Home Insider Interview with Hla Swe Owner of Bullet Magazine

Interview with Hla Swe Owner of Bullet Magazine

Name : Hla Swe

Position : Owner of Bullet Magazine


How many copies of the Journal do you sell per week?

Is it owned by the USDP at all? It is not owned by the USDP, it is owned by me. It is a secret. I think none of the publishers will tell you that. The journal has general coverage across Myanmar and can all be found in every part of the country.

Could you please explain to me three weak points of the NLD?

For this question, I would like to and can point out ten weak points. The first point is the National League for Democracy (NLD) becoming a ruling party.

The second point is the wrong appointments they made after they took power. The NLD appointed poorly educated people to head metropolitan cities like Yangon. The third point is that the NLD neglects the people. For example, the aim of Mayu FM is good but they did not let the public know or explain in advance. Now they are acting like ‘we are doing good deeds for people and people do not have any right to criticise us’. When I was working as a supervisor at the Wa region radio station I submitted a proposal which outlined how much money it will cost to build radio towers and to hire people who were graduates and could speak Wa language to Parliament. Out of respect, I let the Wa locals know what I was doing.

Apart from Bullet Journal, what kind of business are you involved in?

I am involved in farming produce such as beans, sesame and livestock. I do not have to buy anything except bacon and beef to eat. Last year, I earned around 3,000,000 Kyats. I raised my children very well. I don’t own a car. I come from a military family, my father was a captain. I have six siblings. I was born in Chauk but grew up and passed the matriculation exam in Kyaukse. I became a member the army. Then, I took another administrative role before being asked to stand for the USDP in Gangaw in the 2010 general election due to my good reputation. That’s how I became the parliamentry representative for Gangaw.

As a member of parliament, what three things are you most proud of doing?

I proposed to get permission to sell farmland, mortgage farmland and inherit farmland. In the past, that could not happen but I changed it. Another thing which I have done as a member of parliament is make the Myanmar military open for women and create job opportunities for women in the military. In foreign countries, women can work not only for the administration side but also fly fighter jets. In Myanmar, when women graduate, they work as teachers. If they don’t get a degree, they work as tobacconists. Nowadays, woman are keeping abreast with men. In foreign countries, many women have been trained as fighter pilots, not just working administration. I think Myanmar women are smart and qualified enough to become members of parliament.

The last point is mainly concerned with the national cease fire. Negotiation is important because fighting will not solve the problems this country has. We must negotiate and try to meet their different needs but we can only negotiate only when they want to. Giving the correct medicine to a patient is the most effective way to cure their disease. We must ask what they want and give it to them if we can. We must have a time frame and work collaboratively toward a peaceful country. We can’t say that can we open the door and come anytime we want. Both Under U Thein Sein’s administration and Aung San Suu Kyi’s, the government failed to give a timeline.

Apart from above three things which I have done, I tried my best to improve the constituency that elected me. I can’t build a bridge or a hospital using my own money. I am wearing a ring which only cost 20,000 Kyats. So, I asked for money to be allocated and tried to meet what my constituency needed. I have built a hospital, a school, a bridge and tried to have electricity put in. I lost the election because of the era.

Your replies to comments on Facebook are awesome. How do you get this sense of response on the spot? For example – son of whore.

First of all, I am a bookworm and love reading. I always observe my surroundings and have a strong memory. There is a bookshelf even in toilet at my home. I wrote my first novel, namely “the Elan of the Eagle” when I was a captain in 1986. Later, that novel was adapted into a television programme.

I listen all radio channels including the BBC, RFA and VOA. I worked as a supervisor at a radio station. So, it is part of my duties.

How can we solve the illegal Bengali or Rohingya problem?

We can’t kill them all. They do not want to stay there and also want to leave that place. Under different governments, they have been restricted to live at respective places or camps and they can’t come into Myanmar. They do not do anything for a living. Normally, they leave the country and work in developed Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates.

Thein Sein said “there are no Rohingya, only illegal Bengali”. If you want to live in Myanmar, only live at the restricted places. If any third countries will accept you, you can leave any time. They also leave country every day by boat but the population is still rising because of their rapid breeding. They even come to Kayin State through Thailand and there are lot of Muslim villages in Kayin State.

I heard that Saudi Arabia grants four year working visas to Rohingyas (around 400,000) . This is good for them. In the past, they only gave it for two years.

When General Win Myint became Chief Minister of Rakhine State, he make Myanmarisation. He said there were Muslims in Kyaukse. Muslims and Buddhists are living in harmony. Every Eid day, they celebrate it like Pagoda festival. They are educated people and do not get married and do not have many wives as well as children. So, education is the most important weapon. Women without education only rely on men. They will accept whatever men say without thinking. Educated women can think

He want to do same in Rakhine state. Bengali women quit school when they were in the fourth or fifth grade. Bengali women wear hijabs and quit school when their first period occurs. He made schooling compulsory until the end of middle school and banned the hijab.

At school, they can learn the school syllabus and they can attend first aid training and mid-wife training. He sent Muslim female doctors to Buthidaung. I think Islamification from the Middle East Region is real. I have lots of Muslim modern women friends. In the past, they did not wear the hijab but they do now.

What is your opinion of Thura Shwe Mann who recently teamed up with the NLD and became an informer?

I don’t have any respect toward not only Shwe Mann but also other ex-ministers such as Khing Maung Tin, Dr Tin Maung, former Brigadier-General Thura Aung Ko, Thein Swe or any commission members who collaborate with the NLD. I have never seen party switching even in foreign countries. Democratic is democratic. Republican is republican. Shame on them. You can only find this in Myanmar.

Moreover, they are not poor. I retired from the army at an early age. They should not change party easily. They might say they are with Myanmar people. If so, why don’t they share their property with people, even for half?

Currently, the Myanmar economy and FDI is not good. How can we boost the Myanmar economy?

Under Thein Sein’s administration, Myanmar was developing. Now, the whole development process has ground to a halt. As I mentioned above, I don’t like the NLD becoming the ruling party. It is first point when things started going wrong. The NLD administration is too weak.

They think George Soros is a big guy. Under Thein Sein’s administration, George Soros came two times to Myanmar. He asked the government to appoint Thaung Tun as National Security Adviser and Thein Sein denied it

Aung San Suu Kyi received George Soros unofficially between 8 pm to 10 pm at the Kempinski and then appointed Thaung Tun as National Security Adviser. The person who proposed that appointment is none other than George Soros. This is my opinion. We can think of the economy of Myanmar as slowing down. People have to spend their savings. The price of gold have risen from 5 lakhs to 8 lakhs. NLD lobbies said they are not stealing people’s money.

At first, the price of a bunch of watercress was 100 Kyats and now it is 300 Kyats. The people have to pay an extra 200 Kyats. For example, you save one lakh at bank and you lose money by exchanging money into dollar. It is all because of NLD. NLD do not know how to manage their administration. Bad administration systems lead to higher property prices and violent crime such as thefts, burglaries, robberies.

Under Thein Sein’s administration, after the establishment of Nay Pyi Taw, they created job opportunities for labourers and construction workers for border infrastructure. I know because I attend the meeting. They even discussed corn vendors who come from Tontay Township and said not to push vendors too far, to Maye,r because they make a living by selling things.

Now, people are suffering. Not only vendors but also high-rise construction workers. Now everything is plunged into utter chaos because of the lack of thinking. The persons who criticises have to stay behind the bar.