The Mon State Chief Minister, Dr. Aye Zan, announced on May 7 that he would hold four public meetings every year to get input and build cooperation with voters in the state. He made the announcement at the first such meeting he has held, which focused on corruption and the illegal sale of public land. The meetings will all be held in the Mon State capital, Mawlamyine.
“This is the first time I’ve had the chance to meet with the public in Mawlamyine, and I plan to do it four times a year to build consensus with the public,” he said.He added that for Mawlamyine, formerly known as Moulmein, and Mon State to improve and develop, the public must be a part of the decision-making process.
U Maung Maung Zaw Htun, a Mawlamyine businessman, welcomed the news but said that the meetings must be meaningful exchanges to be worthwhile.
“We would like to meet him, but I think he needs to be very deliberate about the meetings; what information does he want to share and what does he want to learn. Often at these meetings politicians just talk and don’t listen, so I want to know, will he be willing to listen?”
U Maung Maung Zaw Htun also said that if the Minister wants the state to develop, he should focus the meetings on a single subject and invite all the stakeholders to that issue. If he can meet enough with stakeholders, the meetings should have a positive effect.
Dr. Aye Zan announced the upcoming meetings at a public gathering on May 7 in the State Hall in Mawlamyine. He has also held meetings in Chaungzon, Kyaikmaraw and Thanbyuzayat townships.
This is not the first time that the chief minister made promises of transparency. Shortly after his appointment in early March, the Chief Minister promised to hold weekly press conferences to keep the media informed of his work. So far though, no such press conferences have been held.