Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Lead by example - PSOJ President: Politicians must obey higher moral standard

Published:Wednesday | July 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer
Howard Mitchell (left), president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), chats with Phillip Chong (right), president of the Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA), and Raymond Samuel, retail manager,Rubis Energy Jamaica during the PSOJ President's Service Excellence Awards 2018. The forum was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

Howard Mitchell, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), has called on political leaders to obey a higher moral and legal code of governance as an example for citizens to follow. Without this paradigm shift, he argued, no amount of economic progress would be able to stop the nation from failing.

"We must forge a new national culture of mindfulness of others, of self-respect and integrity," Mitchell declared during yesterday's PSOJ President's Forum at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.

"Our survival in a changing world demands that we shift our cultural norms and behaviours towards being mindful of others and to respect ourselves and the rights of others," he said. "Self-respect and a common belief in our country and a caring commitment to our fellow citizens are a part of the underpinning of good governance that is an essential part of whatever progress that we may hope to make as a nation," the PSOJ president added.

Mitchell said that power and influence must be shared in a transparent and accountable way, empowering marginalised communities and giving them the confidence that they were part of Jamaica's progress.

"The stink of corruption throughout the society, in both the public and private service, must be blown away by opening the doors that divide us," Mitchell remarked.

"If we can achieve that cultural social-political change, then excellent customer service and good governance will be natural elements of a functional, prosperous society," the businessman pointed out during the PSOJ 2018 Service Excellence Awards.

In showing the connection between excellent customer service and good governance, the businessman called for a paradigm shift in our political system of patronage and clientelism, of dependency and handouts, back-scratching and favouritism based on tribal connections.

"We must develop ourselves to be people of our word, to keep our commitments, not to make throwaway promises every election time that we all know will never be kept and we all know we won't ask to be fulfilled," Mitchell advised.

"We must build institutions that are credible, that give value for money every time, that are honest stewards of our stakeholders' interests, that value transparency and accountability over individual or partisan interests," said the PSOJ president.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com