Move to nominate top military commander a first for govt
Myanmar President Thein Sein on Wednesday appointed Defence Services air chief Myat Hein as the minister of communications and information technology.
The appointment was announced after approval by parliament a day earlier. Parliament also gave the nod to Lt-General Thet Naing Win as minister for border affairs.
The approval was granted through votes during a session of the Union Assembly, without objections.
President Thein Sein sent a memorandum to the Assembly on February 5 proposing that the incumbent commander-in-chief (air) be appointed the minister for communications and information technology.
Minister for Border Affairs Lt-General Thein Htay had been proposed to be shifted back to military ranking with Lt-General Thet Naing Win from the office of the commander-in-chief (army) replacing him.
General Myat Hein was born in Bago region on April 27, 1955. He got a Bachelor’s in Science from the Defence Services Academy and an MA (defence). He had served as commander-in-chief (air) since 2001 in the time of the former military regime.
Lt-General Thet Naing Win was born in Maubin, Ayeyawady region, on July 22, 1955. He got a BSc (chemistry) and an MA (defence). He served as commander of the Southeast Command from 2006 to 2010. He also served as chief of bureau of special operation-4.
The unexpected proposal to shift a high-profile air chief with the rank of General to a ministerial post is a first for the new government.
The minister for communications post fell vacant when Minister Thein Tun was permitted to resign on January 16.
If high-ranking military officials should be appointed as union ministers for other ministries, the president must consult the commander-in-chief of defence services, according to the 2008 Constitution.
The president had permitted Minister for Religious Affairs Thura Myint Maung to resign on January 16 and replaced him with Hsan Hsint, who is chairman of Ayeyawady Region Parliament on February 5.
According to the organisational set-up of the new union government, there are 36 ministers. Out of them, 24 are former top military officials such as generals, lieutenant-generals, major-generals and colonels.