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Myanmar Media Company Greases Wrong Palm, Flouts Gift Limit

  • Associated Press

FILE - Kyat banknotes are seen in Yangon, Myanmar, June 9, 2011.

FILE - Kyat banknotes are seen in Yangon, Myanmar, June 9, 2011.

Myanmar's new government scolded a media group for flouting guidelines against corruption by presenting an envelope with more than $4,000 as a gift to an official.

The limit to such gifts is 25,000 kyats ($21).

The state Myanmar News Agency reported Thursday that the president's office had announced that the media company was notified of violation when it gave 5 million kyats ($4,237) in cash to the personal assistant of an important official as a present during the Buddhist New Year festival last week.

The announcement named neither party involved, saying no action would be pursued as it was the first violation and fell under a grace period.

The money would be given to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement for building water supply facilities, it said.

The guidelines enacted earlier this month also include a yearly limit of 100,000 kyats ($85) in gifts to civil servants. The new government, whose de facto head is Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has declared tackling the country's serious corruption as a priority.

Under the previous military-backed government, civil servants were allowed to accept gifts worth up to 300,000 kyats ($254).

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