Dismal message from the Govt
The chairman of the Airports Authority, Trevor Benjamin, is reported as saying that the authority’s legal department is “dealing with” the issue of an allegedly false degree certificate submitted by a recently resigned high authority official (Express, October 3). His board, is further reported as saying, will be “guided” by what the legal department says. (Why the official resigned must be a relevant consideration.)
Previously, we had been told that the minister responsible for the authority, Stephen Cadiz, had not decided if the police should be brought into the matter since that would only embarrass the former official and his family more: his resignation was already embarrassment and punishment enough. (So why did he resign, I wonder? And what exactly is the legal department “dealing with”?)
Even earlier, we had heard of the resignation of a member of the authority’s board itself after the discovery that he had inflated his c.v.
I would very much like to hope that Messrs. Cadiz and Benjamin, who have public responsibilities, can manage to understand one thing, and understand it quickly and thoroughly. It is that the officials’ resignations would certainly not be enough if there is a positive finding that they deliberately falsified their papers and thereby obtained benefits, financial and other, that they would not otherwise have done. And obtained them from taxpayers’ money.
Their resignations would and could not then possibly be enough, because prima facie they will have committed and benefited from fraud, and the police in such circumstances must be called in. Indeed, as Dana Seetahal has pointed out (Express, October 5), the police should already have been called in.
The Government likes to tell us about all the wonderful things it is doing for us— with our money, mind you—and about its puzzlement that it is not getting its message across. To the contrary, one overarching message, of which Cadiz’ comments are yet another excellent example, is constantly coming over loud and clear.
It is a message of increasingly wayward, values-deficient, opaque and cynical governance. No amount of self-congratulatory talk about roads paved or schools constructed or hampers distributed can conceal it.