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February 26, 2018

The days are gone when our parliamentarians used to be rubber stamps

Exhaustion after long days of work drives us to places of relaxation. Some go to a karaoke lounge or a restaurant. Others go home and rest. Evenings are their hours of privacy. Some spend their time reading newspapers, journals or novels, whereas some go straight in front of a TV after taking their meal. Television, in particular its entertainment channels, have occupied our recreation hours for years — since the olden days till now. In those days some used to rush to switch off the TV whenever the news was about to be broadcast. Similarly, most turned to the last pages of the newspapers of those days just to read the obituary notices. Why? The reason was that they didn’t believe in the truth and accuracy of mass media.
Contrariwise, and wonderfully enough, the situation now is totally different. Who dares deny the fact that there are incredible number of subscribers of newspapers increasing in the country? And, people are coming to attentively listen to the news. We now have many new channels — the National Geographic channel, the Discovery Channel, various channels of entertainment, foreign news channels and the Hluttaw channel, in addition to regular ones — MRTV, MRTV4 & Myawady. Unlike the olden days, we spend many of our daily private hours watching the Hluttaw channel. We no longer stand up to switch off TVs to avoid news. Why? The reason is that there are changes that we had hoped for. We have freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. We have an unprecedented opportunity to observe the Parliament in action. The best of all, we can observe the activities of the parliamentarians we have chosen, through the Hluttaw Channel, without having to get up from our seats. As per human nature, we want to know whether our people are moving on a right and satisfactory way or not. If they violate our trust, we can call them back from the seats.
It is a heartening view to see them submitting, discussing and questioning over the proposals in the parliament enthusiastically and reasonably. Every individual has the right to agreeing to differ. Of their own accord, they have the right to like or dislike. Concurrently, they can criticise anyone because of their freedom of speech, on one condition that they must be careful so as not to humiliate others without sufficient evidence.
Rome was not built in one day, but it can be destroyed in a moment. It will take time to build a federal democratic nation. Knowingly that our parliamentarians are not rubber stamps, we should not accuse them just to defame their reputation. Observe them and their activities carefully. Criticise them reasonably. If so, you will become a participant in building up our nation into a federal democratic Union. Failing that, your criticism will be tantamount to intentionally, destructively defaming someone.


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