Sunday, August 20, 2017

Scuttled proposal willingly withdrawn by ANP MP

A proposal pressing the Union government to take urgent action in northern Rakhine State has been withdrawn after it was shot down in succession by the Speakers of both houses of parliament.

Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than said yesterday that the dispute over an urgent proposal about Rakhine State was misrepresented by the MP. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar TimesSpeaker Mahn Win Khaing Than said yesterday that the dispute over an urgent proposal about Rakhine State was misrepresented by the MP. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar Times

Arakan National Party MP U Kyaw Kyaw Win had submitted a call for the government to stop terrorists and invaders, and to ensure the safety and livelihoods of ethnic people.

The proposal, submitted to the speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw on November 21 was withdrawn yesterday by the MP’s own volition.

Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than had rejected the initial proposal, requesting it to be resubmitted in the form of a question for discussion. He explained that a proposal of this nature was not in accordance with subsections 1 and 2 of parliamentary by-law 164 (a).

When Pyithu Hluttaw lawmakers from the same party tried their luck at submitting the proposal, they were given the same ultimatum by Speaker U Win Myint.

“It is not time to argue with the Speaker in the Hluttaw ... The proposal … it is not urgent … and not in accordance with law and by-law,” U Kyaw Kyaw Win (ANP; Sittwe 8) told The Myanmar Times.

“When I tried to submit this proposal for the second time, it was said that it is not in accordance with the law. So, what will I do? There is no need to resubmit it. That’s why I have withdrawn this proposal,” he said.

Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than said he allowed the proposal to be put forward again, in order to fend off claims in the media about the reason for it having been shot down in the first place. He maintains that it was simply a matter of parliamentary procedure, and the proposal was not put forward in accordance with the regulations.

“I explained to [U Kyaw Kyaw Win] that I rejected his proposal because it was not in accordance with the law,” the Speaker said. “He told the media, [and stated] on social media, that the Speaker wanted him to change his proposal [and reframe it as] a question, even though his proposal was perfect,” he said.

Mahn Win Khaing Than added that U Kyaw Kyaw Win’s choice of words in describing why the proposal was jettisoned was inaccurate, represented affront to the office of Speaker, and is damaging to the image of the Hluttaw. Countering the MP’s claims of censoring the topic, Mahn Win Khaing Than said the proposal was not submitted properly according to parliamentary protocols.

Proposals must be directly submitted to the Speaker and not to the Hluttaw, according to section 159 of the Amyotha Hluttaw law.

“Other representatives need to take note [this should not] happen again,” he said.

But U Kyaw Kyaw Win countered that according to section 156 of the Amyotha Hluttaw Law that if the proposal is put to the Hluttaw, it must be signed and submitted to the director general from the office of the Upper House.

After the National League for Democracy government took power earlier this year, five urgent proposals have been put forward about issues in Rakhine State. Of these, just two were cleared for discussion.

Translation by Win Thaw Tar, San Layy and Khine Thazin Han