Social media was rife with pessimistic criticisms of the recent induction programme the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw organised in Nay Pyi Taw from 15 to 19 February in partnership with international organisations, prompting the parliament to issue a statement on 18 February in a bid to erase the circulating rumours.
The parliament stressed that the event was jointly conducted with the experts from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), under their cooperation and assistance programmes.
The parliament explained that the statement was aimed to make the people aware of some social media users spiked with malice towards the recent event. In interviews, participants expressed their views that the induction programme was designed to strengthen local representative institutions.
U Kyaw Soe, director—general at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, said that the event focused on familiarising local representatives with the functions of other parliaments in the international community. He described the purpose of the programme as sharing of knowledge about passing legislation and conducting an oversight of the checks and balances.
Edin Elgsaether, programme specialist at UNDP’s Parliament Democratic Governance Unit, said that foreign representatives came to the induction programme just to share their knowledge and experience with the country’s newly elected parliamentarians. The programme would benefit Myanmar in its transitional period, but the country had to find its own ways to adapt to its reform processes, the UNDP specialist added.
Sai Thiha Kyaw, representative of the Mairal constituency, commented that new representatives were in need of such a capacity building programme, stressing that they needed to know how other parliaments played their legislative roles.
Daw Aye Mya Mya Myo, representative of the Kyauktan constituency, spoke in support of Sai Thiha Kyaw’s view, saying that fresh representatives were ready to receive advice and listen to parliamentary stories from any resource person.
Dr Thet Thet Khaing, representative of the Dagon constituency, expressed her delight at the opportunity to learn how the legislative, executive and judicial sectors interact in checks and balances.
Representatives from Australia, Bhutan, East Timor, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Korea, United Kingdom and United States shared their experience in parliament with the country’s fresh representatives.
Nyi Kyaw Min Han, Photos: Htet Thu