The characteristics of a good government free of corruption, which we should aim for our future Secular Democratic Federal Union Burma, are —

Political, Civil, Human Rights & Economic Reform, including though not limited to:

  1. Freedom of speech.

  2. Freedom of association.

  3. True, full democracy.

  4. Separation of Powers between Government, Judiciary, Police & Military. Independent, competitive non-government media, free from government censorship or editorial restrictions.

  5. Full freedom of religious-thought, belief, expression & practice, including abolition of Government controls of religious affairs.

  6. The right of self-determination.

  7. The Rule of Law;

  8. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty; Trial by jury of peers; The right to a fair trial with appeal rights; The right to adequate & independent legal representation

  9. Non-discrimination by Governments, individuals or organizations on the basis of race, nationality, colour, religion, gender, marital status, political belief or affiliation, physical or mental disability.

  10. Various Religious & Political organizations must be permitted.

The features of a bad government, we should avoid:

  1. Totalitarian & Authoritarian Regimes, whether socialist, communist, fascist, autocratic nationalist, or so called limited democratic but otherwise less than fully, truly and fairly democratic.

  2. Political corruption, cronyism & nepotism.

  3. The abuse, misuse or denial of fundamental human, civil & political rights of all or some of the people, including minority races and religious groups.

  4. Government protection of monopolistic industries or cartel or other anti-competitive practices, whether by Government or the private sector.

  5. Intervention in free market economics, other than for the purposes of anti-trust, consumer protection, or public health & safety.

  6. Military involvement in internal civilian affairs.

  7. Government confiscation of private assets without fair market price compensation.

  8. Denial of the right to private property ownership (including the full ownership rights to buy, sell, or otherwise deal with their assets) for lawful purposes.

  9. Lack of translucency in government decisions.

  10. There must be antitrust legislature to control the monopoly in each and every field.

We have to look, monitor and record at the – 

Distribution of wealth and opportunity among the different groups depending on race, religion and political alignment.

Political patronage- awarding government contracts, appointments, promotions, scholarships, land distributions, permits etc.

  • ‘Who get what’ policy.

  • Rural development. Urbanization, squatter relocation and settlements.

  • Basic infra-structure facilities, water, electricity, highways, telephone, multimedia facilities, railways, seaports and etc.

Buddha had reminded all of us: “The one who commits makes new, and the one who suffers is the old!”

All of us know the meaning. In the circle of life, Samsara, if someone commits something, he is triggering the start of a new circle to pay back his sin. And if someone is suffering now, we Buddhists believe that he is paying back his sins from the past.

Almost all of the Buddhists know that Siddhartha (563 to 483 BC) enlightened and became Lord Gautama Buddha only after he left his prince-hood, legally giving up the chance of becoming a king. During the struggling period of reincarnations to become Gautama Buddha, he had refused and tried to avoid becoming the ruler, or abdicate few times to search for enlightenment. Once Prince Tay Mi (future Buddha) even pretended as a deaf and dumb for the whole life, just to avoid ascending the throne. He was scared that if he became a king, he had to give judgments. And if he convicted the innocent person wrongly he would be committing a sin. So he tried his best to avoid becoming a king.

I hope we all know that if they could not even follow the Five Precepts of Buddhism, which must be followed by all the Buddhists, our moral values are very low.

These are avoiding _

  1. Homicide,

  2. Theft,

  3. Adultery,

  4. Consuming liquor and intoxicants and

  5. Telling lies.

To become a good Government with good and sound moral values we must rule the country with:

  1. Garu Nar          = sympathy,

  2. Myitta              = pure cool love (e.g. love between brothers, sisters and friend).

  3. Sae Ta Nar      = with good and right intention.

  4. Mu Di Tar        = Sympathetic joy. Joy because of others’ success.

  5. Theik Khar       = practice of moral uprightness.

  6. Tha Mar Di      = Integrity, fairness of mind and attitude.

  7. Thama Seitta   = Fair mindedness.

  8. Thama Thamat= fairness, justice.

  9. Thadi                = Mindfulness, attentiveness.

  10. Trustworthiness,

  11. Responsibility,

  12. Decisiveness,

  13. Honesty, Forgiveness, Sincerity, Goodwill, Harmlessness, Justice, Fairness, Considerate, Faithful,

  14. Consultation and acceptance of advice and criticism from every person.

  15. Avoidance of fear and favouritism in dealing with others,

  16. loyalty to the country and nation.

