Mon State is undertaking administrative house cleaning, with legal proceedings underway against eight ward and village administrators involved in alleged land disputes, corruption or abuses of power, an official from the state General Administrative Department (GAD) said.
Legal action is also being taken against 33 land records staff, according to Mon State Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Transport U Tun Htay. He said that charges have been filed under the 2013 Civil Service Law as well as the Anti-Corruption Law.
Kyaw Thura Hlaing, a ward and village administrator from Kin Mun Chaung village in Kyaikto township, is facing corruption charges in relation to land issues that arose in October 2016. Kyaw Thura Hlaing, who was charged under the 2013 Anti-Corruption Law, is behind held in Mawlamyine prison, according to Mon State GAD director U Soe Myint.
Another ward and village clerk is part of an “internal investigation,” U Soe Myint said.
Village administrator U Aung Ko from Mudon township’s Hmein Ga Nein was sacked on September 14 over a land dispute, while an official from Ye township’s Ka Byar Wa village is being investigated under the Anti-Corruption Law.
Another Mon State GAD official was demoted and transferred to Kayin (Karen) State on October 12 after demanding bribes from junior staffers.
“Action will be taken against a civil servant if he or she breaches the civil servant rules and regulations. Civil servants are not special privileged people. They will be [disciplined] if they violate regulations and ethics,” said U Tin Htoo, head of the Mon State’s Farmland Management Department, who also warned that members of the media could also come under the prosecutor’s scrutiny “if they violate media ethics”.
During a public meeting in June, Mon State Chief Minister U Aye Zan warned ward and village administrators and government officials not to abuse their positions of authority and threatened legal punishment for offenders.
But according to the Mon State Complaint and Appeal Letter Review and Assessment Committee, the majority of citizen complaints received by the state hluttaw this year are in regard to land disputes and administrators’ misconduct.
The committee received 900 complaints between March 2016 and July 2017, according to Mon News Agency, plus an additional 400 letters sent directly to state hluttaw speaker Daw Tin Ei.