In marching forward towards a modern, developed Federal Democratic Union, it is important to have the overall view as well as the long term view.
By overall view we mean a critical appraisal of our Four Resources. The Four Resources may be characterized as: Human Resources, Financial Resources, Institutional Resources and Natural Resources.
By long term view, we mean to say that it is necessary to have a long term vision of how we wish to develop as a country and also at the individual level, how we wish to live our lives and how we prepare for our next life. Since our long term goal is the establishment of a modern, developed Federal Democratic Union, we will need to establish the most important institutions for democracy and to consolidate the institutions we already have. We all know that a democratic system of government is based on a government chosen and elected by the people. Therefore one of the tasks of the current government will be to further strengthen the main pillars of the democratic system, namely: the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch and the Judiciary Branch. In addition to all these, it is heartening to note that the government has recently established the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre in Nay Pyi Taw. The NRPC has the task of monitoring and implementing the peace process. For however much our citizens desire peace and development, it is imperative that we work hard for internal peace because there is no other way. Development cannot precede peace. Development can only happen when we have peace in our Motherland.
Of all the four resources, we believe that Human Resources are the most valuable resources of our country. Even though a country has ample natural resources, if we fail to develop our human resources, our country will lag behind other countries. Under the heading of human resources management we have the functions of recruitment, training, career development, promotion and transfers and taking disciplinary action. In order to make sure that all the civil service personnel in government departments are in good spirits and to see that their morale is high at all times, it is very important to make sure that there is transparency and fairness in managing promotions and transfers. A sure way to break the spirit of civil service personnel is to give way to unfairness, nepotism and cronyism. That is why Human Resource Management personnel need proper training so that they know the theory and practice of sound management. As we move ahead to modernize our country, promotions and transfers should be based on merit, professional qualifications, experience and hard work.
The best way to keep morale high in all government departments is to make sure that a proper career development policy is in place. This type of policy will make sure that staff and officers get opportunities to study abroad and attend meetings and conferences abroad in accordance with their duties and responsibilities. A chance to study abroad can mean an additional degree and better chances to get a promotion. Staff members and officers who are successful in getting post-graduate degrees should be encouraged to get higher degrees in line with the needs of their departments.
In every country, the institutional resources are equally important. A country which is endowed with time honored and prestigious institutions find it easier to develop the country compared to a country which has weak institutions. Here we wish to mention some important institutions in our country.
For example, the Tatmadaw is one of the most important institutions of our country, so also is our Sangha. The Tamataw protects our country from external enemies and also has the primary duty to keep internal peace by protecting our citizens from various kinds of ethnic armed forces who are fighting the government. The Tatmataw as an institution protects the state Constitution. As we move forward it needs to upgrade its professional skills and make sure that its armaments are modern and up to date.
Other institutions worth mentioning are the academic institutions and institutes of higher learning. In this area, strong support from the Union Government is needed in terms of a practical and sound policy for the Education Sector. We need to continue doing research into our past but the same time also collaborate with other institutions of higher learning from other countries to make sure that we are up to date in all areas of scientific enquiry.
In Myanmar, the Sangha constitute a very valuable institutional resource. It is due to the efforts of the Sangha that we have the teachings of the Lord Buddha preserved and propagated to all parts of our country and beyond. The teachings of the Buddha which stresses loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity are still relevant today as they were 2500 years ago. At a time when our country is striving very hard for reconciliation and peace among all ethnic national races and between members of different religious faiths, the Sangha as a time honored institution stands tall in integrity and wisdom.
For our country to be rich in financial resources, we need to ensure that our fiscal and monetary policies are sound, and in line with what is happening in the rest of the world. Our government and our banks should encourage all Myanmar citizens to save. Another important area is the collection of all kinds of taxes. We cannot have a strong government without strong financial resources. That is why the habit of saving and being thrifty is so important for our citizens.
Many foreigners and friends say that Myanmar is well endowed with natural resources. However, we need to ensure that our natural resources are utilized in a proper manner so that we get the maximum benefit for the people in terms of taxes collected from the export of our natural resources. In the area of mining and the generation of hydropower, proper care should be taken to protect our country from environmental degradation.
Five Dimensions of Development
We in Myanmar can be considered to be lucky because we have what our parents used to teach us, the concept of Pyinsa Bala development. In modern parlance we may call it “the Five Dimensions of Development”. Pyinsa is a Myanmar word which means five and Bala means strength in Myanmar. In the Myanmar language, the term Pyinsa Bala means thus: Kaya Bala, Nyana Bala, Bawga Bala, Meitta Bala and Sareita Bala (Health, Knowledge, Wealth, Friends, Character). We think this concept can be used in our country for developing our human resources. In this development model, all the five dimensions are inter-related. If we do not have wealth, we cannot have the means to survive and get a good education. If we do not have good health, we will not be healthy enough to study, pass our exams and get a good job. If we do not have a good network of friends, it will be very difficult to get a good job because we will be lacking in critical information. Sometimes, the best leads come from friends, colleagues and relatives. Even if we have money, health, wealth and friends, all these will not matter much if we do not have a good character. That is why this model of development should be taught in our schools beginning from the primary level.
Another thing to bear in mind is the importance of having a guiding philosophy which can stand the test of time and which can stand rigorous scientific scrutiny. In Myanmar, the majority of our citizens are Buddhists. Therefore, we may say that our guiding philosophy is Buddhism. To put it another way, we may say that the majority of Myanmar citizens follow the teachings of Lord Buddha.
As Buddhists, we were taught to keep the Five Precepts. Actually keeping these five precepts simply mean that we make a solemn promise in front of a Buddhist monk or in front of the Buddha image at home or at a shrine or famous pagoda like the Shwedagon pagoda. The reason for bringing up this point about the Five Precepts is because this constitutes a very important aspect of self-discipline. When we make this simple promise to keep the Five Precepts, we are actually making the promise to ourselves. If we falter and fail to keep any one of the precepts, we will be the first person to know.
All that we are is founded on our thoughts. It is based on our thoughts. So we should all strive to do good deeds and keep a positive frame of mind.