  17. Self Discipline.

  18. Commitment to serve the people.

  19. Ultimate good of brotherhood.

Good Governments must always try to clean off the following Impurities:

  1. Law Ba      = Greed.

  2. Daw Tha   = Anger.

  3. Marna       = Aggressiveness.

  4. Mar Na     = Pride.

  5. Maw Ha    = Ignorance.

  6. Alo Yamet = Excessive desires for food, pleasure and sex

  7. And others such as: Revenge, Hatred, Deceit, Aggressiveness, Jealousy, Corruption, Favoritism, Inconsiderate etc.

Taken from the IMF site_

Good governance is important for countries at all stages of development. . . .

Our approach is to concentrate on those aspects of good governance that are most closely related to our surveillance over macroeconomic policies—namely,

  • the transparency of government accounts,
  • the effectiveness of public resource management,
  • and the stability
  • and transparency of the economic and regulatory environment for private sector activity.

Michel Camdessus
Address to the United Nations
Economic and Social Council
July 2, 1997

The International Monetary Fund has long provided advice and technical assistance that has helped to foster good governance, such as

  • promoting public sector transparency

  • and accountability.

Traditionally the IMF’s main focus has been on encouraging countries

  • to correct macroeconomic imbalances,

  • reduce inflation,

  • and undertake key trade,

  • exchange,

  • and other market reforms needed to improve efficiency and support sustained economic growth.

While these remain its first order of business in all its member countries, increasingly the IMF has found that_

  • a much broader range of institutional reforms is needed
  • if countries are to establish and maintain private sector confidence
  • and thereby lay the basis for sustained growth.

The IMF’s Interim Committee at its meeting in Washington on September 29, 1996, identified_

  • “promoting good governance in all its aspects,
  • including ensuring the rule of law,
  • improving the efficiency
  • and accountability of the public sector,
  • and tackling corruption”

as an essential element of a framework within which economies can prosper.

Greater attention to governance issues could make to macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth.

A more proactive approach in advocating policies and the development of institutions and administrative systems that_

  • eliminate the opportunity for bribery,
  • corruption,
  • and fraudulent activity in the management of public resources;

The importance of good governance for economic efficiency and growth.
Greater attention to governance issues could make to macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth in member countries.

The IMF contributes to promoting good governance in member countries through different channels.

First, in its policy advice, the IMF has assisted its member countries in creating systems that_

  1. limit the scope for ad hoc decision making,
  2. for rent seeking,
  3. and for undesirable preferential treatment of individuals or organizations.

To this end, the IMF has encouraged_

  • liberalization of the exchange,
  • trade,
  • and price systems,
  • and the elimination of direct credit allocation.

Member countries in enhancing their capacity to_

  • design and implement economic policies,
  • in building effective policymaking institutions,
  • and in improving public sector accountability.

Third, the IMF has promoted_

  • transparency in financial transactions in the government budget,
  • central bank,
  • and the public sector more generally,
  • and has provided assistance to improve accounting,
  • auditing,
  • and statistical systems.

In all these ways, the IMF has helped countries_

  • to improve governance,
  • to limit the opportunity for corruption,
  • and to increase the likelihood of exposing instances of poor governance.

In addition, the IMF has addressed_

  1. specific issues of poor governance,
  2. including corruption,
  3. when they have been judged to have a significant macroeconomic impact.

A more proactive approach in advocating policies and the development of institutions and administrative systems that aim to

  1. eliminate the opportunity for rent seeking,
  2. corruption,
  3. and fraudulent activity;
  4. an evenhanded treatment of governance issues in all member countries; and
  5. enhanced collaboration with other multilateral institutions, in particular the World Bank, to make better use of complementary areas of expertise.
  6. improving the management of public resources through reforms covering public sector institutions
    • e.g., the treasury,
    • central bank,
    • public enterprises,
    • civil service,
    • and the official statistics function,
    • including dministrative procedures (e.g., expenditure control, budget management, and revenue collection); and
  7. supporting the development and maintenance of a transparent and stable economic and regulatory environment conducive to_
    • efficient private sector activities
    • e.g., price systems,
    • exchange
    • and trade regimes,
    • and banking systems
    • and their related regulations.

 Bo Aung Din