Mon | Oct 14, 2019

Letter of the Day | Corruption, crime and cronyism are rampant

Published:Saturday | June 15, 2019 | 12:18 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Corruption, crime, and cronyism continue unabated, while we are conned into believing that we are doing well, while the very fabric of society is being undermined by the pervasiveness of crude and lawless behaviour, and our elderly, women, and children are abused.

Corruption has now reached the stage where public-sector organisations being investigated are using public resources to hire lawyers to block access to information being sought by investigators, and there is no intervention by the political directorate.

Boards of directors of public-sector agencies are now being reappointed as their three-year terms come to an end, but there has been no reform implemented in spite of promises that the wholesale appointment of new directors of only supporters of the party in power was to be addressed. This has remained just another promise unfulfilled.

Lawlessness rules our streets, as drivers, mainly led by taxi men and robots, disobey every rule in the road code as they create mayhem on our roads and cause serious accidents, with little or no enforcement of the laws governing driving.

We boast about exceeding last year’s tourism arrivals and the increased earnings of the industry, but we do very little to address the living conditions of the majority of the people who work in the industry.

On the beachside of our coast, we have the most magnificent resorts, but on the other side of the road, we have massive squatter settlements, and the majority of our people have little or no access to basic roads, water and sewerage or the beautiful beaches we boast about.

We spend millions to develop enclave tourism in Port Antonio, Falmouth, and now Port Royal, where we have “safe areas for visitors”, to the exclusion of our local people, and believe that that is progress.

Are we doing development to the benefit of our people and their livelihood, or is our focus on hoodwinking our people with grand announcements, which, if they are implemented, benefit mainly foreign investors to the detriment of the majority of our people?

We need to take a serious look at ourselves and answer some very pointed questions about our development priorities and determine if we are serious about sustainable development and the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

ROBERT STEPHENS

rspragma@yahoo.com