By Tha Sein
Members of Parliament-MPs are responsible for three main groups of people —their constituents, Parliament and their respective political parties. The duties of MPs include participating in debates and voting on legislation and other matters. It is common knowledge that the lawmakers have districts of their own that they need to visit. At the end of the day, they remain public representatives whose primary job is to be present in the Parliament and contribute to the deliberations that will affect the country. With allowances, perks and privileges thrown in, being a public representative might be one of the best jobs in the country. Despite this, and the solemn duty placed upon them as servants of the country, some of our representatives do not perform their job to the public’s satisfaction. Perhaps a legislation that mandates a certain level of participation before being qualified for re-election will change this indolence.
Participation depends on the agenda and party politics, but we should expect some measure of competence or at least commitment from our public representatives to their jobs. They may also be members of committees who examine new laws or monitor the work of government departments and help their constituents by advising on problems on the ground.
During her official trips to Canada and Sweden, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi met with Mr Bruce Stanton, Chairman of the Canada-Myanmar Parliament Friendship Committee and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. Their meeting focused on enhancing friendship and cooperation between the two Parliaments as well as possible avenues for the committee to assist the Government of Myanmar in overcoming challenges in its efforts to promote national reconciliation, peace and democratization.
And also, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in meeting with Mr Urban Ahlin, Speaker of the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) at the Parliament Building highlighted Myanmar’s democratic transition, and the national reconciliation and peace process. Her efforts serve as an example to all MPs and mark a new phase in our democratization.
Since the Parliament was in session, capacity building has been initiated with a myriad of workshops for MPs to be well-versed in legislative affairs. And it is incumbent upon all our representatives to try their utmost during the year. And as they come from different backgrounds it is sure that they can guarantee
diversity and serve the best interest of the people.