My fellow beloved citizens
Parliamentary democracy came to an end in our country on 2 March, 1962. I was then not even 14 years old. After 59 years on 31 January 2011, a new parliament emerged. Then I became the Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw.
During the intervening 49 years, we had to contend with a variety of political creeds that emanated from the passage of events which unfolded. During the Revolutionary Council era the country was ruled under the ideology “The System of Correlation between Man and his Environment”. With 1974 Constitution, one-party politcal system came into practice by securing the three powers of government. The conceptually sound Burma Socialist Programme Party government had to relinquish power in 1988 general uprising. The underlying reason was a refusal by the people for continued endurance of economic hardships. A lesson to be learnt.
The Union Solidarity and Development Party won in 2010 general elections in accordance with the 2008 Constitution and was able to form the government. The National League for Democracy party which won a landslide victory in 2015 general elections is currently in power.
Fortunately, I had the opportunity to be able to well comprehend the political thinking, management practices and governance methods of ruling political parties and governments during the early years of multiparty democracy era. I also came to comprehend the modus operandi of successive governments of the Revolutionary Council, the BSPP, SLORC and SPDC. I became to aware that there can be a dictator in any era. As for the people, no type of authoritarian is acceptable. Thus, all of us must do our utmost to strengthen democracy. Given that we have the experience and knowledge of successive eras I believe that we can, with due diligence, strive for the betterment of the country and the people.
My fellow citizens
After serving as chair of the Parliamentary Commission on Assessment of Legal Affairs and Special Issues for three years, and taking into account the evolving political and economic situation in the country, I decided to form a political party and initiate an independent, active and dynamic undertaking for the betterment of the country and the people. In fact, I made this decision to take the risk based on a calculated assessment of benefits for the people and the country given my old age and my personal circumstances. With the acronym “Betterment” the UBP party received its registration approval on 25 April 2019, and in a little over one year has grown into a mega party which is now in a position to be able to form a government (by itself if the party wins), having received the trust and confidence, endorsement, and strong support of the people. A total of 927 candidates will be fielded in the elections across 261 townships.
Lessons drawn from my own life experiences have revealed that a lack of unity and solidarity within the country, prioritization of individual or organization’s interests, breeding of animosity and hostilities between and amongst organizations supposedly formed to promote the country’s interests have all led to the country’s current backwardness and deprivation.
Therefore, the UBP Party has laid down the following principles and concepts when striving for solidarity, national interests, and rule of law –
• To collaborate with any individual or organization if in the best interest of the country and the people.
• If there is a conflict of interests between the Party’s interest and the national interest, the national interest is to be given precedence.
• Do not speak ill of others and keep yourself upright, do not criticize others and stay faultless yourself.
• Be ethical even if others are decadent.
• Whatever you do, act in accordance with the law.
• In the national interest we will build anew as well as upgrade the current.
My fellow citizens
The UBP Party will assume responsibility and carry forward the development endeavours of preceding political parties and governments and collaborative relationships with national and international organizations and individuals.
As UBP has set out to become the kind of party and government that the people desire, the Party has brought together individuals with good motivation, excellent talents, and solid experience.
The UBP has profound empathy for and understanding of the tribulations confronting the country today such as the political stalemate, flagging economy, social hardships, rule of law, internal peace process and unrelenting pressures on external relations from the international community.
On top of having to contend with this myriad of problems, the country and the people presently have to cope with the Covid-19 epidemic and its consequences of rising unemployment, economic distress, emotional trauma, disrupted livelihoods and even threats to survival. Many hawkers, retailers, small, and medium businesses have been forced to close down or scale back.
Farmers, livestock breeders and fishermen are being stuck in debt swamp and facing severe hardships. Manufacturers, import/exporters, traders, transport, travel and tourism businesses, artists from the film industry, writers, musicians, drivers and assistants of trucks and buses, three-wheel and rickshaw operators, daily-wage earners and laypeople are in dire economic distress. Basic-level workers are struggling to make ends meet. To make matters worse, migrant workers who have gone abroad to seek better job opportunities have to return home because of the raging Covid-19 pandemic. The revival and restoration of a broad spectrum of economic enterprises and operations and the regeneration of employment opportunities is an arduous mission.
My fellow citizens
The UBP has tried its best to comprehend the accurate factual state of affairs of the people, to discern the obstacles faced and aspirations of the people, and have conceived relevant and efficient immediate, short and long-term strategies for effective improvement of livelihoods and social conditions from the current circumstances. In building the nation we have to be beholden to the people, and the interests of the country and the people have to come first. Our Party is committed to ensuring federal rights and citizen’s fundamental rights since our doctrine is “The people come first, the people are foremost”.
Founding principles laid out by the UBP are to:
1. build a federal democratic nation.
2. stimulate the economic development of the country as well as strive for increase income and better livelihoods for individual households
3. strive for a balanced and harmonious advancement of social and cultural sectors such as education, health and culture.
4. promote conservation of the natural environment in harmony with the multifaceted development of the human environment.
5. strive for the emergence of a constitution that is appropriate for the country, and to amend, annul, and promulgate laws in order that the legal framework of the country will be coherent with the prevailing country context and serve the best interest of the people.
6. strive for achievement of peace through encouraging progress and advancement in peace building processes such as rule of law, tranquillity and stability, prevalence of justice, and cessation of armed conflicts.
7. endeavour towards the emergence and application of fast-track, hassle-free policies and standard-operating-procedures (SOPs) for all interface with the general public; and effective utilization and adoption of IT and data technologies.
My fellow citizens
In order to improve socio-economic situation of individual citizen, the following issues will be addressed in respective sectors:
1. Issues relating to land disputes
2. Strategic basic infrastructure and rural development, reduction of urban-rural disparities through improvements in water supply, electricity distribution, roads and transport, education, health services and livelihood
3. Augmenting loan amounts and lengthening of repayment period for farmers, livestock breeding and fishery folks, and assurance of fair prices and markets for farm produce
4. Prevalence of amicable working relationships between employees and employers, and increments in wages and profits
5. For civil servants to receive remuneration and rewards commensurate with their status in order that they may maintain their dignity and integrity in serving duties, and ensuring a proper standard of living for retirees
6. Promotion of micro, small, medium, and large businesses and investments and providing access to soft loans for capitalization
7. Expeditious creation of employment opportunities for all job-seekers of working age.
8. Moreover, speedy modification of bothersome and annoying practices, which is causing people “lose much time, cost more money and even exhausting”, such as payment of tax, application for licences, tender bidding processes, utility bill payment processes, urban area toll collections, municipal matters, issuance of National Registration Card to citizens and so on will be implemented.
9. A special programme for recovery from impairments to social services such as health and education and the disruption of employment and economic activities caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and a re-development which is congruent with the “new normal” will need to be implemented, so as to offer a revitalized socio-economic order for the people.
The UBP will carry out any and all actions in accord with the law, with justice, fairness and impartiality.
My fellow citizens
The concept of democracy does not complete when the people have elected a government, it is complete only when the elected government have fully realized improvements in the people’s standard of living and provided socio-economic security. In other words, in democracy, there are duties of the people on one hand and duties of the government on the other. The country and the people will benefit only when a government fulfils its obligations. Thus, a Government that can Change for Betterment needs to be elected in the 2020 elections.
Hence, people should swing to vote for “UBP – the party with capability to change for the Betterment, the party which “delivers on its pledges”, and “Choose Right to get the Right Choice”. The UBP firmly pledges that it will deliver what is promised and meet its obligations to the people.
May all have fulfilment of your noble desires.