Ministry of Commerce in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar, ordered to cease Multi-level Marketing (MLM) operations all over the country on September 18. The order came into the force from the date of issue on September 18.Most of people elected NLD government was the first in wiping out foriegn and Myanmar MLM companies in the country.So, when and who did start MLM system in Myanmar?
Who is the pioneer of MLM in Myanmar?
Shine Hope Company limited, founded by Dr. Daw Khin Khin Yi originated MLM system with a food supplement named Lingzhi in Myanmar in 1996. So, we can say that she is the pioneer of MLM concepts in Myanmar. Now MLM journey in the country takes for about 25 years. But all of MLMers in the country, whether they are doing honestly or not, from now on, they will have to stop their marketing process to obey the order of the government. I’m so sorry for a few systematic MLM professionals in the country while I’m thinking the order is fair to control the frauds using MLM processes and to balance country’s trade deficits to some extent.
The decisive regime banned MLM
Myanmar has no law for MLM and most of Myanmar people including government officials also have a low opinion of MLM. But any Myanmar regime except NLD did not decided to ban strictly MLM like this. In early August 2017, U Kyaw Kyaw Oo, MP from Hlaing Township urged the parliament to take legal action on MLM companies immediately. Most of multi-level marketing companies entered from abroad and their marketers have a bad reputation due to a number of cases in which people claim to have been defrauded. The Myanmar President’s Office and the Ministry of Home Affairs ordered the Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI) to investigate MLM companies in Myanmar after receiving reports of fraud from the public. The BSI announced in January that MLM companies take advantage of investors and that it was investigating those currently operating in the country.
Taking action by the government and anti-MLM activists
From 2009 to 2011, the government took action against MLM companies by seizing assets, arresting leaders, or putting companies on a blacklist under the infamous 1950 Emergency Provisions Act. The year 2017 was the hardest for MLM companies in Myanmar because anti-MLM activists leading by Zin Zay Lwin came out and started fighting against it. He and his group pointed out the weak points of MLM and the frauds of MLMers to the people on their facebook social media.
In 2017 September, The Myanmar Ministry of Home Affairs announced that it was investigating four MLMs about which it had received complaints from the public. A Malaysian-owned MLM company reportedly defrauded Myanmar investors of over USD 1 million in that year.
Yangon Chief Minister accepted donation from Malaysia MLM
Last July, Yangon Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein accepted 20 million kyats donation to the city by Ong Kean Swan, Malaysian MLM company Dream success International Sdn Bhd. It has drawn a strong negative reaction on social media. So many critics have urged the government to pass a law regulating MLM companies in Myanmar.
Whether end up or not?
Last day NLD government banned all of MLM operations in the country. According to The San Taw Chein burmese news, the government official from the ministry of commerce, U Khin Maung Lwin said they are drafting direct selling law,and after that, they would allow MLM operations in line with the law of direct selling,but they didn’t tell how long it would take.
How would be the bill of MLM and when will come out in our country? Whether better MLM companies may come back for a few systematic professionals or will end up completely? Anyway,Myanmar has been one of the countries where no MLM company exist in Asia.
Ref:The Mizzima & San Taw Chein Burmese News