PPM chair calls Mac probe a “strange situation”

| 27/01/2012

anton duckworth.jpg(CNS): The opposition party chairman said that Cayman was in a very “strange situation at present” with an ongoing investigation into the premier that has not been explained by him or anyone else and it was having a detrimental impact on the public and business. Part of a panel discussion at last week’s Cayman Business Outlook conference that looked at good governance and transparency, Anthony Duckworth raised the current police investigation into McKeeva Bush concerning what have been termed as “financial irregularities”.  No one else on the panel mentioned the probe during the discussion, which touched on the fight against corruption.

The PPM chair and local attorney pointed out that corruption and a strong economy are at opposite poles and that the public plays a crucial role in fighting political corruption and poor governance.

He said that if the public was prepared to put up with corruption, no matter how many institutions were in place to address the problem there would be “politicians looking after themselves” regardless of any anti-corruption commission. He said that the new constitution provided Cayman with the right institutions but not all were working properly yet and Cayman still had a long way to go.

“It is very important that the voting public comes on board with the issue that corruption is a very real problem and that it needs to be stamped out,” Duckworth said.

Speaking to the packed ballroom at the Westin, which included international guests, Duckworth said the investigation into the premier put Cayman in a strange situation where everyone appeared to be remaining silent about the issue. That point was emphasised when the issue was not mentioned by anyone else on the panel, which included the governor, the auditor general, the information commissioner and local attorney Michael Alberga with Tim Ridley as chair.

Duckworth said the silence surrounding the probe into Bush and the existence of the investigation was not just a poor reflection against the country’s leader but was a poor reflection on the country as well.

He said good governance came through information so that the electorate could make informed decisions but the public should not tolerate poor or corrupt governance. However, in the end the first and most important thing any government can do to about corruption was “not to practice it”, he said.

Jennifer Dilbert noted that the anti-corruption law places considerable emphasis on the public to report what they believe are corrupt practices and she recommended everyone read the law and understand how they can play a part in preventing corruption here.

Category: Politics

Comments (61)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Better to contradict one another and pay the bill from CIG Treasury – thereby taking licks for bad management, than to be complicite in a corruption deal where a "benevolent benfactor" pays your bill.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps, it is that I am an arrogant person, for the lat 15 years, I rarely found myself trusting anything any government tells you. However at times I have been compelled to give them the benefit of my doubt. But I have not been able to trust this UDP government to tell you what day it is. Nothing they say is sincere.

  3. so Anonymous says:

    I said it before and I'll say it again and again:  Cayman culture equates Corruption with intelligence.  Only education can change this.  If only Cayman culture equated education with intelligence.  Thats the only way Cayman will have intelligent leadership.

    • Anonymous says:

      And I have responded to you and respond again your comments are racist and highly offensive to the many intelligent, principled Caymanians. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Somebody seems to be confounding(on purpose) ones race, nationality, and ethnicity. Apparently not one of the truly educated and progressive caymanians that I know of and trust.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks goodness for Anton Duckworth. Without him, we would be lost. He's the only one wit the guts to tell it like it is.  I wish we had more men like him in these beloved islands.

  5. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva for Premier

    • Anonymous says:

      Apparently you haven't heard that McKeeva is ALREADY Premier, and that he's doing an off the charts lousy job of it..

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you civil servant for wakeing up.  Now go back to sleep.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh please Mr. Duckworth. When you had the opportunity to direct the PPM to back The Chuckster in his efforts to rid this country of McKeeva Bush did you do anything about it ? Did you stand with Minister Clifford ? Did you back him with his proposed march ? Did you apply pressure where it needed to be applied ? No. No, No……so you see Mr. Duckworth you reap what you sow but now you complain because your actions have produced the predicted results !!!

    I hope that you and the other PPM Leaders have learned your political lessons from this. When faced with an opportunity to politically eliminate a very dangerous opponent you take no prisoners. Its Politics 101.

