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Doing the right thing
Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 2005

by Linda Edwards

The news that former minister Franklyn Khan has been charged with bribery comes at a time when people are hollering about rampant crime, and saying that the government is not doing anything about it.

Sometimes what is being done is not seen publicly, and so, it seems that nothing is happening. And so, the Dhansook affair moved off front pages, but not off the police files. The behind the scenes work continued.

How differently this Prime Minister handled alleged corruption by his own ministers from the way it was handled by the UNC when talk of corruption was rife! That must be the measure of what it is to be a man. Manning turned the charges over to the DPP and his staff and let them do their work.

Had the charges gone before the highest judge in the land instead, the comment could well have been "Nah man, I know him from long time, he ent like that at all at all" and the investigations may have stalled there. The DPP may have been accused of "being racial" for pursuing it. That must be the implication behind the "Why only Khan charged" raised by the UNC in the immediate aftermath of the charges being made public.

It could be because bank paper trails do not lie. Either a check was written and cashed, or it was not. Either that was your signature or it was not. Other paper trails may be harder to follow. Time will tell.

Now perhaps the country could proceed with the airport charges and other entanglement there with, once again. Some other high heads might need to roll in cleaning up the sewage that is flowing all over the place.

Corruption in high places is a carbuncle on the face of the nation, a seeping, pus-filled sore that needs to be cleaned up once and for all. A good diet of integrity training, declared assets, and public scrutiny, and bitter medicine of jail time could help in the prevention of further infections.

I await charges against Mr. Dhansook for bribing a public official. Those who want to pontificate from time to time on the "business acumen" of one section of the community could use this situation to revise their prognostications. If you don't have money to buy your way in, perhaps, you don't get in to the club.

I know of teachers and public servants who refused bribes offered for doing what were their jobs. They spoke of it because they turned the bribers down. There may have always been others who took them silently.

The one offering the bribe, and the once accepting it, are both guilty of a criminal offence.

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