endeavours to serve national interest and eternal peace
If someone passes through the Grand Military Review and the Presidential Palace along Yazahtarni Road, the widest road in Nay Pyi Taw, the next view he will come across is the Hluttaw buildings which reflect the voice of the people.
The grandeur of the buildings is not only the indication of their glories. These facilities are places where echo of people’s voices made by the representatives on their behalf can be heard. Now, one year has passed with the motto “People’s voice, Hluttaw voice”.
In retrospect, the Second Pyithu Hluttaw can be seen forming with 323 representatives from 11 political parties plus 110 Tatmadaw representatives totaling 433. On 1 February 2016, Pyithu Hluttaw elected Daw Khin Htay Kywe of Chaungzon Constituency as chairperson, representative U Win Myint of Tamwe Constituency as Speaker and Representative U T Khun Myat of Kutkai Constituency, Deputy Speaker.
According to the President and Vice President Election Law, meeting of elected Pyithu Hluttaw representatives was held and U Htin Kyaw (now the president) was elected as vice-president on 11 March 2016.
In accord with Section 115, Paragraph (a) of the 2008 Constitution, Bill Committee, Public Accounts Committee, Hluttaw Rights Committee, Government’s Guarantees, Pledges and Undertaking Vetting Committee were formed with 15 Pyithu Hluttaw representatives in each committee on 5 and 8 February 2016.
Similarly, in accord with Section 115, Paragraph (c) of the 2008 Constitution, International Relations Committee, Farmer and Worker Affairs Committee, National Races Affairs and Peace Making Committee, Banks and Monetary Affairs Development Committee, Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Rural Development Committee, Education Promotion Committee, Health and Sports Development Committee, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Committee, Transportation, Communications and Construction Committee, Electric Power and Energy Development Committee, Investment and Industrial Development Committee, Economic and Financial Development Committee, Public Affairs Management Committee, Citizen’s Fundamental Rights Committee, Judicial and Legal Affairs Committee were formed to be able to conduct Hluttaw’s functions effectively.
According to the constitution that states “The three branches of the sovereign power namely legislative power, executive power and judicial power are separated, to the extent possible and exert reciprocal control, check and balance among them.”, it can be said that Pyithu Hluttaw is a watchdog in the country practicing check and balances system. Its committees through coordination with Union level organizations also attend to the needs of people who make complaints or submit reports.
During the first year term, the Second Pyithu Hluttaw amended nine laws, enacted
two new laws — State Councellor Law and Older Person Law — and revoked six laws, enacted
two new laws after repealing two existing laws – Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law and Myanmar Investment Law — and approved one planning, budget and tax law totaling 20.
The ongoing sessions of Hluttaw debate eight laws
introduced by the Pyithu Hluttaw, nine laws by Amyotha Hluttaw and three laws that are to be discussed in Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
Twelve urgent proposals such as the one presented by Daw Khin San Hlaing of the Pale constituency calling for closer supervision of the swift undertaking of the handover of state-owned enterprises and properties during the transitional period were approved by the Pyithu Hluttaw. She presented her proposal that the central government should supervise what she called post-election developments prior to the transfer of state responsibility.
The pressing proposal pointed out the prompt leasing, handover and privatisation of state-owned land, factories and enterprises; aggressive removal of squats and the hasty management of the country’s natural resources without supervision and transparency.
She suggested placing them under the close supervision of the union government in the interest of the people and the country as a whole. Though other 21 proposals were not approved they were discussed in the interests of the people.
Of the questions relating to executive affairs responsible to the Union Government or public affairs which are carried out by the Union Government, 467 verbal answers and 95 written answers were replied to questions marked with asterisk, and thus altogether 1759 questions can be raised including 1197 questions without asterisk in Pyithu Hluttaw.
With the aim of revitalizing the Hluttaws, the Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw visited the Republic of Korea and Britain. During the visits, he discussed matters on friendship and cooperation, inter-parliamentary cooperation and legislative affairs.
Nineteen Hluttaw committees could also organize workshops and seminars for 242 times within Hluttaw and meetings outside Hluttaw for 420 times including 59 overseas tours.
Myanmar hosted 37th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly– AIPA from 29 September to 2 October 2016. At the assembly, meetings of the General Assembly, Political Committee, Economic Committee, Social Committee, Women Parliamentarians of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and Cooperation Committee of ASEAN Parliamentary Assembly were held successfully.