    Our country would not now be in peril had the PPM stood up when it counted. Just look at the result of Clifford's mere threat to march against the Government………they immediately abandoned their proposal to sell our new Government AdmInistration Building which by the way I think deserves a proper official opening and naming which I suggest should be the "D. Kurt Tibbetts Government Administration Building"

    Having said all of that, it is time that Governor Taylor explain what is happening with this RCIPS investigation into Premier Bush. The people deserve to know now !!!

  7. Peter Milburn says:

    It is indeed a strange situation we find ourselves in re the so called investigation of the Premier.;Most of these problems have only really surfaced since we entered into party politics so the answer is very simple.Get RID of the said system and have ONLY independents run the house and Government.Its truly a funny situation we are in because so many people will come on here and other formats and complain and moan about how badly our country is being run.Again simple answer GET UP OFF YOUR DUFFS AND DO SOMETING ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Anton for being the only one who is not afraid of the inevitable retribution/persecution which follows anyone who dares poke their head over the parapet.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You think?

  10. so Anonymous says:

    The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. —   Ronald Reagan

  11. Truthseeker says:

    Excerpts from Radio Cayman website attributed to McKeeva:

    Published 15th December 2011, 12:10pm

    Madam Speaker, I have found it necessary in this blessed Christmas season to shed some more light on a subject that has in recent time suffered from I wish to inform the public that a settlement agreement has now been reached with GLF; and it not even remotely close to the astronomical sums of $35 million that have been bandied about. Not only have we agreed, but these sums will not be coming out of Government's coffers.

    It's equally interesting that there was such a contrast when the GLF deal fell through; but you know what they say – throw a rock in a pen, and the one that squeals will be the one that got hit.

     I have said I will keep the public abreastof the events on this matter, when I can present full facts, rather than guess work. I am doing that, I am keeping that promise.

    END OF PRESS RELEASE

    From what possible legitimate source could those settlement funds have come? Elio threw a self-rightious hissy-fit this morning on Rooster when the host suggested that a benevolent benefactor paid them. A few minutes later we hear from a Cabinet member that the funds are in fact coming from Government coffers. No apology that this is a complete contradiction of what McKeeva declared a few weeks ago. If not from "Government coffers" from where? I can only think of two likely explainations for this situation.

    1. The Premier was lying to the LA.

    2. The third party's offer has been declined by Cabinet. Makes you wonder why, unless they thought that acceptance would amount to to a public admission of corruption. Based on today's performance by UDP representatives on Rooster, I  am with the Premier on this part of his statement to the LA quoted above, "you know what they say – throw a rock in a pen, and the one that squeals will be the one that got hit"

    I think I heard some squealing this morning; "far too much heat, and far too little light", thanks for the quotes Mr. Bush! 

    Truthseeker

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      In any other country, a senior politican that misleads (lies to) Parliment would be dealt with in an appropriate manner.  But hey, this is Cayman.  Banana anyone?

      • Anonymous says:

        Also, in any other country, when a politician acts outside of the rules and causes money to be expended, they are held personally liable. Attorney General – where are you?

        • Anonymous says:

          That ought to be the case but that is not true "in any other country".

          • Anonymous says:

            It is in the mother country where a politician was liable to pay for losses to the government due to their acting outside their power. The same legal principles apply here.

            • Anonymous says:

              Can you please name the case or provide a link. If you are correct then it is worth looking into.

  12. Knot S Smart says:

    I believe that if there is evidence that need charges being brought it will happen.

     But then I also believe there is a real Santa Claus, and that someday soon hell will freeze over, and I swear that I just saw my ex-wife fly by my window on her broom…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Where were you Mr Duckworth when our first National Hero was being investigated by Special Branch for his dealings with the "Cubians", Hugo Zuiderant, Tom Hadjecate and George Lister? I know you were here because I watched you and others earn the vast sums available to you lawyers in those days of dodgy deals but I didn't hear a word from you or the others (whose names I wont mention-the retire at 40 club) because it didn't suit you all to say a thing. Like you, I'm 40 years older and see things differently. Mac needs exposure if he has done wrong but so did Jim, but it would have disrupted your and others' money making so unna said nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure I follow your logic. It seems to be that if there was ever any corruption before and no one spoke out about it they should forever be silent about any corruption. It is that kind of thinking that will lead us on a downward spiral to oblivion.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Runnin una mouths again. You are going to wait until elections? GET GOING CAYMAN AND GET UNITED!

