Myanmar leader gives first New Year address

Myanmar President Thein Sein on Tuesday called for "mutual trust" between the ruling regime and the people in his first New Year address since taking power and ushering in sweeping reforms.

He pledged a new drive to communicate more directly with the nation in a radio speech he said aimed to "bridge the gap" between the authorities and the public.

"The most important ingredient for the success of Myanmar's democratic transition is the mutual trust between the government and the people," he said.

Thein Sein, who took the helm of a quasi-civilian regime in 2011, said the world had been "amazed" by the nation's progress last year in the former junta-ruled country.

Western sanctions against the former pariah state began to be dismantled in 2012 in response to reforms, including the release of hundreds of political prisoners and the election of democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.

But the former general warned that the swift pace of change should not encourage unrealistic expectations from a public eager for further opening up after decades of military rule.

"What the esteemed people and our government need to be conscious of is the gap between the demands of the people and the capacity of our government," he said, adding the country still had "many aspects to reform".

Thein Sein last week set his sights on graft in a televised address in Naypyidaw, saying democratic developments in the nation depended on good governance.

US President Barack Obama praised Myanmar's "remarkable" reforms during a landmark visit to the country in November, but warned "the flickers of progress that we have seen must not be extinguished".

  • Can home remedies cure jock itch and athlete’s foot? 1 hour 2 minutes ago
    Can home remedies cure jock itch and athlete’s foot?

    Contrary to its name, a ringworm infection is not caused by a worm but by a fungus. It can be contagious and is often characterised by a red circular rash with clearer skin in the middle. Offering tips about what … Continue reading →

  • 2015 Acura TLX blends two sedans into one alphabet soup 2 hours 25 minutes ago
    2015 Acura TLX blends two sedans into one alphabet soup

    Nearly three decades have passed since Honda gave us the car we didn’t know we wanted: a fancified Accord called the Legend, which Honda sold under a newly created luxury brand called Acura. Acura, along with the Lexus and Infiniti brands that followed, proceeded to turn the luxury market on its nose. But since then, everyone from Hyundai to Bentley has stepped up its luxury game while Acura got a bit lost in ubiquity with a cadre of similar-looking products, all with confusing alphabet soup names like ILX, TSX, TL and RLX.

  • 2015 Dodge Charger goes under the knife 4 hours ago
    2015 Dodge Charger goes under the knife

    Over the past decade, Chrysler's rear-wheel-drive sedans have managed to survive a bankruptcy and three different corporate overlords. Thanks to the original stoutness of the Mercedes-assisted chassis, and the periodic updates that keep them from seeming like 21st-century versions of the Ford Crown Victoria, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger combo still draw in fans. Today, Dodge revealed yet another redesign for the 2015 Charger — and for an old car, it's quite the change.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...

  • Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes
    Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

    By Narae Kim JINDO South Korea (Reuters) - More than 280 people, many of them students from the same high school, were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years. It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea's southwest coast, but some survivors spoke of a loud noise prior to the disaster.

  • StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends
    StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends

    Are you on the 4G or LTE mobile data network under StarHub? If so, you’ll have to start paying for the service.