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September 20, 2019

Giving the people the opportunity to choose is the fundamental idea of a democracy: State Counsellor

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the third anniversary of the Second Hluttaws in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the third anniversary of the Second Hluttaws in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA

Following is the speech delivered by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the 3rd Anniversary of the Second Hluttaws.

I’m glad to be with our Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives and staff at the third anniversary ceremony of the Second Hluttaws.
I say this frequently. Democracy starts from the Hluttaw. Today, I’d like to say that Hluttaw starts from the people. Hluttaw came about because of the people and democracy system. That is why I want to say today that it is not sufficient to see our Hluttaw as a legislative pillar. Hluttaw in our country should be seen as a nursery where democracy is nurtured to flourish.
Participation of the people plays a main role for the establishment of a democratic Hluttaw. We said this from the very beginning. Multi-party democracy is an unnecessary word. There can’t be democracy in a single party system. There must be at least two parties. Giving the people the opportunity to choose is the fundamental idea of a democracy. In working to give the people the opportunity to choose, we see the emergence of the roles of the political parties and the people. Before the Hluttaws even began political parties had to learn about democracy while they started organizing amongst the people.
Democracy is a system based on the people. How to get the support of the people? What is it that the people want? What are their expectations? What are their worries? Political parties have to study this before they enter the election for the Hluttaw. This in fact amounts to the political parties learning about democracy based on the Hluttaw. Learning about how to organize the people within the rules and regulations in the election period is also an act of elevating democracy.
Support of the people must be obtained to get into the Hluttaw and become a Hluttaw representative. All candidates are to learn how to obtain the support of the people as they try to get into the Hluttaw. Once in the Hluttaw, the legislative pillar is not about enacting laws for the people only. Hluttaw representatives have the main responsibility and duty towards the Constitution. I want to see this duty as a work to nurture democracy and make it flourish.
Some don’t think highly about Hluttaw representatives. Some hope for higher positions after becoming Hluttaw representatives. But there is no one more honorable than a dutiful and responsible Hluttaw representative in a democratic system. A dutiful and responsible Hluttaw representative benefits the people and represents the people. Think about the people all the time. They balance between their duty and responsibility towards their party, their township, their country and decide and perform what needs to be decided and performed.
In a democratic system, there is no one more honorable than Hluttaw representatives who serve the country and people with cetana (good intention), metta (loving kindness), courage and knowledge. Hluttaw representatives should be proud as people who are nurturing the nursery for the plant to flourish. Strive towards raising your capability day by day. There’ll be many opportunities to make a strong force out of a Hluttaw full of differing parties and views.
Hluttaw representatives must think not only about their dignity but also the dignity of the country. What and how things were said in the Hluttaw and your intentions does not reflect you alone. It does not reflect your party alone. It reflects on the country. That is why Hluttaw representatives have a big and heavy duty and responsibility. A Hluttaw representative truly respected, loved and valued by the people is a role model not only for the present Hluttaw representatives but for all the future Hluttaw representatives. We are strengthening the base of our democratic system once there is this role model.
A nursery is not to be left where it is. The plants nurtured there are transplanted to the entire country. Our Pyidaungsu Hluttaw will be a nursery for other nurseries of Hluttaws in the states and regions. Once the good work processes, cetana and thoughtfulness are spread to other state and region Hluttaws, our country will be a trusted and respected federal union of Myanmar. Take the opportunity of meeting one another here by encouraging one another. Treat one another in a friendly way. One must help and support to raise the capabilities of others.
An opposition party is not just to oppose. It is to raise the capability of one another. Only when there is an opposition with differing views can our capacities improve. This is because opposing views make you review your views. If it is wrong, we must have the courage to change it. No matter whoever may oppose your view in whatever way, if you are truly doing things correctly for the benefit of the people, you must have the courage to stand on your views.
However, if your views and positions are not beneficial to the country, you must have the courage to change as well as the skill to change. That is why our Hluttaw representatives should value themselves and value the country. I conclude by urging all to nurture our democratic nursery with cetana, metta, knowledge and courage. (Unofficial Translation by ZM)

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