Corruption clean-up starts with us
Sunity Maharaj’s article on “Corruption, Personal and Political” (Sunday Express, September 15) resonated, for it goes to the core of the dilemma facing the country.
Attention is drawn, in particular, to Ms Maharaj’s insightful observation: “But by far, the most intriguing element in sustaining the culture of corruption is the personal facilitation by a society’s rank and file, from upper to under class, leaders and the led, principals and priests.”
Borrowing from the bard, “The fault, (fellow citizens), is not in our stars, but in ourselves …” that we have come to this corrupt pass.
Quite correctly, she issues an appeal for specific and coherent action by the professional class, public service and civil society writ large and a cry to hold firm to “professional and personal standards”.
We are reminded that the change we seek will not take place unless there is a compelling and clearly articulated demand, with the promise of follow-up action on our part. Change lies with us, all!
What is troubling is that the insidious and corrosive effects of corruption are rooted in our collective worshipping at the altar of money and materialism.
The latter seems to constitute the default value system of the modern Trinidad and Tobago, earning respectability and power.
It is not unsurprising, then, the seeming inaction and apparent complacency with which corruption is addressed.
This underscores the view “that corruption in Trinidad and Tobago is (truly) democratised, with beneficiaries straddling all strata of the socio-politico-economic divide”.
It is amazing the boost to political stocks one can generate and earn by “running something”, irrespective of the supply source!
I agree that the time is now for our professionals “… in whom our still fledgling society has invested so much …” to stand up and be counted and to heed the call “… to say no … to power gone corrupt”.
Their leadership is indispensable to effecting the transformation which the country sorely needs.
But the question arises: is the population sufficiently vigilant and willing to act in defence of our democracy and against corruption?
Or are we every bit as complicit, merely concerned with how we too can navigate the system to our personal advantage, at whatever level? A look in the mirror is revealing!
Winston R Rudder