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Satellite pay TV provider Sky Net offered its service to lawmakers in Rangoon and Naypyidaw free of charge, according to a member of the Rangoon Division parliament.
The offer was first made in March, said National League for Democracy (NLD) parliamentarian Wai Phyo Han, adding that it was left to individual MPs to decide whether they would accept the package, which included free installation and five years of service.
“They said they would install Sky Net TV for free. [The government] said it was up to each person to decide for themselves if they wanted it or not. It wasn’t compulsory,” said Wai Phyo Han, adding that the offer was made through the chief minister and the parliamentary chairman.
Yesterday, the President’s Office revealed that an unnamed company — believed to be Sky Net — had attempted to bribe a senior official with 5 million kyat (US$4,250) in cash.
The President’s Office said that no charges would be laid in this case, but warned the company about making any further attempts to corrupt civil servants.
Thein Nyunt, a former MP from the opposition New Democratic Force party, said the government should move to strengthen laws aimed at curbing corruption.
“The best thing to do is review the anti-corruption law and amend it to match the current situation, with precise wording and articles to block the loopholes that open the way for corruption,” he said.
Earlier this month, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, acting in her capacity as President’s Office minister, issued guidelines on accepting gifts to central government offices, state and division governments, and union ministries.
Under the new guidelines, civil servants are not permitted to accept any gift valued at more than 25,000 kyat ($21), and the total value of all gifts received in one year cannot exceed 100,000 ($84).