In this sense it serves as the ideal example that society should follow. It is sad that our national Parliament is the exact opposite of this. It is giving out bad examples for the rest of society.
The current national Parliament at one stage elected people who had issues with the laws of the country as its Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
The former Deputy Speaker has since simply moved on to an equally very influential and sensitive position in the national leadership circles, that of Chairman of a Caucus I keep claiming not to have any Constitutional basis.
One of the messages these moves sent out to the rest of the country is that it is alright for our laws to be disrespected even to the extent of breaking them.
In fact, the national Parliament is saying to the rest of the country that it is more rewarding to break the laws of the nation.
For such a message to be forthcoming from the supreme law-making body of the nation is downright immoral, unethical and in general, seriously questions the integrity and image of the national Parliament and Government leadership.
The two instances of disrespecting the laws of the country have been very clear to the public.
One involved criminality proven in a court of law and imprisonment, whilst the other is the continuation of the disregard of the appropriate laws pertaining to gambling.
There is the requirement by our existing laws that gambling can only be conducted in the premises of Hotels.
Yet, a member of the current Parliament continues to ignore this with what seems to be blessing from both the national Parliament and Government!
In effect, this particular law is being broken with the approval it seems of Parliament and the Government.
When the national Parliament and the Government appear to condone and reward national leaders for contravening the laws of the country, the negative impact throughout society can be severe and detrimental.
It is no wonder that the rest of the public service and society at large is following suit.
Corruption and criminality are now rampant. Disciplinary problems in schools and homes are at such high levels as never seen before.
The moral, ethical, and integrity of national leadership fabrics of our society are in shreds and there doesn’t seem to be any serious national efforts to address this serious decline.
I attribute this worsening national moral and integrity leadership situation to political expediency – the ‘numbers game’, for purposes of power (be the government) to be authoritative and influential.
It is Parliament as exemplified here that is spear-heading the national rot in morality, ethics, and leadership integrity.
The basic cause of the ‘numbers game’ is the fact that the political party situation in the country has not developed to any form of the maturity needed to ensure party discipline.
Political party discipline in turn would ensure members remain loyal to their party to minimize, if not prevent altogether, such practices as the ‘grass-hopping’ tendencies for the highest money offers so characterised the national Parliament.
In 2010/11, a bi-partisan Task Force was established to advise Government and Parliament on ways to address the national concern over National Leadership integrity, and Political stability.
Good progress was made initially but efforts ground to a halt in mid 2012.
One of the problems was the extremely slow reactions to submissions of the Task Force by the bureaucrats in the Cabinet and Prime Minister’s Offices.
Not the elected politicians but bureaucrats. Government’s intention that some form of legislation be considered by Parliament in March 2013 is now highly unlikely.
Our National Parliament should be a special Institution. It must be governed by the highest standards of morals, ethics, and leadership integrity.
In this sense, it must be a shining light on the Hill for all to see.
If we fail to do this, we would be like the situation in India where in the State of Uttar Pradesh; half of all the Ministers in that State Assembly are under criminal charges.
In the Indian national Parliament one third of all MPs are under criminal charges.
Observers are attributing the severe lawlessness in that society to these facts.
We don’t want this.
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