New Delhi (Mizzima) – To stop the flow of people seeking jobs outside of Mon State, the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP) has called on the state government to focus more on creating jobs.
Mons, perhaps several hundred thousand, have migrated to neighbouring countries, especially Thailand, to find work, say sources close to the issue.
“Even rubber plantations in Mon State cannot create enough jobs’, said AMRDP chairman Nai Ngwe Thein. ‘In Mon State, there are only a few factories and they don’t create many jobs. For young people, it’s easy to find work in neighbouring countries, leaving elders and children here’. He said even young people who have not finished high school can easily find work out of the country.
There are an estimated 400,000 Mon migrant workers in Thailand and Malaysia, mostly employed in factories, said sources familiar with the exodus. The population of Mon State is about 8 million.
Even many rubber plantation workers have moved to rubber plantations in Thailand, where they can earn more money, according to Mi Yai Marok, an editor of the Thai-based Independent Mon News Agency.
‘Mostly, they move to Thailand because Mon State and Thailand share a border’, he said.
Nai Ngwe Thein said that the state government must also solve the problem of the Burmese military confiscating rubber plantations. ‘If the government can solve that, it will reduce problems for the people’, he said.
The chief minister of state government is former Brigadier General Ohn Myint. He has appointed nine state ministers including two ministers from the AMRDP: Social Welfare and Culture Minister Dr. Min Nwe Soe from Mudon Constituency No. 2 and Energy and Electric Power Minister Nai Lawi Aung (aka) Nai Myint Swe from Yay Constituency No. 1.
Nai Ngwe Thein said that although Mon were included in the state government, they are obliged to follow the policy of the ruling party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which has great influence in Parliament. Mon state ministers will have a difficult time achieving their goals, he said.
‘People still expect us to work for them’, he said. ‘But it’s not easy to gain their trust. If we don’t want to communicate with the grassroots, we can’t get their trust’.
From a total of 31 parliamentary seats representing Mon State, 14 MPs are from the USDP, seven are from the AMRDP, two are from the National Unity Party (NUP) and eight are military-appointed representatives.
Mon State Ministers:
1. Colonel Htay Myint Aung (military appointed representative), Border Affairs
2. Dr. Khin Maung Thwin (USDP), Commerce
3. Dr. Toe Toe Aung (USDP), Industry
4. Dr. Hla Oo (USDP), Education, Health
5. Myo Nyunt (USDP), Agriculture, Livestock
6. Win Maw Oo (USDP), Forestry
7. Tun Hlaing (NUP), Religious Affairs, Labour
8. Nai Lawi Aung (aka) Naing Myint Swe (AMRDP), Energy, Electric Power
9. Min Nwe Soe (AMRDP), Social Welfare, Culture