of law, peace and stability within the first six months after assuming our duties on 1 February 2022.
In terms of law and order, except for some regions, the rest of the regions have improved a lot since 2021. Peace and stability have also been achieved. Only when we can build cooperation with mutual trust will we get a solid foundation.
We can see that our country’s economy has declined since 2018 by looking at statistics. Under the previous government, domestic products were not encouraged and imports were prioritized. Our government is working to make the country’s economy recover.
The strength of the country is only within the country. Therefore, it is necessary to mainly encourage the domestic economy. The local economy was encouraged during the previous government, which was the Lanzin Party era. During the Tatmadaw government, due to financial difficulties, the market economy system was built by importing first. At this time, in order to develop the domestic economy, we must improve local production. We must encourage the improvement of the quality of local products and the strengthening of manufacturing.
He added that the government promised K400 billion for the COVID-hit economy. It should promote Quick Win agriculture and livestock breeding. Firstly, the agriculture and livestock breeding sectors should be carried out successfully and the manufacturing factories and workshops should be the secondly prioritized sectors. It should prioritize the manufacturing sector and it will bring benefits to the people as the agriculture and livestock breeding-based manufacturing enterprises are private ones. If these sectors gain achievements, the economy based on the manufacturing sector will be firm more. Therefore, it should support SMEs.
Export and import
Regarding the export and import sectors, the government and private earned over eight billion from exports via border camps and the government’s export volume is higher than the private sector. Therefore, it still needs to support SMEs. It cannot rely only on export and there should be Non-Trade.
There is also foreign currency usage by the ministry concerned and the public. Therefore, it cannot rely only on trade. The ministries also should try hard to earn foreign incomes to develop the economy of the country.
In his speech, the Senior General said, “Regarding education, the government reopened all the schools on 2 June including the universities and normal courses. These are the basic priorities. We expected there would be 9.5 million students at the basic education level. It is a round figure. We estimate as a Figure. When we compare the numbers of students in the 2019-2020 academic year and population growth, we estimate that there would be 9.5 million in the 2022-2023 academic year. The digits might be higher than that number or might be lower. However, the Round Figure shows 9.5 million. Over 7.2 million students attend the school. They all are attending peacefully. There are also unscrupulous persons in certain places. However, we are running the education sector as usual. Improving the education sector plays a key role in a country. If education is not improved, no matter what the country does, there can be no progress. According to our analysis, the education level is low. It is such a sad case. The education level of nearly half or over half of the country’s population is under the middle school level. Therefore, if education is not improved, the businesses that run based on education and skills will never be modern ones. Israel boasts of proper agriculture, livestock breeding and technologies as they have many experts. They have a fine economy and income. As they have a proper income, they can have a decent meal, so they have a good immune system. Based on these facts, they systematically do exercises and their IQ, which is better than our normally developing country. I say it frankly and I just admit it. If we can eat good food to achieve a better immune system, it will make minds smart and intelligent. If a person is smart, it is quite easy to learn. But there is another weakness. If one cannot have good learning opportunities at school, is not interested, and has to work as their parents have no fine business, the education level of that child will end at middle school level as he or she also cannot follow the lessons and has to work. Therefore, we should conduct sector-wise activities. If we want a good education, the government cannot emphasize education only. We must promote the socio-economy of the people. If not, we are running the circles. Therefore, education reforms do not concern with the Education Ministry alone, but for all.”
COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment activities
He added that the country controls the disease to a certain extent. However, the infection rates are still rising in the neighbours and regional countries. The country testes more positive cases on the returnees. Although the COVID-19 rules are eased, the people should not stay recklessly as the infection rate can be high again. The country received 80million COVID-19 vaccines and administered about 72 million.
The Senior General also underscored the need to conduct public awareness programmes for COVID-19 vaccination processes, research by the Ministry of Health, the vital role of education and health for the development of the country, and pledged to make efforts for the country to keep “Moving Forward”.
Then, the Union Ministers reported on the matters of respective sectors and the Senior General gave proper instructions.—MNA