  15. Anonymous says:

    The investigation Anton Duckworth referred to must rest with the appropriate authorities. One suspects there are major technical hurdles at various levels that are proving problematical to moving the matter to a conclusion . So I doubt there was much more that could usefully have been said on the issue by the panel.

    As I have pointed out elsewhere, the Anti Corruption Law, enacted while the PPM Government was in power, and the Anti Corruption Commission are seriously flawed. The various flaws were pointed out to both the PPM and the UDP Governments. But neither took or has taken any steps to rectify the flaws. This is very concerning.

    The UK White Paper on the Overseas Territories will surely highlight good governance, transparency and accountability. Perhaps, since our local legislators (except Mr Miller) show no signs of any enthusiasm to fix the AC Law and the ACC off their own bat, some “encouragement” from London will be needed.

    Tim Ridley

    • Anonymous says:

      Tim,

      Anton made an excellent point when he said that "if the public was prepared to put up with corruption, no matter how many institutions were in place to address the problem there would be “politicians looking after themselves” regardless of any anti-corruption commission". The issue is not simply about passing laws. Unfortunately a major segment of Cayman society seems to be accepting, if not embracing, a culture of corruption. Unless a certain politician is actually convicted and therefore disqualified from holding public office his constituents will continue to elect him no matter what.    

  16. Anonymous says:

    It'll be swept under the carpet just like his directorship of First Cayman bank was forgotten.  Having read the statements (which are available online) and seen copies of the fax in question (also online) I find it hard to imagine that a senior politician in any country in the world could stay in his position while the matter is investigated.  Any country apart from Cayman it would seem.  Now what sort of message does that send to the rest of the world about Cayman?  Here's the fax, here's the statement, the police are investigating and what happens……………nothing.  What an embarassment!

  17. Anonymous says:

    It seems corruption is endemic on this island. Social services are paying rent for everybody.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correction: Social Services are paying rent for everybody stupid enough to vote for the UDP.

      • Anonymous says:

        Worst of all, some of the people granted IRREVOCABLE status by cabinet in 2003 have social services paying rent for them.

    • Anonymous says:

      How do they account for the multitude of gifts and kind given annually especially at XMAS time?

    • Anonymous says:

      except those who really need it

    • FOR THE PEOPLE says:

      Social service is not paying rent for everybody, they are paying rent for expatriates when they should be paying it for Caymanians.   How come an expatriate could work in this country for 15 to 20 years, want and get Cayman status and then lean on the Government.  BULL SHI****T.

      What did they do with their money for 15 to 20 years beside send it to their country.  Well now why should they have our Government to pay their rent.  They have absolutely no shame.   We need to take care of our own people and  stop being idiots. 

      • Anonymous says:

        In the Brac Social Services is paying rent giving food vouchers pay electrical school lunches fall this for a non Caymanian mother and two non Caymanian children while Caymanian people are being told there vouchers are cut back by government or they can’t help unemployed CAYMANIANS that are born here and raised by 100% Caymanian parents tell me what is wrong here if they can’t afford to live here send their you know what back where they came from if we can’t afford to feed our own people then we can’t feed them hello charity begins at home that includes our own Caymanian people.

        • Anonymous says:

          Social Services are paying rent for everybody. It all boils down to some very corrupt people!

          They are even paying rent for people who have houses.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Someone please help me here…

    Is the head of a company, trust or any other organization was under investigation by the Police for "financial irregularities" wouldn't the shareholders/stakeholders demand his removal until the investigation was over? At least that would prevent further "financial irregularities" from taking place.

    As a Caymanian and voter I am not fine with McKeeva Bush still holding his position of Premier and Minister of Finance. At the same time I don't know of a provision in the law for removing him.

