Ratings for Suu Kyi’s new Myanmar government not very flattering

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Satisfaction among Myanmar residents over the performance of the post-military government of former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy is significantly lower compared to the previous era of reformist President Thein Sein, a new survey shows.

Myanmar Survey Research under the auspices of US-based International Republican Institute carried out a survey among some 3,000 Myanmar residents in 15 different regions and states about their thoughts on the political and economic direction Myanmar is taking.

The survey, conducted in March this year, came after Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi started to be increasingly criticised for not being as liberal as she used to paint herself in earlier years, ignoring state violence against ethnic minorities and Muslims, continuing to jail journalists and activists, picking an incompetent cabinet, cowing to Myanmar’s still-powerful generals and failing to nurture democratic leaders and personalities who could succeed her and lead the country out of the still prevailing grip of the army..

The survey’s findings, released on August 22 in Yangon, were quite revealing in a sense that her backing among Myanmar residents seems to be fading.

For instance, just 75 per cent in the poll said they felt that the country was headed in the right direction. This is down from 88 per cent of respondents in a poll conducted in 2014 under then-president Thein Sein.

Only 53 per cent in the 2017 survey said that the economic situation was “somewhat good,” versus 73 per cent three years ago. Most respondents urged the government to put the economy at the top of the agenda in order to improve livelihoods in the still impoverished country, but in fact GDP growth has slowed and foreign investment dropped since the National League for Democracy took over in 2015

Overall, asked if the current Myanmar government under Suu Kyi was doing a “good job,” just 58 per cent said yes. That number dipped from 69 per cent three years ago.

Analysts say that the reason for the obvious disappointment is that Suu Kyi’s landslide election win in 2015 raised unrealistic hopes that Myanmar would improve rapidly now that she was at the helm. More than a year later, reality may have settled in.

Adding to that, the influential military retains significant levels of ministerial and parliamentary control through the constitution.

Suu Kyi’s most outspoken critics say that since her grip of power she was increasingly lacking moral courage in addressing human rights and the ability to tackle other problems outside the power grid of the military, such as the economy.

A widespread view is that she is unable to push her democratic agenda because the military retains its grip on three key ministries controlling law enforcement, local administration and embattled frontier areas as well as a mandated 25 per cent of seats in parliament.

Others conclude that her personality has changed. While she espoused democracy with passion in her opposition role, she revealed her authoritarian streak which emerged once she gained power and transformed into a imperious figure with a soft spot for the military, a trait she herself has often said she inherited from her father, General Aung San, a military hero who fought for then-Burma’s independence from Britain.

Observers warn that her leading style could provoke further dissatisfaction and erode trust in her government and, in addition, owing to the fact that she so far failed to build up political leader figures in her party but rather surrounded herself with “yes men,” create a power vacuum that could be filled by the military again in the 2020 elections.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Satisfaction among Myanmar residents over the performance of the post-military government of former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy is significantly lower compared to the previous era of reformist President Thein Sein, a new survey shows.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Satisfaction among Myanmar residents over the performance of the post-military government of former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy is significantly lower compared to the previous era of reformist President Thein Sein, a new survey shows.

Myanmar Survey Research under the auspices of US-based International Republican Institute carried out a survey among some 3,000 Myanmar residents in 15 different regions and states about their thoughts on the political and economic direction Myanmar is taking.

The survey, conducted in March this year, came after Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi started to be increasingly criticised for not being as liberal as she used to paint herself in earlier years, ignoring state violence against ethnic minorities and Muslims, continuing to jail journalists and activists, picking an incompetent cabinet, cowing to Myanmar’s still-powerful generals and failing to nurture democratic leaders and personalities who could succeed her and lead the country out of the still prevailing grip of the army..

The survey’s findings, released on August 22 in Yangon, were quite revealing in a sense that her backing among Myanmar residents seems to be fading.

For instance, just 75 per cent in the poll said they felt that the country was headed in the right direction. This is down from 88 per cent of respondents in a poll conducted in 2014 under then-president Thein Sein.

Only 53 per cent in the 2017 survey said that the economic situation was “somewhat good,” versus 73 per cent three years ago. Most respondents urged the government to put the economy at the top of the agenda in order to improve livelihoods in the still impoverished country, but in fact GDP growth has slowed and foreign investment dropped since the National League for Democracy took over in 2015

Overall, asked if the current Myanmar government under Suu Kyi was doing a “good job,” just 58 per cent said yes. That number dipped from 69 per cent three years ago.

Analysts say that the reason for the obvious disappointment is that Suu Kyi’s landslide election win in 2015 raised unrealistic hopes that Myanmar would improve rapidly now that she was at the helm. More than a year later, reality may have settled in.

Adding to that, the influential military retains significant levels of ministerial and parliamentary control through the constitution.

Suu Kyi’s most outspoken critics say that since her grip of power she was increasingly lacking moral courage in addressing human rights and the ability to tackle other problems outside the power grid of the military, such as the economy.

A widespread view is that she is unable to push her democratic agenda because the military retains its grip on three key ministries controlling law enforcement, local administration and embattled frontier areas as well as a mandated 25 per cent of seats in parliament.

Others conclude that her personality has changed. While she espoused democracy with passion in her opposition role, she revealed her authoritarian streak which emerged once she gained power and transformed into a imperious figure with a soft spot for the military, a trait she herself has often said she inherited from her father, General Aung San, a military hero who fought for then-Burma’s independence from Britain.

Observers warn that her leading style could provoke further dissatisfaction and erode trust in her government and, in addition, owing to the fact that she so far failed to build up political leader figures in her party but rather surrounded herself with “yes men,” create a power vacuum that could be filled by the military again in the 2020 elections.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid