#URGENT#MYANAMR #READ #fight #against #corruption #carried in The #Daily #Eleven
I wrote this article after hearing U Ye Htut’s answer given during the inauguration as the Union Minister for Ministry of Information in the parliament on September 22.
I would like to tell about the response of Ye Htut regarding the fight against corruption written by Ko Marn Thu Shein carried in The Daily Eleven newspaper issued on September 21. Such piece of our writing is not aimed at our personal feeling, but it spotlights bribery and corruption rising in the government. Despite the media is pointing out corruption, the government is turning a blind eye. The Speaker of Upper House pointed it out, yet in vain. Accordingly, the media is giving clear-cut expression to the readers—why are you smoke-screening! For whom or which organisation!
If truth be told, budget has been higher than the past and so has corruption in the reign of President Thein Sein. U Thein Sein is unable to fight against the rise of corruption at all. All pointed out, the main weakness of the President was that he failed to take action against corrupted ministers in his cabinet.
I have to write the article giving explanations as you supposes it as personal issue regarding the Eleven Media Group amidst such criticisms and writings.
I am a main middleman between the Eleven Media Group and you. We had mutual e-mail contacts for manuscripts. You might have had such e-mails. At that time, Ye Htut wrote articles as an author. If the manuscripts were in line with our principles, we accepted them and put them in our journals. If not so, as you know much, how we rejected your articles. Manuscript contacts started in 2009. There were no manuscript contacts for articles starting late March 2012 until now.
It is good the way you talk, but we do not suppose you directly mentioned to the EMG. We do not suppose that you speak on your own behalf. Instead, we suppose that you talk about that on behalf of the President and his government. The media and the people will have to keep an eye on whether the President, key ministers and governmental officials have corrupted practices. In the event of bribery and corruption, legal actions will be taken. We will not respond your remarks. We will be waiting and monitoring the situation because the results have not come out at present. On behalf of the President, the ministers and the government, you have taken up a challenge. For that reason, the media and the people will be monitoring the situation. Once we get a hold of detailed evidences, actions will follow to be taken either in the time of the current government or that of the next government.
The proposal on a four-colour 4 Hi bought by Information Ministry at $700,000 sent by Indian Company to Eleven Media Group.
Ye Htut’s reply caused the people to misunderstand about the shareholders of the Eleven Media Group. We must settle about that. He said that who owned the shares, how the media was standing despite it is publishing the dailies at a loss. Such style of speaking is very similar to the writing of Dr Seik Phwar. Talking to sue all the time is the same. U Ye Htut’s threat to sue all the time is just like Dr Seik Phwar who usually said he had the files of the Eleven Media Group and he would publicise these files one day. In addition to Dr Seik Phwar, if Ye Htut himself had such data and facts, publicise them.
Our type of share ownership is very simple. It already remains at Companies Registration Office and it is 6/26. Our shareholders are CEO Dr Than Htut Aung and his wife, U Mee Pwar, two chief editors and I totaling six members.
EMG’s proposal to buy 3 three 4-Hi presses and one Mono press.
(According to the proposal, the printing press bought by Information Ministry should be between $250,000 and $300,000.)
Ninety-seven percent shares belong to two of us. It is quite clear. We do not need to run our publications at a loss. No one’s money is used. No one can influence us. We make all decisions by ourselves. If any crony, military general or any authority says that they can bribe and influence either me or CEO Dr Than Htut Aung, anyone can come and ask us to be clear. We have no reason to publish at a loss. We paid over Ks 260 million ($260,000) in commercial tax and over Ks 210 million ($210,000) in income tax in the launch year of The Daily Eleven. If we had run loss, we would not have been able to pay that amount of tax. We have never obtained a penny from either local or foreign. If someone had paid us, please come and claim us at once. It does not need further explanation. I said so because Ye Htut talked in misleading ways. The propagandists under U Ye Htut always wrote in such ways. Don’t talk misleading things. If someone ever paid us, come and claim. We do not have any illegal shareholders.
If Ye Htut does not want to declare his assets publicly, he can do it privately among ministers. I have only one request. Mention 5-year tax payment of Ye Htut’s friends Win Maw from Forever and Kyaw Win from Shwe Thanlwin. We can discuss it. We will compare their 5-year tax payment with ours. Their income is 10 times larger than ours. I just want to say it and nothing more. As Ye Htut says he wants to sue for the report on the information ministry’s purchase of printing presses, I want to talk something about it. Only after reading my explanation, Ye Htut, the President and the Attorney-General Office should carefully arrange the lawsuit. We have solid evidence.
First, as we have mentioned, we have the price list of those printing presses. Most people knew about the story. The government bought a 4 Hi Tower 4 Unit printing press at $700,000 from The Printers House. Tenders were invited for the purchase at the time Ye Htut was serving as the deputy minister. Such presses cost $700,000. The Ministry of Information said they bought a two-colour printing press at about $400,000 and a four-colour printing press at about $700,000. From the same company, we received offer for three 4-Hi presses and one Mono press at $895,000. When we asked for discount, they replied they could reduce the price up to $800,000. If we will buy only a press, it will cost below $300,000. It means the company offered at $300,000 for the four-colour press that they paid $700,000. We wrote that such difference is the loss for the country and Ye Htut said we would be sued on libel for defaming the ministry.
In fact, it is not defamation. The loss of state revenue is worse than damaged reputation of Ye Htut. It is really bad to waste the public hard-earned money.
First, if Ye Htut will point it out, he cannot say it is a different kind of press. The same company made offer to us. It mentioned detailed specification of all the presses. We can know it if we check the presses.
Secondly, there is no advanced payment as The Printers House does not ask for it. If a foreign buyer comes, the company sells by L/C or by credit.
Thirdly, some gave the excuse that high cost was because of necessary training. We hired a technician and trained our staff for six months. It cost only less than $10,000 totally. The main point is that Ye Htut’s ministry bought the presses at high prices. If one buys something, will he or she pay for it at unreasonable price? Our country’s revenue was misused. It is obviously unfair. It is quite clear.
Therefore, the government may sue us only after they clarified the issue. The anti-corruption commission didn’t settle even one of our complaints. Where does U Ye Htut think justice is? Only after the Ministry of Home Affairs and Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI) made an inquiry into why they bought the printing press with $700,000, government may do what they need to do. If we are wrong, we will accept the punishment.
The Eleven Media Group is pointing out one point to another that the country becomes gradually poor because of lack of management, failure to fight corruption and indecisions of the President. The printing press is one of the examples. The future of the country and youths is more important than the dignity of the Minister of Information, government and president and it is concerned with ethic of a country.
We are asking questions to the dignity and morals of the president and Ye Htut by asking for transparency concerned with investigation before we have been sued. Life is short. One may live comfortably just a moment or throughout the life. The ones who are making unfairness to others will not live peacefully any longer in the cycle of rebirths.