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Suu Kyi Postponed Indonesia Visit State

Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi postponed her planned visit to Indonesia due to the fierce protests over the Bengali crisis in Rakhine state, western Myanmar. Just prior to the postponement, the Indonesian police thwarted a plot to bomb Myanmar embassy in Indonesian capital Jakarta. Suu Kyi left for Singapore on November 30 for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The visit coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Myanmar and Singapore. In addition to meeting with Lee Hsien Loong, Suu Kyi will also meet with Singapore’s acting president J Y Pillay. The Singaporean PM visited Myanmar in June and met with Myanmar top leaders for multi-sectoral bilateral discussions. Currently Singapore is the second largest foreign investor in Myanmar after China. The trip was Suu Kyi’s first visit to Singapore since she came into power in April.

NLD Announces Candidates for By-Elections

The National League for Democracy (NLD) party announced the names of its candidates to run for upcoming by-elections, to be held in April 2017. There are a total of 19 vacant seats in the union and regional legislatures. The NLD will compete in all the available seats.

NLD MPs Released from Parliamentary Committee Posts

A group of NLD legislators were discharged from their duties in Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives) committees in the last week of November. Bill Committee member Nyan Linn, Chairman Sein Win and Dr. Soe Moe Thu from the Farmer and Labour Affairs Committee, Secretary Dr. Aung Khin of the Health and Sports Development Committee and Aung Hlaig Win, Economic and Financial Development Committee member were removed from their posts.

Deputy Minister Fired

Dr. Tun Win, the deputy minister for agriculture, livestock and irrigation was released from his post by President Htin Kyaw. An order statement was released by the President on November 18 announcing Dr. Tun Win was removed from his role.

Although the reason behind the removal was not publicized, Dr. Tun Win said he was reasonably certain that arguments he had with his superior officer Union Minister Dr. Aung Thu in recent months to be the reason. The President’s Office refused to comment on the matter. This was the first time a government minister was discharged from his duty under the current administration.

CCTVs to be Installed across Mandalay

Over 120 new closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) are going to be installed in the city of Mandalay. It aims to prevent crime, promote public safety and help investigation of criminal cases in the region.

40 CCTVs have already been installed at 20 locations in downtown Mandalay region with the aid from China. The detail date and locations of installation have not yet been finalized for this government’s program. New scheme for over 120 new CCTVs have been submitted to the region’s chief minister. The new plan will cover 56 strategic locations along main roads and the byways.

A police officer from Mandalay region police station said “Police have made several successful investigations in traffic accident cases”. He also added “The authorities monitored Mandalay with the help of CCTVs at the police command Centre (PCC) 24 hours a day”.

Myanmar Hopes to Overtake Singapore’s Economy in Two Decades

Aung San Suu Kyi on November 30 said her country hopes to overtake Singapore’s economy in 20 years’ time and she is hoping that Singapore will lend a helping hand. “When Singapore gained its independence, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said that in 20 years’ time, Singapore would have caught up with Burma. I think we have to change that a bit and say – in 20 years’ time, Myanmar will have overtaken Singapore.” The foreign minister also emphasised that she hoped investments from Singapore can create job opportunities for Myanmar nationals. Suu Kyi was in Singapore for a three-day official visit.