Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Myanmar - A Country in Transition

I haven’t been blogging about Myanmar even though the country has been enjoying positive news of late. I am just staying on the sidelines. Certainly, the country is steadily and slowly moving in the right progressive direction – but I ask myself, how long will the self-initiated reforms last?

It has been said that U Thein Sein has been making all the right moves. Since he “won” power through a controversial general election in 2010, his regime had cleverly persuaded Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy, to participate in and legitimize the April by-election for 44 seats vacated by his Cabinet ministers. Sure, her party did emerge victorious and she was even formally sworn into parliament after a brief stand-off with the government over the script of her oath.

Then what? Myanmar is still working on the process of re-integration with the international community. Economic reforms have been grudgingly slow. And like me, most parties are playing the waiting game. For now, that’s all we can do!

Yesterday I went to Cititel MidValley for the MidValley Toastmasters meeting. It was an awesome assembly of like-minded people and we all had a good time. For five reasons. First, there were thirty-one attendees, making this a fabulous turnout. Second, there were Toastmasters who came from ten different clubs – one all the way from Osaka, Japan, Yuko Fujita from the Senri Toastmasters Club. Third, the quality of the speeches and evaluations were a class above. Fourth, the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening, Sheryl Chieng gave us a sizzling meeting, proving to everyone that she is a dynamo, a hot shot, a live wire. Fifth, I had no roles at all and so I was able to sit back, relax and immerse myself wholly in the meeting. This meeting, for sure, deserved a score of an 8 out of a 10.

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