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U Aung Kyi Thein: ‘Many farmers on the island lose much of their rice crop every year, so to address that I want to work to educate them’

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An interview with U Aung Kyi Thein, newly elected Chaungzon Township representative in the Pyithu Hluttaw.

Newly elected Chaungzon Pyithu Hluttaw, U Aung Kyi Thein,
Newly elected Chaungzon Pyithu Hluttaw, U Aung Kyi Thein,

MNA reporter Mi Aow Mon, on April 2, interviewed the Union Solidarity and Development Party’s U Aung Kyi Thein, who was elected to the Pyithu Hluttaw (lower house of parliament) in an April 1 by-election. He will represent Mon State’s Chaungzon Township.

Question: Why did you win the by-election so handedly?

Answer: I think the people of Chaungzon trust me to address their needs. I had a significant lead in all of the large villages of Ywalut, Thetkaw, Kahnyaw, and Murit-Kalay.

Question: How did you conduct your campaign?

Answer: The main thing is that of 60 days that we were allowed to campaign, we went out for 55. We were campaigning sometimes four times a day. We met with local residents and discussed their desires for what the government should do. And while we were talking I explained why I was running, and I promised them that if I won I would work to develop the region’s agriculture and make sure they have job opportunities.

Question: When will you implement the promises that you made during the campaign.

Answer: We have already begun implementing our promises—we have already ordered seeds for the farmers, and we are planning to dig tube-wells in areas where water is scarce. We’re fulfilling a lot of plans as a party.

Question: Now that you’ve been elected, what kind of proposals do you plan to submit to the Hluttaw.

Answer: I am going to meet with my constituents today to listen to their concerns and desires. I want to make sure that my proposals sit well with local residents, and then carefully prepare legislation. Once I have a list of proposals I will bring each of them before the Hluttaw.

Question: Among those proposals, which will be your focus?

Answer: Representative in the Pyithu Hluttaw are only there by the will of their constituents, so we have to listen to their voices. Many of my constituents are cleverer than me, so I do not plan to propose any legislation without consulting with them. Historically, legislators who are not responsive to their constituents have found themselves in trouble.

Question: How will you collaborate with other local representatives?

Answer: Yes, we have to collaborate, and we have to contact each other to discuss the needs of our constituents. There may be times when state representatives will need to work with the union parliament on issues outside of their jurisdiction. So we must unite and collaborate to develop the island.
Question: What are you going to do for Bilugyun Island?

Answer: Many farmers on the island lose much of their rice crop every year, so to address that I want to work to educate them about how to make a profit, what the best agricultural practices are and how to use wetlands for hydroponics. For technical issues like these I will help them contact the relevant department.

Question: Many acres of the island’s farmland flood annually. How do you plan to address that?

Answer: Most of the creeks on this island are very shallow, so a lot of them need attention. But really that is not why USDP won this election. So we will get involved only if submissions to the relevant irrigation department do not produce changes. Only if the government does nothing, will our party step in to dig the creeks.

Question: Lastly, do you have anything you want to add?

Answer: Yes; I made promises to my constituents, and I plan to implement them as much as I can. I only represent my constituents, so I want to tell them that they should always contact me and I will try to act, using all of my experience.

Thanks from MNA for answering our questions.

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