Corruption expectations high

| 20/03/2014

(CNS): The Cayman Islands premier said that while the region has reached the point where people are now saying they will no longer tolerate corruption, everyone believes all politicians are corrupt. Alden McLaughlin said that the expectations that anyone elected to office is a thief are so high that the good politicians are still defined as thieves – but ones who share the gains. Speaking at the opening of the UCCI anti-corruption and ethics conference on Wednesday evening, the premier said things had become so bad that voters no longer expect corruption -free representation. But, he warned, they don't always see corruption for what it is unless it is being committed by supporters of political groups on the other side.

With people only seeing favours, benefits or bribes as bad when others do it, they were perpetuating the culture of tolerance, he said. After more than fourteen years in Cayman politics, the premier said he could say “without hesitation” he had seen and felt the corruption and the damage it does here too.

McLaughlin told the audience of over 250 people that the UCCI ethics conference was an important step as the region seeks to try and change this culture, not justin the political and public arena but in the business community as well. He pointed out the bribes to politicians were paid by or received from them by the private sector paying for what they want.

“We must work collectively to educate and have everyone understand how widespread and how much of a negative impact corruption has on the future of our people,” he said, as he welcomed the conference delegates and those spearheading the fight against corruption, which, he added, benefits only the few and impoverishes the many.

The governor, Helen Kilpatrick, said that good governance was a primary part of her role and it was important that public funds were kept under close scrutiny. Despite the government’s ongoing failure to produce a set of accounts that can be looked at and understood by the public, the governor said the Cayman government was aware of the need to account for public spending properly and to demonstrate value for money.

Kilpatrick said she believed the political arm of government was as keen as she was to see transparency in all public spending decisions.

She also spoke about more transparency in the financial services sector and pointed to the UK leading the way on this with its buy-in to the automatic exchange of tax information sharing and its decision in public disclosure of beneficial ownership. She said that the CIG had just finished its consultation on the issue of beneficial ownership locally, as she applied more subtle pressure about transparency, anti-corruption and promoting an ethical environment with a public register here too.

Welcoming delegates to the UCCI, she said she was pleased to see not just politicians at the conference but the practitioners here who will be taking part, as they were the ones that deliver those services and can make a stand against corruption as the region works toward building culture of integrity and transparency.

Roy Bodden the UCCI president, said it was a pleasure for UCCI to host the conference on such an important issue and to bring it to the fore, helping to make the Caribbean a better place. Bodden said that he hoped everyone would leave with commitment to fight corruption wherever they see it and at whatever cost.

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Category: Politics

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Actions speak louder than words. If he really wants to stamp out corruption lets see a proper public register of politicians interests and some people put behind bars!

    • And Another Ting says:

      Corruption indeed is a big topic. I wonder if someone would cate to explain if giving people 50 dollars and food at  your residence as a politician is termed as corruption,? Hmm .

  2. Anonymous says:

    Corruption is alive and well with our politicians and high ranking civil servants.Omg you should hear and see the horror stories happening in the Brac. I don't don't know which is worse our politicians or the Lodge that many of them and high government officials are members of. Just look at what happened yesterday to,the video broadcast of the corruption conference – footage cut out because they did not like what the speaker was saying. When is it going to end

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Brac is rotten with corruption. Hello. Governor that is where you need to look. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is very disappointing that the lecture by Dr. Munroe posted on the conference website appears to be edited just as he speaks about money laundering in the Cayman Islands. Editing his speech as he tells the unpopular truth about these islands destroys the integrity of the entire conference.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I believe that corruption is systemic in the Cayman Islands and that hypocrisy abounds.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Since corruption is so high (I think many of us agree on that) then can we see some real action to swiftly bring some high level persons guilty of same, to justice?

    Right….didn't think so….more talk and studies needed eh?

