The newly-appointed Chairman of Parliamentary Bills Committee, Tun Tun Hein is one of National League of Democracy’s leaders. Also known as Tun Aung, he participated in the 1988 People’s Democratic Movement as chairman of the General Strike Management Committee in Naungcho Township. He was elected as an NLD member of parliament from Naungshio Township Constituency, Shan State. Reporter Tin Aung Khine discussed the plans he has for the committee and the NLD’s plans following the party’s victory in the November elections, including possible constitutional changes.
RFA: What do you plan to do as the Chairman of this Committee?
Tun Tun Hein: Since I learned that I would have a seat in the Parliament, I have thought of making amendments to obsolete laws that are not in line with the changing times; of bringing out new laws for the development of the country and also some changes to the Constitution.
RFA: Which one will be the hardest among the three tasks?
Tun Tun Hein: Our goal should not be just to pass new laws or make changes to old ones. It is imperative that we make laws which can be applied in reality, and that the people can abide by. That’s important, and it could be a challenge to pass such laws.
RFA: The NLD holds the majority in parliament. Do you think it would be easy to overcome the legal obstacles that stand in the way of a Constitutional change? And, what about the attitude of the military representatives?
Tun Tun Hein: We need cooperation in the Hluttaw from the military MPs, and only then will changes be possible.
RFA: People are talking about suspension of 59(F) of the Constitution. Do you think it is legally correct?
Tun Tun Hein: There is no such thing as ‘suspension’ in the charter, but there is a precedent in our history. It was done once with the 1947 Constitution, so we can refer to that as an example.
RFA: At that time, they made changes so (the late dictator) General Ne Win could become prime minister, but times are different now. How can you apply that as an example?
Tun Tun Hein: What I am saying is there is no clause in the 2008 Constitution about this, but there is a precedent. Right now, some say it’s possible to have a suspension of Article 59 (F) of the Constitution, and some said it isn’t. Now we are in a transition period, and our leaders are working with great care. I don’t want to comment on this.
RFA: Who will make the final decision?
Tun Tun Hein: It was the Parliament then. So I think it will now be the Pyithu Hlttaw.
Translated by Khin Maung Nyane.