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A couple of dozen scapegoats tiptoed out of the Prime Minister’s Office – which was turned this week into the MSM headquarters – with their tails between their legs. More than half of the MSM MPs! They tried very hard to hide their disappointment, even devastation, behind a forced grin. They will no longer benefit from the manna from heaven that had suddenly fallen on them out of nowhere. It is difficult to see employers rushing to offer them jobs where they have to work for their money the way you and I do. By not fielding them again as candidates, the prime minister, Pravind Jugnauth, is telling the whole country that they are inept even at the one job where you need no qualifications – politics – and that many made their case worse by dipping their feet in corruption, drugs or overt nepotism. 

Bon voyage and good riddance. The MSM spin-doctors will do everything to try and sell us the idea that all the scandals have been wiped out with the departure of these undesirable elements. We can’t however help feeling that it is rather too little and rather too late. For five years, we have been denouncing the scandals of this government and calling for transparency and accountability. And for five years, we have been accused of all sorts of imaginary offences, dragged to the Central Criminal Investigation Division (CCID) and called all sorts of names, even in the National Assembly. For five years, a prime minister has shown a complete lack of the leadership and courage required to put his house in order. And for five years, the people who have been disposed of today were – sadly – used, bribed and protected to avoid the whiff of a by-election. Rs15 million of our hard-earned money for Raj Dayal, a cushy job for Sanjeev Teeluckdharry’s wife where she is allowed to roll in at any time of the day, unnecessary commissions of inquiry paid for by us but whose reports remain top secret…When everything failed, the filing cabinets of the Very Independent Commission Against Corruption turned out to be very handy. And of course, there has been a total refusal to answer any questions in parliament. “There is an inquiry going on!” became the way out of every scandal. As it happens, the inquiries are still going on at the same speed. 

“For five years, the people who have been disposed of today were – sadly – used, bribed and protected to avoid the whiff of a by-election.”

Sad? Tragic! But please wipe the tears from your innocent faces. The people scapegoated will not go empty-handed. If you take Sandhya Boygah for example – a PPS who shone only twice in five years, once when she contributed to the budget debate by talking at length about her caesarean section and once in the cheek-stroking episode. She still walks away with the handsome sum of Rs14 million just in salary in five years! Fourteen million rupees!!! Add to that the gambling licences and the inland lagoon where she and her husband had promised to invest Rs100 million and create jobs. Up till now, their only investment has been to make life hard for their neighbour, who is investing and adding value. Teeluckdharry has walked away with a similar sum of money though he was ‘too busy’ to attend most parliamentary sessions that he was paid to attend. As for ministers like Anil Gayan, they pocketed nearly Rs20 million. Add the per diems drawn without any accountability, and think of how long you and I – and particularly the graduate youth – have to work for that money while paying our taxes to boot, just to finance the lifestyles of those whom we are told today were not capable of delivering the goods we were paying them to deliver. 

And we may have to continue to pay. Some of the people who are now declared to be not good enough to become candidates at this 2019 election may end up running our very independent institutions – which will become even more “independent” than they are today where they have been harbouring MSM agents waiting to be fielded as candidates.  Others may become our representatives abroad – fancy that! And who knows, a former speaker could end up at the State House, seconded by a very bright patriot who thinks that one section of the community is made up of prostitutes. THAT, my friend, is a scenario that should get those tears rolling again! 

For more views and in-depth analysis of current issues, Weekly magazine (Price: Rs 25) or subscribe to Weekly for Rs110 a month. (Free delivery to your doorstep). Email us on: [email protected]


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