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Parliament lends support to controversial Rangoon development

An overpass construction at Rangoon's Hledan Junction. (Photo: DVB)

The Rangoon Division parliament has passed a resolution urging the continuation of suburban development in the former capital city under the controversial ‘New Yangon Project’.

The US$15 billion project was unveiled in August last year by Rangoon Chief Minister Myint Swe, encompassing 30,000 acres of farmland stretching across Tontay [Twantay], Kyimyindaing and Seikkyi-Khanaungto townships, with a stated aim of 70 percent completion within three years of the launch. The scheme was mired in controversy after it was announced that major financial backers Myanmar Setana Myothit Public Company had been awarded the construction contract amid criticisms of a lack of transparency.

On Monday the proposal supporting the project, introduced to parliament by MP Myint Lwin of Kyimyindaing, was passed with 100 votes in favour, ten objections and four abstentions.

Following the furore last year, the Rangoon mayor insisted that the plan for the project had been drawn up with help from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and that Setana Myothit had been awarded the contract to support the government’s policy to promote private sector growth and a reduction in state spending.