Myanmar Spring Chronicle – October 10 Scenes
MoeMaKa, October 11 2022
The economic crisis that followed the Covid disaster and the political crisis
Arriving at Yangon’s Mingalardon Airport in the morning, the scene you will see is a scene where many young people with suitcases are leaving to work abroad.
The scene I saw made me guess that these are people who are going to work in Malaysia, South Korea, and some Middle Eastern countries. Many family members, parents and siblings who brought the young people were also seen outside the airport building with those going to work.
Since escorts are no longer allowed inside the airport building, except for those who were traveling after the coup, people who are going to work abroad are greeting their families outside the glass doors of the airport building, taking memorial pictures with their phones, and saying goodbye to their parents. These scenes reflect the current situation in Myanmar.
Just like thousands of people line up every day to get their passports issued at the passport issuing office in Yangon, hundreds of young people leave to work abroad every morning at Yangon’s Mingalardon Airport.
After the Covid disaster, it has affected the economy of Myanmar like other countries in the world and again, unfortunately experiencing the political crisis, the military coup, for more than a year, there has been almost no new investment into Myanmar and even large companies that have already invested are declining in terms of business opportunity and reputation. So, they sold their businesses one by one and left the country and domestic job opportunities are significantly decreasing.
As the inflation rate is rising at an unprecedented rate while job opportunities are declining, the cost of living is rising, and current incomes are not increasing under the tide of rising commodity prices, leaving people sinking in suffocating. One way out of this situation is to get the opportunity to work abroad.
They travel to countries such as Malaysia, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East by air and work in basic businesses such as restaurants and factories. Entering the Yangon Airport, a long line of people with suitcases at the check-in for the airlines going to Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, and South Korea can be seen.
Groups of 4 or 5 young people or even more than this are seen at the airport and you can tell that they are young people not only from Yangon but from various regions just by looking at their appearance and listening to their accent.
It is becoming more and more difficult for young people to get jobs from the country’s situation to create job opportunities locally. Due to civil war, armed conflict and the rapid deterioration of law enforcement, they are eager to work abroad. It is becoming a situation where all the assets they own are sold for the cost of going abroad and travel expenses.
In the years before the coup, it was common to see at airports a mix of employees of foreign companies in connection with business and investments, employees working in international aid organizations, people visiting abroad, local people visiting abroad, civil society organizations going abroad for meetings and excursions, and people leaving to work abroad, but now we see about 80 percent to 90 percent of those who will go to work.
Armed conflicts, instability, and economic crises make Myanmar feel like a country that is forcing people out of its own country. Cases of people being trafficked among those working abroad are frequently heard. Therefore, when the ruling government is not good, it is gradually becoming a place where you should not live.