TWO developments last week point to the dire need to rein in this unsupervised country, where 55 years of high-level looseness and lawlessness have landed us on the precipice.
Firstly, Arnold Piggott, former chairman of the Education Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL) refused to attend a Joint Select Committee (JSC) hearing to give testimony regarding alarming irregularities in the company. The JSC then decided to issue a summons which, if ignored, could place an individual in contempt of Parliament. Piggott relented and will now attend. It is the first summons threatened under the revised Standing Orders of 2014.
Way to go JSC! For it raises deep doubts about our democracy when public officials, past or present, could tell the Parliament go to hell and suffer no consequences. So haul them before you! Interrogate them in full public glare. And go further, for this is merely the beginning. As in the United States, place them under oath. Strengthen the laws that if they tell lies, they could be sent to jail for perjury; if they refuse to answer or withhold information, they could be charged for obstruction of justice. This is utterly serious business.