    And the few who have blown the whistle and/or stood up to corruption have so often been made to pay, rather than be rewarded….so is it then any wonder that more and more people are deciding to either do nothing….or even worse "get mine"?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Corruption expectations High! What a caption, I liked it. The real problem was outlined to me many years ago, I could not believe that a particular "Politician" could be believed by people that had lost their savings in a bank of which he had been a director, and indeed they had re elected him.

    If expectations start that low, we may have to redefine "high"!

    • Anonymous says:

      The High  reference is due to recent events being highlighted which will hopefully result in Guilty verdicts in September.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well Mr Premier, in response to your remark that 'everyone believes politicians are corrupt' they didn't get that way alone did they?  It is for you to change this image and all I see is talk about it and Governor Kilpactick uttering the same 'good governance' in every speech.  Perhaps the people are tired of it and want to see justice served.  I have provided you with information by email and the standards in public life folks a link to corruptive practices in one of your SA's.  What have you done about it?  And in case your wondering I firmly believe based on empirical evidence that many of you politicians are self serving.  You make election promises to get elected and then do a u turn on them, so why should people believe anything you say?

  8. Anonymous says:

    ROTFLMAO!!!!!! What a crock?

    All this just after a member of a prominent Caymanian business family and a former resident have been arrested by US authorities accused of money laundering. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't think you understood the article. You should do less ROTFLMAO and more reading comprehension. The premier was saying that there is a problem with corruption and we need to change the culture both in the piublic sector and private sector. How is that inconsistent with those stories?   

      "McLaughlin told the audience of over 250 people that the UCCI ethics conference was an important step as the region seeks to try and change this culture, not just in the political and public arena but in the business community as well".

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm….I thought it was just one person arrested in Puerto Rico not the whole "business family".

  9. Anonymous says:

    Please explain why are we paying back developers for a road to east end if Cayman does not need it at present? How is this agreement different from the much maligned NRA agreement with DART?

    • Anonymous says:

      It doesn't involve closing off any roads which provide direct access and view to the public beach? Try to keep up.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is not paying them back for a road. The developers are giving up concessions they would be entitled to for Eastern DIstrict development to build a road. How hard is that to understand?

      • Anonymous says:

        Tibbetts is suggesting $25mln would be needed – pretty much the entire roads budget – to support this road development.  Typically these estimates are 50% of actual spend -if we had the money, and we don't.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The irony of it all is completely lost on this poor man!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Who is Alden McLaughlin is trying to trick with this latest bout of self righteousness considering his latest PR fiasco by failing to disclose material facts with the east-west road extension? Credibility cannot be bought when you have failed to tell the truth or have acted like there is something to hide. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Am I right, wrong, mad, crazy, insane, or by-polar?  Is it that politicians should not own, possess or be connected to anyone, be it family inheritance, property or business?  What  are they supposed to do with whatever they had before being elected?  Give it away after election?  

      Declare what is yours, but if you do not have a title for it, who is the owner?  Some of the naysayers should declare their condos.  Are they on the Register of Interest?  I am declaring my real estate company that is in my husbands' name.

    • Anonymous says:

      What material facts did he fail to dislose? That his father bought a piece of land decades ago? That Gilbert McLean and the 2001-2005 UDP administration chose to gazzete a road right through Alden's father's property? 

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Alden's attitude – they didn't ask me bout it so I wont tell is the issue. He failed as a leader to be transparent yet bangs on about it at every chance 

    • Anonymous says:

      You people need to get a life. It's not Alden's or Kurt's fault that Gilbert chose to put the road corridor where he did.

      • Anonymous says:

        More deflection PPM bloggers defending the indefensible out of blind loyalty. LOL

        • Anonymous says:

          It's not deflection when it's the truth. Fact are facts whether you choose to believe the facts or not.

      • And Another Ting says:

        Gilbert did not choose the road corridor idjut it was under the advice of the NRA that's what they are tasked with. Understand?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr Ethics: The complicit silence of our sacred house was acquired with 20-30% pay raises in May 2009, at a time when the civil service was simultaneously being told to accept a significant pay cut.  Their pay cut was later reversed, but the MLA pay raise was never repealed nor queried by a complicit back bench.  Some MLAs were even simultaneously collecting salary and pension compensation.  Mr. Transparent should be keenly aware that both of these issues persist to this day.

