Have we, for heavens' sake, become so idle as a nation that we don't know what to do with our time any more? Or are we simply short of issues to discuss? Or, do we perhaps find reason unbearable when it glares at us? Whatever the case may be, the leader of the opposition's declared intention to table a Private Notice Question (PNQ) in parliament next Tuesday about the Boskalis case is rather disconcerting. It is, as Oscar Wilde would say, hitting below the intellect.
What exactly is so new and so "revolting" or "shocking" about three powerful guys having to face justice to either clear their names or atone for their wrongdoings? Isn't justice what we have all been asking for to help attenuate the degree of corruption this country has been reeking of for too long?
Now, every time someone is called upon to answer for their mistakes, we suddenly see all kinds of ulterior motives behind every move which the ICAC or the police make.
As far back as December 2011, before Chady joined Cehl Meeah's FSM and when he was still in the good graces of the government, we put a question about Boskalis in the columns of this very paper to ICAC's Director General Kumar Anil Ujoodha, and even blamed him for the crawlingly slow pace of the investigation and wondering whether they were serious about ever catching the real culprits. His answer was: "In the case of Boskalis, the investigation is not over... There is a lot of evidence which is not in the Mauritian territory and we need special legislation, mutual legal assistance, to get it... We've done everything we can do but there is one piece of evidence which is being challenged by the courts in the Netherlands by the people from whom the evidence was gathered.
The Netherlands won the case but it is now on appeal..."
If such evidence has eventually been received now and if the investigation which had been going on suggests that there is prima facie incriminating evidence to bring the suspects to book, where is the scandal? Now if conspiracy, aiding and abetting or other similar charges do not fall within the purview of the ICAC's law and the case has been referred to the police, is that cause enough to warrant a PNQ? Aren't there more pressing issues to discuss in parliament or is all well in the kingdom of god?
What is sad about this whole thing is that through our misplaced sympathy, we may find ourselves encouraging the very crime we are trying to fight. It is almost suggesting that anyone on the wrong side of government should be given special privileges! The real question that we should be asking is: are they guilty or not, a question which is not likely to be answered in parliament. And for that reason, the case should be allowed to go through the normal justice process.
Let's not forget in this blame game, that yesterday's powerful cannot turn into today's victims. Many allow power to get to their heads and think they are above the law. Turning them into victims is unfair to the real victims - us, the hard-working taxpayers. Defending us is where the energy of the leader of the opposition should be geared, be it in the Boskalis, Med Point, Rosewood, and now the Board of Investment or any other case of alleged misconduct.
Thieves are not victims, no matter what their political convictions are. And those who are innocent have everything to gain by facing justice.