Mawlamyine, 2 September
Brokers dominate the junta’s departmental offices that serviced the people in Mon State and demands exorbitant amount of money for more than two and a half years, locals told Than Lwin Times.
Since the coup, the staff of the Immigration Department, the Department of Transportation, the passport issuing department, and the majority of other departments were unwilling to provide direct service to the public but instead worked through brokers.
Residents said that if people go to these departments to do paperwork, they have to wait for a long time, and the staff delay the office procedures that were previously completed within a day, wasting time and money and making people tired.
However, if the people do the paperwork with the help of brokers who are close to the department, there is no need to wait for long, and the work is done quickly, but they ask for exorbitant amount of money.
A local resident said, “I had to pay around 700,000 Kyats for a National Registration Card. If you do it with a broker, it will take a month at most. If you do it yourself, it will take about two or three months. The staff seem reluctant to do it”.
Furthermore, he claimed, there is a high level of bribery within the department since department officials prioritize cases brought by brokers.
Following the coup, people had to register and apply for passports to work in other countries due to livelihood and job difficulties, and on top of this, departmental staff cooperated with brokers to use office services as a market.
A source said, “If you apply for a passport, it will only cost more than K 30,000, but you will have to wait about three months for the booking. If you work with the help of a broker, the work will be done within 10 days, costing only more than 400,000 kyats without the need for a booking.
However, the military council is not able to control it, and since there is no longer any action against corruption like before, the brokers have come back to dominate the departments.
The military leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, warned at the meeting held on August 30 that the department staff must understand the laws, rules, and procedures professionally, be orderly in their operations, and serve the country willingly, but the reality is different.
According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, published in 2022, Myanmar ranked 157th out of 180 nations that surveyed corruption around the world.
News-Than Lwin Times