To promote capacity of Hluttaw representatives and staff of Hluttaw Office, they are sent abroad to attend training courses and workshops and to make study tour in foreign countries.
In practicing legislative power which is the main task of Hluttaw, Pyithu Hluttaw is approving laws beneficial to the people and amending, revoking and repealing some laws.
Parliaments are essential in countries where democracy is practiced. Hluttaw is formed with representatives elected by the people by holding free and fair elections. After that the Union Government and the respective Union level bodies are formed including election of the president and the vice-presidents.
Only when people’s voice can be heard uninterruptedly will democracy flourish. With this end in view, the motto “People’s Voice, Hluttaw’s Voice, People’s Will, Hluttaw’s Will, People’s Expectation, Hluttaw’s Implementation.” is turned into reality. We firmly believe that people’s representatives will be able to take shape the eternal peace in the country while discharging their duties.
May all the representatives serve the interests of the people with steadfastness in the years to come.
Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U Win Myint gave interviews on performances of representatives in one-year period.
Question: Please let me know what kinds of law were discussed during the one-year period of the Second Pyithu Hluttaw.
Answer: State Councellor Law that will ensure building firmly the genuine democracy federal state desired by all people; Protecting Citizens’ Personal Freedoms and Security Law to protect privacy and ensure security of all citizens; Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law to be able to enjoy the fundamental rights of people enshrined in the constitution; Older Person Law for the sake of the aged enabling them to enjoy health and social services and to be able to live in a safe community; and Myanmar Investment Law that will attract investments in the country in order to promote socio-economic life of people, to create job opportunities, and to apply advanced technologies were approved.
Moreover, Emergency Provision Act of 1950 which oppressed people for long and is no longer in line with the eternal principles and The Law Safeguarding the State from the Danger of Subversive Elements which does not meet the democratic standard and norms of human rights were repealed.
Q: Concerning budget allotment, please express which sectors were allowed to use more budget and what were scrutinized.
A: Health budget was increased to reduce the burden of cost suffered by people and to be able to provide them with effective health care services. Similarly, to uplift the education standard and not to cause burden on parents education budget was also increased. Regarding scrutinizing, work projects are scrutinized thoroughly with the National Planning Bill for 2017-2018 fiscal year focuses on minimizing loss and wastage, ensuring firm and strong investment and serving the state and the people.
Q: How does Hluttaw engage in internal peace process?
A: As regards national reconciliation and internal peace process, Hluttaw representatives are actively participating in Union Peace Conference, the 21st Century Panglong, Joint Committee of Union Peace Conference and national level political dialogues.
Q: What kind of proposal were approved during the one-year period of Hluttaw?
A: Urgent proposal calling for closer supervision of the swift undertaking of the handover of state-owned enterprises and properties that is the prompt leasing, handover and privatisation of state-owned land, factories and enterprises during the transitional period which the union government should supervise post-election developments prior to the transfer of state responsibility; an urgent proposal calling for ceasing the lease without transparency for construction of private hospital at the corner of Bogyoke Road and Pyay Road in Lanmadaw Township in Yangon Region which does not benefit people; a request to the Union Government to stop construction works which sought approval from MIC on 20 acres of land owned by Myanma Port Authority between Botataung Pagoda Road and Bo Aung Kyaw wharf; a request which urged the Union Government to revoke private rights for systematic conservation of Bago Kandawgyi watershed area and designate it as restricted forest area; an urgent proposal calling for taking punitive action against some members of Myanmar Human Rights Commission who cannot curb the human rights abuse; and a proposal urging the Supreme Court of the Union to revamp the corrupted judiciary system were approved in the interests of the people.
Cooperation with international communities
Q: What have been done so far for democracy transitional process through international cooperation?
A: The Speaker and responsible persons met leaders and parliament speakers of foreign countries and exchanged views on democratic transitions, human rights, peace and stability, friendship and cooperation, peaceful coexistence and humanitarian affairs in frank manners.
Q: Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to request you to express your opinion.
A: As the main duty of the Hluttaw is to make legislation, Hluttaw is engaged in making legislation that will be beneficial to people and the state; and amending and repealing laws which
are not in conformity with the current age and which are not up to the mark of democratic norms. Hlttaw is also supporting national reconciliation and internal peace.
Myo Myint (MNA)