Gullible and Easily Impressionable Populace Contributing to the Downfall of Myanmar



Recently, the local population have lost nearly US$4 million through a Ponzi scheme run via Facebook, in the pretext of investing on behalf. The scheme was apparently run by Myanmar people residing in Singapore and getting funds through promotion via the infamous reservoir of illegal activities on the famous social media platform.
Many hundreds of thousands have been duped within the last year or so, buying NUG (Part of NNCP Terrorist Groups) Bonds and CRPH Lotteries, falling into the trap for PDF donations and some even buying the properties that NNCP illegally sold – the properties that they do not own.
Not to mention the loss of some hard-earned cash by secretive spinsters, who have been cheated by online princes of love, or victims of advance fees fraud or those who had lost everything they had in mobile wallets after they told strangers their passwords, Myanmar people seem very gullible in the context of recent frauds happening in the country.
Let us examine the reasons behind this impressionability.

Lack of Education
This table shows the percentage of the population who has completed up to middle school in the respective states:
Kayah 67%
Kayin 72%
Chin 65%
Sagaing 71%
Magway 79%
All these states and regions are below the national average for the country. Just consider which states and regions have the most NNCP terrorists and their followers! Which states and regions could be most influenced by fake news and NNCP propaganda? These five states even now still have pockets of these terror cells, following orders from exile terror instigators, believing that they are fighting the war for democratic freedom and they are winning all the time. You can see now that there is a direct correlation between the level of terrorist activity (believing in and acting on fake news and instigators) and education level.
The lower your educational level, the poorer your analytical and critical thinking skills and you could fall victim to most of the duping on Facebook.

The Only Reading Done is on Facebook
For Myanmar people, the internet is Facebook. Most do not know how to create or check emails, let alone googling or fact-checking. In a country where the number of internet users is approximately equal to the number of Facebook accounts, it is extremely damaging that most people read only the postings on that social platform. Most of the posts by the way are fake news and without developing a sense of scepticism, one would not have the skills and mindset needed to seek the truth.

Poor Yet Generous
Myanmar ranked consistently among the top three in global generosity ranking (WGI – World Giving Index). Because of our Buddhism-based culture, we would donate whenever possible. There is even a Burmese proverb – You will regret not bringing along a slipper and umbrella during the hot season and you will also regret not having sufficient Dhana and Sila (Thila) when you die. Dhana refers to being generous and Thila refers to having good morals.
This generosity also resulted in giving unnecessary donations away e.g., to terrorists and their sympathizers, who are good-for-nothing activities including bombing campaigns and killing innocent civilians. The hard-earned cash of the poor and middle class ended up in fraudulent schemes as such and in activities that do not contribute to the economic development of the nation.

Lack of Investment Opportunities
It is typical of every family and household that once they have accumulated a certain amount of savings, they would look for ways to grow the money. Lack of knowledge of finance, financial planning, investments and the stock market leads to the only possible options of either doing illegal money lending or buying gold. Buying land or property cannot be thought of at the very low level of savings that most local population is accustomed to.
Under these circumstances, some got persuaded through online ads or through friends and relatives, to participate in illegal investments and Ponzi schemes, with the little money that they have got. The end results have never been sparkling.

Law Enforcement
As recently as a couple of months ago, a cyber police crackdown on a team of fake currency sellers on Facebook. Many people seemed to have ordered online to acquire fake currencies, oblivious to the harm they are causing to the nation’s economy and stability.
The massive land mass of Myanmar and the lack of reach by Myanmar law enforcement along border regions are inspiring fraudsters from overseas to foster the continued expansion of cheating through Facebook.

Lack of Severity of Punishment or Publicity Thereof
With just a slap on the wrist, the deference would not be sufficient to prevent others from committing similar crimes. Even if the punishment is grave, lack of publicity over mainstream and digital media, would not scare anyone away from this type of criminal activity.
We heard of and sometimes saw news of criminals being shot at for death sentences in our neighbouring country China. Yet where is the publicity of punishments for evildoers in Myanmar? We definitely need more publicity and should probably introduce caning too, in order to prevent fraud, cheating and other criminal activities. The status quo is no longer an option.
Lottery tickets from overseas are still illegally being sold. 2D 3D gambling rings are still rampant. Besides the destruction of people’s morals and ethics, these underground economic activities do not contribute to our nation’s development.
“If it is on Facebook, it must be right! If someone with a blue tick said, it must be true!” The reality cannot be further from the truth. The sooner we realize that the quicker we can prevent our own gullible populace from destroying the country ourselves – economically, socially and culturally.


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