President Thein Sein has urged the anti-corruption commission to act freely in accordance with law during a meeting with ministers and deputy ministers at the presidential palace in Nay Pyi Taw on June 11.

The president called for a clean government and administration, congratulating some departments for improving and reprimanding others for being stuck in their old ways. He encouraged the use of rewards and punishments and said that the government will carry out a survey to assess the capacity needs of civil servants.

“Especially in places like ports, jetties, airports and city development projects, departments have to abandon the unwanted ways. The ministers and deputy ministers need to take care of these departments to gain people’s trust and to increase better services,” said the President.

He urged those responsible in the commission to work freely to investigate cases of corruption as the duty has bestowed upon them according to the law.

The 15 member anti-corruption commission was set up by the president on February 25, 2014 and is run by former public officials and military personnel leading many in the public to regard it as a toothless body.

There has been no discussion with the press on their anti-corruption efforts so far. According to Transparency International’s 2013 report, Myanmar stands 157 in the 177 countries in terms of corruption.

The president also called on reducing the red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy to encourage small and medium enterprises as well as more trade and investment.

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