Amid up­surge in clashes, old al­lies turn into foes

Two of Myan­mar’s strong­est eth­nic armed or­gan­i­sa­tions have re­port­edly en­gaged in mil­i­tary of­fen­sives, with an­a­lysts sug­gest­ing the fight­ing re­veals the deep­en­ing of a long-ex­tant rift.

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - YE MON yeemon­tun@mm­times.com

AMID much talk of lur­ing out­side in­vest­ment to Myan­mar, Yangon Re­gion law­mak­ers have in­di­cated that they want to see greater scru­tiny of for­eign op­er­a­tors of il­le­gal busi­nesses in the com­mer­cial cap­i­tal.

Re­gional MPs yes­ter­day ap­proved a pro­posal to de­bate crack­ing down on these for­eign en­trepreneurs next week.

Par­lia­men­tar­ian U Win Maung (NLD; Hlaing Thar­yar 1) sub­mit­ted the pro­posal at yes­ter­day’s par­lia­men­tary ses­sion, telling law­mak­ers that Yangon Re­gion au­thor­i­ties had for too long turned a blind eye to il­le­gal en­ter­prises rang­ing from gam­bling dens and real es­tate ven­tures to KTV out­fits and drink­ing holes.

By the Myan­mar Real Es­tate Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion’s es­ti­mate, he said, as of June 20 there were about 100 for­eign real es­tate agen­cies that were op­er­at­ing with­out li­cences and re­lated per­mis­sions from the rel­e­vant min­istries, most of them Chi­nese and Korean.

U Win Maung said for­eign busi­ness­peo­ple had for years taken ad­van­tage of a cor­rupt bu­reau­cracy and weak rule of law to set up shop in Yangon with­out go­ing through the proper chan­nels.

“I won­dered when I saw a board­ing­house that is owned by a for­eign busi­ness­man in a squat­ter area of Hlaing Thar­yar town­ship. Those busi­nesses won’t be giv­ing any tax to the gov­ern­ment,” he said.

The MP said so-called K5K shops – ped­dling goods priced at a flat K5000 and typ­i­cally owned by Chi­nese na­tion­als – had pro­lif­er­ated this year with­out li­cences from Yangon City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee and re­lated au­thor­i­ties. Some for­eigner-owned bars and restau­rants were also sus­pect, he added.

“I can say that the gov­ern­ment won’t get any tax from them and the gov­ern­ment should take ac­tion ef­fec­tively. The coun­try and our peo­ple won’t get any ben­e­fits from these kinds of busi­nesses. The gov­ern­ment should con­sider that,” said U Win Maung.

MP U Hla Htay (NLD; Min­galar Taung Nyunt 1) said the gov­ern­ment must han­dle the is­sue in ac­cor­dance with the For­eign In­vest­ment Law.

“The gov­ern­ment shouldn’t be just mon­i­tor­ing and in­spect­ing these busi­nesses. They should take ac­tion against them,” he said.

The re­gional par­lia­ment will de­bate the pro­posal on Oc­to­ber 11.

‘I can say that the gov­ern­ment won’t be get­ting any tax from them [il­le­gal for­eign busi­nesses].’ U Win Maung Hlaing Thar­yar town­ship MP

“I think that this pro­posal will help ad­vance rule of law. And for­eign­ers will re­spect our coun­try if we have a strong rule of law sys­tem,” said U Win Maung.

While un­li­censed busi­nesses were in Yangon Re­gion MPs’ crosshairs yes­ter­day, the Na­tional League for Democ­racy gov­ern­ment has fol­lowed in its pre­de­ces­sor’s foot­steps in en­cour­ag­ing for­eign busi­nesses to legally en­ter the coun­try. State Coun­sel­lor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said on her visit to the United States last month that such in­vest­ment would help spur eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment at home.

Ac­cord­ing to Myan­mar’s Direc­torate of In­vest­ment and Com­pany Ad­min­is­tra­tion, ap­proved in­vest­ment for the 2015-16 fis­cal year hit US$9.4 bil­lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.