By George Porter, Knowledge Manager
Myanmar has traditionally had a good standard of company data accessibility. But following the military coup of 2021 and the ongoing civil war, the ruling Junta have severely restricted access to company data. Recent changes in particular have made it hard to establish the legitimacy of a company.
The MyCo registry service is available for company information searches for a small fee. In September 2022, information about active and former directors, shareholders and details of ownership stakes were removed from the platform. Companies’ publicly listed information remains unchanged.
Access to court records in Myanmar has always been relatively restricted, with only Supreme Court judgements being openly published. While the judiciary has been nominally independent since 2008, independent observers have been highly sceptical of this independence in practice. With the crackdown by the military across multiple sectors of civil society it seems highly likely that an opaque system will remain opaque, or even more restricted.
Myanmar’s media was nearly exclusively state owned and highly controlled until 2011, after which some private outlets started to report as the system liberalised. Since the coup, free media has been suppressed, with the number of journalists imprisoned leading to Myanmar being branded the second worst jailer of journalists worldwide for 2021. The committee to protect journalists has reported 4 Journalists being killed in Myanmar since the Coup, with 3 of those being highly deliberate attacks by the governing authorities. The government has additionally added a broad new law criminalising any reporting judged to “cause fear” or “spread false news".
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