    Help!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      As a compromise we could have him on an overseas "inward-investment" tour until the police investigation is over. I can't cost any more than it does to keep him here assisting churches, selecting the best loan deals, picking dock contractors, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, of course. Look at what they did to the Customs Officer!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Firstly, thank you Mr. Duckworth for having the courage to speak out on the subject of corruption.

    Secondly thank you for reminding the people of the Cayman Islands that there is an investigation into the Premier. I thought that no one would remember that was one such investigation still ongoing…maybe they we hoping that it would just vanish…but the Lord reveals everything in his own TIME…

    Finally, ummm should it be demanded that the he go on required leave while there is a current investigation into the Premier? Has the rules of the Cayman Islands Government changed in such where every person within Government including civil servants be put on required leave while investigations take place…a couple weeks ago customs officers were put on leave as a result of being investigated…why is it any different for the Premier who is supposed to be the so called leader of our Country???? 

    Caymanians please speak out and speak up this has to STOP! How much longer will we sit back and allow McKeeva to do whatever he feels like and get away with it…he can do everything that is wrong for these islands but yet never harms himself only the people feel the true effects as its our money spent to pay for all the projects and deals that fall through…ohhh don't forget the lawsuits!! 

     

     

    • READ THIS says:

      READ THIS 11:58  What in the world,  are you talking about "Thank you Mr Duckworth about having the courage to speak out on the subject of corruption, and reminding the people that the Premier is under investigation"    To say this that means you are either very young or need to drink Ginkcoba.

       Really, I would prefer Anthony Duckworth to tell you how things were when he first came to Cayman Islands, as a young handsome stud,  Lol.  Every body was labled a bandit then Lol.  No body was investigated, but they all made it.  "Yes they sure did". 

        I for one used to run the streets hot with the expatriates and Caymanian guys in those days,  so I know what was happening.  Corruption was running wild in the streets, but was not considered a crime back then, when companies were formed.  We Caymanians allowed the expatriates to have all the money, Lol, because we never thought we would need it.  We were led to believe that they would always and forever be our friends and this ya rock would share equally among us.  Well we were so wrong.  Law Offices opened, construction companies set up, Marine companies formed, Immigration in it, police in it, Doctor and Lawyer in it. 

      But Now it is looked upon as a crime of corruption, when back in the day it was called crime of passion.  I can only Laugh out Loud as I remember.  Now I am asking those same expatriates wo made it and set up big Companies, (where are your corroupt Caymnanian friends who were the ones made you get to the top?)    Memories dont leave like like people do.  Spend time thinking about the past and how expatriates and Caymanians lived like one happy family.  I am wondering what went wrong, because I was apart of that family.  We are all old pond fowls on our way out of the pond, so I really think we should stand on the edge and look at where we swam from and wonder about why we have all now  become sitting ducks.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Problem–if an American developer bribes a foreign official to obtain a benefit, he is in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the US. The act is enforced seriously in the US and jail is a real possibility.Such a developer would be out of his mind to vfoluntarily cooperate with a foreign government investigation in such a case. He would want to have some kind of deal with the US Justice Department that his cooperation would reduce his potential jail time in the US. This assumes that the foreign country has contacted the US about the investigation. They may not want to, and the Justice Department doesn't necessarily read every newspaper in the world looking for articles about potential bribes by Americans.

    • Anonymous says:

      And why do you think the Chinese developer has been selected for the cruise ship dock and on shore facilities?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Modern day ethical thinking against Caymankind attitude about corruption.  Face it already!  Camanian culture is all about corruption.  it will vote for corruption, work for corrruption, and do everything it can to keep corruption in every area it touches.  This culture will fall apart without it.  No corruption means no chance for Caymanians.

  22. THE BEST says:

    Mr Antonthy Duckworth Please, it is about time you ease up on the UDP and the Premier.  We are not voting PPM back in, and that is final.  They are trying so hard to regain Power, but we are not putting them back in, so I hope they do not even run.

    • Anonymous says:

      Self praise is most certainly no recommendation.

    • Anonymous says:

      'We' ? Speak for unnu self.  

