The Union parliament voted overwhelmingly on July 9 in support of an urgent proposal to keep the retirement age for government employees at 60 after a debate that heard calls for it to be extended to 63.
The proposal, submitted by a member of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party and passed by a vote of 379 to 168 with seven abstentions, has implications for the tenure of Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, who turns 60 this year.
Retirement at 60 should be compulsory for all government employees, including the Commander-in-Chief of the Tatmadaw, said the USDP’s U Khin Maung Nyo, who represents Kayah State’s Loikaw Township in the Pyithyu Hluttaw.
Junior officers would have to wait another three years for promotions if the retirement age was extended to 63, said U Khin Maung Nyo.
It would also be harder for younger generation to find jobs in government service if the retirement age was extended, he said.
Amyotha Hluttaw MP U Mann Kan Nyunt, who represents the USDP in Kayin State, said he was opposed to exceptions enabling government employees to remain in service until they were 63.
Any such exceptions would not be in accord with the democratic standards of transparency, accountability and legality, he said.
Those against the proposal included military MP Lieutenant-Colonel Hlaing Win, who said the nation would benefit from the experience of government personnel with ability if they were able to continue in service after they turned 60.
“The hluttaw should not discuss this bill only because of widespread rumours,” said Lt-Col Hlaing Win.
This was an apparent reference to unsubstantiated speculation that Senior General Min Aung Hlaing wanted to remain Commander-in-Chief for another three years.
Junta leader Senior General Than Shwe did not retire as Commander-in-Chief when he turned 60, a precedent that has led to the speculation that his successor could follow suit.