August 5th, 2012 by Teresa Kok's Office
After lunch, we went to Naypyitaw, the newly built administration city of Burma, like Canberra in Australia and Putrajaya in Malaysia.
The distance between Naypyitaw and Rangoon is 250 miles. It is soooo far. It took us 5 hours to reach Naypyitaw City.
I remember when Dr Mahathir built Putrajaya and put KLIA so far away from Kuala Lumpur, we Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur have been complaining about it’s distance from Kuala Lumpur as it has caused so much inconveniences to the people who want to go to government departments in Putrajaya.
However, when we traveled to Naypyitaw, we were even more shocked to see that the distance between Rangoon and Naypyitaw is like from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar. It just doesn’t make sense for a poor country to build the administration city so far away from the capital city. There is no development along the way to Naypyitaw except paddy fields and idle land. Why does the government want people who want to seek assistance from government to travel so many hours from Rangoon to Naypyitaw?
In Naypyitaw, I asked the tour guide whether the civil servants who work there stay at Naypyitaw, he said no. He said the government did not build houses for them and these civil servants have to stay at houses which are one hour away from their work place. They have to travel to and fro with public transport. What type of planning is this? Sad!
Photo: We had dinner together with ethnic nationality Members of Parliament on the first night we reached Naypyitaw
On that night, we met with the ethnic nationality MPs. They came with their traditional costumes. They told us that they came from all parts of the country, some from Shan state, some from Mon area. Some of them don’t understand English, so our tour guide Phoenix became the interpreter.
At the end of the dinner, I asked them a question, i.e. what is their relationship with the military junta and Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD MPs, can they work together or do they argue and fight in Parliament like what we do in Malaysia? To my surprise, these ethnic nationality MPs said they have cordial relationship with the military, normally the military junta will listen to their views in the Parliament and they don’t quarrel in the Parliament. One of them said, the President of Burma told them that the change in Burma now is irreversible, and they believe that.
They said they welcome Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD to come to Parliament, but they don’t have any working relationship at this stage yet because they just sworn in to Parliament for the first time.
After they left, we then wonder, how come MPs of ruling and opposition parties don’t argue and fight in the Parliament? And they seem having good relationship with the military junta. What sort of meeting they have in the Burmese Parliament?
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