U Win Myint and U Kyaw Aye Thein

Khaing Roe La | DMG
January 30, Mrauk-U
 
The Anti-Corruption Commission has yet to respond to a complaint against two Arakan State government ministers more than 17 months after it was filed, the complainants said.
 
Arakan State lawmakers and six companies including Wadi Shwe Myae Company submitted a complaint to the commission on August 11, 2018, against U Kyaw Aye Thein and U Win Myint, Arakan State’s ministers for Finance, Revenue, Planning and Economics, and Municipal Affairs, respectively.
 
The complaint alleged that Minister U Kyaw Aye Thein gave a permit to a company to build the Mrauk-U Market, ignoring the results of an earlier tender. The company that received the permit did not compete in the tender, the complaint said.
 
Wadi Shwe Myae Company submitted the complaint against Minister U Win Myint alleging that he did not follow tender rules and regulations when he gave a permit to a company to build Mrauk-U’s town hall.
 
In September 2018, the anti-graft commission questioned the complainants but it was not clear whether the accused were likewise questioned.
 
“We complained and submitted a lot of evidence,” said U Hnin Tun Toe, managing director of Wadi Shwe Myae Company. “The ground checking was done and the result is out. It is reviewed that there are some people who committed [corruption]. But we feel sorry that the Union government still hasn’t taken action yet. We no longer trust the Anti-Corruption Commission.”
 
Municipal Affairs Minister U Win Myint has maintained that he conducted the tenders according to the legal process and said the commission never questioned him.
 
“If I committed corruption, action will be taken against me. If I didn’t, they won’t take any action. That’s it. If I’m unhappy, I can complain to the commission and it will decide whether it [the complaint] is merited. But I haven’t heard anything from the commission,” the minister said.
 
DMG attempted to contact Minister U Kyaw Aye Thein but he responded that he was in a meeting and busy.
 
On January 1, 2019, the state government blacklisted six companies that were subject to complaints, including Wadi Shwe Myae, for failing to finish projects on time and not following the rules. But when Minister U Kyaw Aye Thein was asked during a Hluttaw meeting which projects the companies had failed to complete, he was unable to answer.
 
According to the Anti-Corruption Law, corruption includes the misuse of a post by any person in using their authority to do or to avoid the lawful act or to give the legal right to someone or to prohibit the legal right incorrectly, or giving, accepting, obtaining, attempt to obtain, proposal, promise or discussion by any means the corruption from someone either directly or indirectly.
 
Meanwhile, those who are found to have provided false information, complaint or evidence or to have compelled another person to do so in order to injure or defame a person face a fine and a prison sentence of up to three years.
 
U Kyaw Soe, a spokesperson for the Anti-Corruption Commission, said: “We release statements for some issues openly that the public should know. We can only discuss those kinds of statements. But we cannot discuss some issues, according to the ethics of the commission. We are only allowed to talk about it when it is posted on the commission’s official website.”

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