I support the move made recently by the president of SIPEU to call for a nationwide strike if the government is not taking any heed on the current entitlement amendments. Government cannot continue to abuse consolidated funds for their own personal gains.
It is sad when such leaders cannot provide a rationale behind such entitlements rather than a blanket statement. This is one of such hogwash entitlements ever created. I think the public funds have generous enough to provide benefit indirectly regarding entitlements such as the school grant: 10,000 per annum, ex-gratia: 25,000 per annum or life pension.
The other concern is that some of these current entitlements have been susceptible to abuse. For instance, the school grant of $10,000 per annum. This school grant according to the manual or whatever, supposedly for children still at school in the Solomon Islands. Some of the MPs have children who had left school or had gone beyond this stage or eligibility. Still MPs grave for this school grant, claiming that it is their entitlement in spite of not meeting the eligibility criteria. This is a daylight robbery in the eyes of our beholders.
It is time that our honourables as accorded to them start behaving like one according to what they being stand for or represent people's voices rather than self serving themselves, remember our national motto: To Lead Is To Serve.
Add on to Beliga's viewpoint regarding the PEC, I'm also sceptical about how impartiality it is, given its composition. In the nutshell, the group itself is non independent considering the separation of their powers , like for this case, the representatives from the executive and the legislative. You will find the same people involved, in other words, same people wearing two hats and thus warrant to conflict of interests.
To add more, this is a body (PEC) where it undergoes many changes within a short period, say from 2007 - 08. Let's say the same period where public funds are running low and simultaneously most needed for our basic services, and no wonder our referral hospital continues to have problems after problems. These changes or additional amendments were done to whose interest? This is like done behind closed doors. The public is very much less informed or got unaware of these matters.
Finally, our biggest obstacle or biggest failure of how things are done today is basically rooted from our leaders. They have the power to make decisions that some times not in a best interest of the majority but in most cases their self-interests comes before us. It's not the village boy, its not the village chief, its not the church minister, its not the copra cutter, its not the public officer, it's the elected leaders themselves to be blamed for some of our mischievous attitude we have today. Whatever your decision is will affect the ordinary people one way or the other.
We shouldn't have these arguments or reach this stage had our leaders make rationale and logical decisions.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Kulekana E. and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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