The First of Many Town Halls
June 29, 2018
Last Saturday we held our first NYDC town hall meeting. More than 600 attendees and close to 1,000 viewers joining us via Facebook Live, and there were nearly 25,000 views after the event. It is heartwarming to see the level of interest and the desire of the public to want to have a more in-depth understanding of the New Yangon City project.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our three panelists for taking the time to join us; U Khine Win, the Founder of Sandhi Governance Institute, U Ye Myat Thu, a member of the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) and a founder of Alpha Computer Mandalay, and U Zaya Thu, the Managing Director and Deputy Chief Editor of The Voice Journal.
I appreciate their candid contribution to the discussion and meaningful perspective. Thank you to our moderator as well, U Aung Chit Khin, for holding the discussion together and keeping us all on track with minimum deviation. We touched on three key topics in slightly under three hours: (1) whether the government should be in business; (2) the NYDC challenge and role of CCCC; (3) equity vs debt financing.
The NYDC team has already commenced flood risk assessments on the side and a Socio-Economic Master Plan (SEMP) for New Yangon City which we will be ready to share with the public in July. We have also recently advertised an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Master Planning Service, Environmental Impact Assessment, Traffic Impact Assessment, and Quantity Surveying Service.
This town hall has given me the opportunity to learn and understand some of the public’s concerns and opinions of the project. A key public concern is how the existing Yangon will be affected by the establishment of the New Yangon City, and I would like to reiterate is that the new development is not in any way to replace Yangon city. Our mission is to create two million jobs, and whatever we do is to support this plan. It’s not about whether it’s New Yangon or Old Yangon. The development of the New Yangon City will benefit Yangon city and will provide business and job opportunities in the new development.
Over the next few blogs, I will elaborate further on some of the topics discussed. Some members of the public feel that these town halls are simply “propaganda” and a “public relations” effort. We are of the opinion that regarding matters of importance to the public, we believe that good policy requires input from all sides, and open discussions on the problems we face will enable us as a nation to find real solutions. Whether it’s town halls, or through our websitewww.nydc.com.mmor our Facebook page @NYDCMyanmar, these are all platforms we use to help the various stakeholders of this project, including the public, to understand the project better.
We will be organising more town halls in the coming weeks. Some will be more technical and will focus on the engineering and town planning aspects of the project. I look forward to the continued participation of the public. My commitment to the people of Myanmar is that I will manage and watch over NYDC without corruption and graft till the end of my service. We are in the business of attracting international investments into Myanmar to create two million jobs. I intend to see it through and to continuously engage with the public.