In a letter to Parliament, Burmese President Thein Sein has said he wants to scrap a ministry formed near the end of the previous military regime, saying that it’s no longer needed.
He called for eliminating the Ministry of Myanmar Industrial Development, following a Cabinet reshuffle last week that is seen as a move to consolidate his political ideology within the newly created government.
The ministry, created a month before the military junta that ruled Burma for decades stepped down, was never allocated a budget under Thein Sein’s new, nominally civilian government, said Radio Free Asia in an article last week.
The ministry is headed by Thein Htay, a retired general who is also Minister of Border Affairs and served under the military junta as deputy minister of defense and chief of defense industries.
The ministry is one of several that are no longer needed, said Rakhine Nationalities Development Party lawmaker Aye Maung.
“The ministry asked for funds from parliament and the MPs didn’t agree to it because this ministry is unnecessary,” he was quoted as saying by Radio Free Asia.
“There are too many ministries that are not necessary,” he said, adding that, for example, the Ministry of Science could be combined with the Ministry of Education.
“The Ministry of Cooperatives is something that exists only in socialist countries and so it’s also not necessary,” he said.
Aye Maung suggested that appointing ministers from opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party would help in the current transition period and as foreign governments move toward removing sanctions imposed against the former military regime.
“Now there are a lot of vacancies for ministers. The NLD MPs should be appointed to those posts because it will help smooth the removal of sanctions,” he said.