       

    • Dred says:

      I hope you start stocking up on your heart meds cause 2013 is going to be a big one for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely stepping up the campaign! One would expect these comments from Tony Duckworth, being the chair of the opposition.However, in campaigning for power and control, one should be extremely careful, in our protrayal of these Islands and its people. Recently there has  been a lot of comments, that  have had a negative effect  on this country and coming from individuals who claim to have Cayman's best intrerest at heart. While I completely agree with the concept of good governance and transparency, Tony Duckworth is hardly the person to be this great advocate  of transparency, as the chair of the PPM, his time would have been well spent educating his party on these issues while they were in control. Based on their performance, they are no different from the present administration.

      Hopefully this will all change in the very near future.

       

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        You really see no difference between spending money paying off contractors who you have decided not to use on a job and paying contractors to build a vehicle licensing building………………….REALLY???

      • Anonymous says:

        "Based on their performance, they are no different from the present administration".

        As a non-partisan person I have to say that that is simply not true. Certainly they have their faults – a little too laid back and too gung ho on the spending, for example – but we have no reason to believe that the PPM were corrupt, and none of the Ministers were subject to a criminal investigation for "financial irregularities". The only reason that we have some semblance of transparency now (much to McKeeva's chagrin) is that the PPM passed the FOI Law.    
         

  23. Anonymous says:

    maybe it will just go away and we can all be happy and rich

  24. Anonymous says:

    Corruption? Did you hear Squealer and Old Major on the radio this morning re the subject of who paid GLF? It went something like this. 

    Squealer – GLF was paid, but I don't know how. I'm not in Cabinet and not privy to the information. (So he's in charge of negotiations, but doesn't know how $2.x million was paid.)

    Hosts – Its claimed that a benevolent benefactor paid them.

    Squealer – Where did you get that information from? Its that kind of speculation that has to stop. The press needs to stop speculating and report only the facts.  

    (Actually, the Premier stated we did not pay for it. Dart have stated they did not pay. Its very possible CHEC did not pay, but perhaps their sister company CEHC did. Not to worry though, Squealer has given his word he will look into it.)

    Hosts – CHEC doesn't have the best reputation, has all due diligence been done?

    Old Major – Cayman needs to stop bashing and trust our elected politicians. Unlike others who have succumb to CHEC business practices, we are above that. Indeed, its that negativity and suspicion of the press that is turning business away from Cayman. 

    Boy do Squealer and Old Major have Napoleon's back. I wonder how this story will end? 

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Later on in the discussion it was announced that the funds to pay GLF came from the Cayman Islands Treasury contrary to our Premier's statement in the L.A.

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        WHAT??!

         

        So who is misleading whom into these Cayman Islands?

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed. And do you think this was the first time Squealer and Old Major heard that we paid for it? It explains why Squealer was adamant that the Press should not speculate that it was the Chinese who paid. Indeed, he knew they didn't pay. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop speculating?

      How can we do anything else when all we hear is NOTHING.

      Trust elected politicians?

      You have to be out of your f**king mind! What world do you live in?

    • Anonymous says:

      HOw stupid are we, if we knowingly and willingly negotiate anything with a company known to be corrupt and when we further know the trouble our neighbours Jamaica are having with them.  Its like hiring a known thief to operate the cash register in your business then being shocked when you get screwed.  We the people are really that stupid Mr. McField and Mr. Solomon (since we are no longer to call you Elio since you are now so important) to listen to the rubbish and even believe you – NOT!  Your arrogance, rudeness and scorn towards the voters Mr. Solomon and UDP will come back to bite you.

  25. caytele says:

    A country usually gets the leadership it deserves…as history has shown us, no single institution, be it a government or otherwise can weather the disapproval/rejection of the MAJORITY of its minions…Until such "saturation" of discontent/disapproval is realised…then…the leaders can sleep well at night….

    • Anonymous says:

      You do not have to be rejected by the majority in Cayman, you just have to get more votes than anyone else in your district, not more votes than everyone else put together (which would be a majority).