  13. Anonymous says:

    There are no secrets in this tiny island. The amount of money, shares in companies and real estate properties being held in another individuals name on behalf of our local MLAs and Senior Civil Servants is all the proof we need in Cayman of corruption by politicians and officials.

     

  14. G says:

    Methinks the premier doth protest too much!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Guilty conscience Mr. Premier?

    There are solutions namely, do not tell lies, deflect from the main issue, disclose all real or perceived conflicts before the press has to ask the questions and sound like a bumbling fool.

  16. Chuckster Fan says:

    So is Alden saying he witnessed corruption but did not report it?

     

  17. Anonymous says:

    “Alden McLaughlin said that the expectations that anyone elected to office is a thief are so high that the good politicians are still defined as thieves but ones who share the gains.”

    Family land. Public roads. Nuff said.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a croc of sh*t. Timing of events and who initiated them obvously mean nothing to you.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, not nuff said at all. Under whose administration was the road gazetted, the UDP or the PPM? The insinuation of your post is that the road was planned to benefit the family members of the current crop of Ministers when in fact the road was gazetted by the UDP.    

      • Anonymous says:

        PPM bloggers defending the indefensible out of blind loyalty. LOL

      • Anonymous says:

        It is irrelevant when the gazetting occurred. The point is that at this moment we have a government actively pushing for the construction of a public road that will certainly result in massive public expenditure (do not believe for a minute that the developer is going to cover all the costs, if any) and in circumstances where members of that government have conflicts of interest.

        It is a complete scandal in the making and they would be well advised to walk away from it.

        • Anonymous says:

          It is not irrelevant at all. The only reason that this is newsworthy is because of the suggestion that they routed the road routed purposely to benefit themselves.  

  18. B. N. Onneste says:

    It seems that brother McLaughlin is aware of corruption among politicians, so answer this brother McLaughlin: "Why has there been nothing done about politicians who have been involved in instances of corruption?"  Are Cayman politicians above the law?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you should be addressing that question to Commissioner Baines. Many reports of corruption with supporting evidence have been made but they appear to be unable or unwilling to complete their investigation and bring them to trial.

      • Anonymous says:
         
         
        • Anonymous says:

          People don't get charged based on vivid imagination and wild guesses.There must be some evidence that a criminal offence was committed. If there were no such evidence all charges would have been dropped and the matter closed. Instead, it appears that despite such evidence there is an unwillingness to prosecute the matter and they are hoping that with the passage of time people will forget and the matter swept under the rug. I hope the Lodge is not at play in all of this.      

  19. Anonymous says:

    Three words. Transpraency, transparency, transparency.

    If our premier really is not corrupt, then everything he does has to be transparent and he has to regularly brief the public, via the press, as to what is going on. Who stopped those briefings? Instant suspicion. The justice system needs an overhaul so corruption can really be fought and resolved quickly, not just in the private sector (where it works reasonably well) but in the public sector where a certain well known premier manage to delay trials for a year and a half, and it appears things just get swept under the carpet.

     

    I am not saying he is corrupt, but being transparent, including about his own interests in recent East end road dicussions would have prevented a lot of nasty and maybe unecessary comment. I hope he will learn.

  20. Anonymous says:

    CNS….shouldn't it be anti-corruption expectations? lol

     

    But, frankly I've had enough of the high expectations for corruption and would start with eliminating these talks and getting more action. If we had real enforcement of anti-corruption laws on books now complimented with whistle blowing protection, less nepotism and having same nationals/friends in charge of enforcement, we would not need to rehash the problems.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Yes we have a high expectation of corruption.  And of internal fraud.  And money laundering.  And asset hiding.  And tax evasion.