Tackling Myanmar’s Corruption Challenge
Khaing Sape Saw
Corruption is widespread in Myanmar, and this has significant negative effects on the country’s economic development. In response, President U Thein Sein has made fighting corruption a priority. However, despite Myanmar’s gradual improvement in corruption perceptions’ rankings, it still ranks as one of the most corrupt ASEAN countries. Although progress in combating corruption has been made in some areas, there is much still to be done. This piece identifies the key corruption issues still facing Myanmar, and lays out recommendations to strengthen the efforts to tackle them. These include stricter oversight of bureaucrats’ discretionary powers and the removal of restrictive economic measures such as price controls in order to discourage black market activity. Finally, improving basic education about corruption can help raise awareness and serve to dislodge deeply embedded notions that corruption, gift giving etc. are just a normal part of getting things done in Myanmar.