Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Too much nepotism and corruption

Published:Saturday | June 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Profligacy and public service seem to go hand in hand. I have no doubt that many who enter politics don't do so with the goal of acting in a profligate manner if/when they gain a parliamentary seat, win a seat in a municipal corporation, are appointed a government consultant, become the head of a state agency, or are appointed a government minister.

However, for many who were fortunate enough to be appointed or elected to positions of power and public trust, over time, temptation, coupled with opportunism, becomes harder to fight. Some give in to those temptations. They take first-class flights to go on government business overseas when economy class would suffice. Some run up astronomical cell phone bills at taxpayers' expense, while some opt to stay at five-star luxury hotels while overseas on government business when a comfortable but much cheaper hotel would suffice.

Some Cabinet ministers choose to have, as their official mode of transport, motor vehicles at the very high end of the luxury-car market. Why couldn't motor vehicle brands, at the lower end of the market, from a cost standpoint, suffice, like Suzuki, Kia, Honda?

It seems, too, that when it's not public servants, but taxpayers, who are footing the bill, at some point, a mentality sets in of "I must have the best, at all times, no matter the cost".

Last, I shudder to think how many millions or billions of dollars from the public purse have been squandered, between 1962 and the present, because of profligate public servants.