Police upgrade motion divides Yangon Hluttaw


YANGON — The Yangon assembly has split over a motion to bolster the region’s overstretched police force, voting narrowly in favour of a proposal to improve equipment and resources to the constabulary.

U Yan Aung (NLD, Mingalar Taung Nyunt-2) took to the floor on Tuesday to question Col. Tin Aung Tun, the regional security minister, on whether there was a plan to expand staffing across the police force and judiciary, along with upgrading equipment for serving police officers.

He cited conditions at the police station in Dala, where promises for an upgrade in 2013 had not been met and officers still lived in squalid conditions, adding that the government had not taken responsibility for civil servants in dire need of better support.

“We are ashamed to see the situation of police in the country,” he told lawmakers. “We want the people to know this.”

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

Tin Aung Tun shot back that understaffing and budget shortfalls were a problem across Myanmar, and the matter would be better addressed by the Union Parliament.

“There is no department with enough people, and there is always demand for more people in every sector of government,” he told the chamber.

Yan Aung’s motion, originally submitted for discussion on October 11, called on government departments to boost funding for weapons, station amenities and equipment, along with providing better housing to the families of police officers and members of the judiciary. The proposal is non-binding.

A total 13 NLD lawmakers spoke in favour of the proposal, which succeeded by 58 votes to 45, with 20 abstentions. Several NLD lawmakers joined the parliament’s military bloc to vote against the motion.

After the session, Yan Aung said he had no expectations that the regional government would follow the proposal, but wanted to show his support the police rank-and-file while demonstrating there was no longer any need to fear asking tough questions of senior officials.

“I am happy my proposal succeeded. It should be like that,” U Yan Aung said.

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Support our independent journalism and get exclusive behind-the-scenes content and analysis

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters.

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar