Yangon new City ProjectNew Yangon City Project
At a recent council reunion, the aim was to allay concern about the multi-billion euro Yangon New City project, and rapid and low-cost web connectivity allowed those affected to monitor operations from a distance. HUNDRED PERSONS hundred persons assembled in Yangon on 23 June for a Yangon New City Council reunion on the billion-dollar Yangon, the village residents in the project area also followed the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry meetings.
However, if you were in the UMFCCI auditorium, you might be confused with the idea that people from Twante township would not be interested. "I' m really interested in this meetin', this so-called townhall. We didn't go out because we knew[the organizers] or anyone else would make a Facebook live," said Ko Myint Naing Kyaw, a realtor and landowner from the Tamatakaw community in Twante Township.
In fact, Myint Naing Kyaw was watching the incident from his lounge on an Android TV box he had purchased in June after listening to a New Yangon City project employee from China. Strange, Myint Naing Kyaw was looking on Facebook and ordered one from an on-line store for 55,000 K plus 3,000 K shipping.
Some 30 mins before the trial began, a large number of Tamatkaw citizens had already assembled at Myint Naing Kyaw to see the show on his television. The New Yangon Development Company, founded in March, seeks to raise $5 billion in investments to transform an undiscovered part of the Yangon region just outside the city into a flourishing business and housing area twice the scale of Singapore.
The NYDC is the project's design tool. It is wholly held by the Yangon region authorities, its executive committee consists of three separate executive officers - Serge Pun, a business man, George Yeo, former Singapore State Secretary, and U Tun Myat, former high-ranking UNoffice.
Pun, NYDC's NYDC CEO, said at the meeting that the firm is planning to have more City Council sessions to remove disarray and misunderstanding about the project's bidding and deployment work. Three other panelists - U Khine Win, founding member of the Sandhi Governance Institute, U Ye Myat Thu, CEO of the Alpha Mandalay Society, and U Zeya Thu, Assistant Editor-in-Chief of The Voice - were selected because they had expressed concern about the project, especially the corporate governance group.
The NYDC has already entered into a contract with the state-owned China Communications Construction Company to develop a detailled project suggestion for the infrastructural works in the first stage of New Yangon City. Mr Pun said that the infrastructural works needed for the first stage had been valued at $2 billion and that two viaducts and 26 km of road had already been designated as priorities.
He quoted in particular the success story of CCCC in Sri Lanka, where a wholly owned affiliate, the China Harbour Engineering company, is carrying out a project named Colombo Harbour City. Said he had been reading case histories saying that Sri Lanka had been leasing property to CHEC for more than 90 years. The CHEC also constructed a deep-sea harbor in Sri Lanka, which is said to have burdened Sri Lanka with debts and eventually caused the harbor to be rented back to a China based business for 99 years.
However, Khine Win also noted that NYDC had not yet concluded any such treaties with CCCC. "NYDC] is still at an early stage," he said. Mr Pun said there was no danger of a repetition of what happened in Sri Lanka, as the Sri Lankan authorities would not take on any debts to carry out the New Yangon City project.
Responding to the critics that the proposed infrastructures should not be put out to bid, Pun said that it was "to be avoided " and NYDC would instead use a Swiss Challenge-style approach. For CCCC, NYDC will publish the documentation and issue a call for tenders upon completion of its work.
"You' ll see that the NYDC Challenge has absolute transparency," Pun said. However, Pun did not directly answer a public query as to whether the founding of the NYDC violated the National League for Democracy-led government's policies. Second out of 12 points in the political agenda is that the aim of the state is to promote competitiveness and a dynamic retail industry.
With the announcement of the project in 2014 under the former Yangon region administration, gamblers have been rushing to buy up arable land in the hopes that it will gain in value. At UMFCCI on 23 June there was a 38-year-old lady who owned 2 hectares of arable land in the project area.
She was asked by a female Yangon University of Foreign Languages instructor not to be mentioned because she had purchased the country for 45 million k without her husband's consent. She is now concerned that she might miss the reimbursement and, as the Tamatakaw peasants had hoped, NYDC would raise the matter at City Council.