THE EDITOR, Sir:
The government of Jamaica ought to be embarrassed at the latest revelation that the country's ranking on the Global Corruption Index (GCI) has not improved, ranking 83 out of 177. The Government needs to seriously analyse and give an account as to why in 2013 Jamaica - a country that depends so heavily on tourism and foreign consumption - is still poorly ranked on the GCI.
While governance and politics aren't the only factors that affect the country's poor ranking, the Simpson Miller-led administration has done nothing to improve the country's political image, which is very comprehensively scrutinised and accounts for a majority of the impressions people have of the country. It has instead been an instrumental agent in the country having achieved such a poor ranking by continuously being audacious in making some impugnable decisions involving people of dubious character.
The prime minister has tricked the populace into thinking that she was resolute in dealing with the issue of corruption. The Government has been lethargic, and to some extent has been arrogant in this regard and seems to be in no rush to tackle the monster of corruption.
To compound the situation, many Jamaicans are of the view that 'once a man can eat a food' then it is something good - and by all means it should happen. This sort of ideology which has prevailed throughout the wide cross section of the society, along with the 'licky licky' tendency of the people, has been a major catalyst that has added bad energy to exacerbate the situation. The problem is no simple one to tackle, but there has to exist a firm platform to begin with, however, at this time the landscape is more like saturated soil on a hillside.
One constituent of the problem, arguably, is that the Opposition wasn't as assertive and forceful as it ought to have been - virtually allowing the Government to do whatever it pleased. Now that Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has had his mandate, the Opposition must seek to ensure that the Government deals with the issue of corruption and, in like manner, use the same combative energy it possessed while its internal election was in high tide and apply it on a broader scale to eradicate such high density of the perception of corruption and corruption itself the country is now being made to grapple with.
Finally, the Government must recommit and act on the commitment that it will tackle corruption by first creating a firm platform on which anti-corruption measures will thrive, this includes moving forward with the long-awaited anticorruption legislation. The ramifications of having a poor corruption perception index are extensive and something the Government must not take for granted.
University of West Indies, Mona