Burmese Opposition NLD and Policy Blackhole
A little over 8 months ago, the Burmese opposition party NLD had entered Pyithu Hluttaw (The People's Parliament). The total number of elected NLD members of parliament has still been small to affect a real change, of course, in the military dominated Parliament. Nevertheless, this signals to the outside world, as well as the people inside Burma, that the Burmese opposition NLD will work, albeit cautiously, with the present military government of Burma (Myanmar) for greater reforms.
Although few might have disagreed, I think there is nothing wrong with this compromised NLD's position. However, after observing the outcomes of this NLD participation, I now have few concerns about the Burmese opposition's capacity. In particular, I am worried about the lack of political policy in dealing with various things. For example:
1. What to do with the ethnic minority reconciliation? I means, there are various insurgencies by minority groups. What NLD would do if they were in the position of a government? It is not sufficient to simply states 'we (NLD) would initiate a 2nd Pinlong Conference' or any vague promises like that. There needs to be a concrete policy and plans to end this insurgency and move forwards to redress ethnic grievances. Currently, the NLD looks like going all the ways with Burmese military on this ethnic insurgency issues.
2. One special case like Rohingya's in Arakan; what would NLD do if they were in power? There is not a slight hint of NLD would be any different from the Burmese military in dealing with these very vulnerable community -- and that is disappointing.
3. Very import issue of combating corruptions in Burma; is there any plans or policy? It is plain fact that if NLD were to be elected today and becomes a government, there will still be corruptions in various levels of government tomorrow. People in government positions who are corrupt would still go on with their foul deeds. How would the NLD give a remedy, or at least prepare to give any remedy, to this situation?
4. What would be the NLD's considered position of foreign investment, environmental protection, taxation etc...?
I think the Burmese, outside and inside, are just expecting Aung San Suu Kyi to deliver everything; and that is quite natural. But in realty, there has to be NLD MPs and their support team should have formulate these policies.
A democratic government or a party cannot operate without political policy. Furthermore, various entities, such as United Nations or foreign governments, will 'LOOKS DOWN AS INCOMPETENCE' if the Burmese opposition doesn't have any political policy on issues.
Of course, there is no such thing as 'perfect' policy. But as one famous quote goes, to have 'one stupid policy is better than no policy'. Political policies, of course, always have to be revise and amended in practice but you have to have a starting point.
I would repeat again, don't expect everything from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to deliver. The grassroots and all political actors must promote those policies.
With best regards, U Ne Oo.