The General Secretary, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, has come out swinging at the ultimatum issued by the weakened and hapless leader of the Opposition Dr. Peter Phillips, who said at a circus of a press conference today, he is giving the government Thirty days to give updates on ungoiing investigations into socalled Corruption in government.
Dr. Chang issued a statement earlier in which he stated that:
The Government views as troubling, the suggestion by the Leader of the Opposition for the Government to report on independent investigations currently taking place.
Dr Phillips’ call shows a lack of understanding of the current anti-corruption framework and the modern tenets of good governance which requires politicians to not interfere with independent investigations.
I will remind the Leader of the Opposition that the bodies currently conducting their statutory duty to investigate are independent and should be insulated from political interference.
The Government maintains it will not interfere with any investigations and will not support the call by the Opposition Leader to undermine the credibility and authority of these independent bodies.
This Administration believes in the rule of law and is a champion in the anti-corruption fight. It is in that vein that we ensured that the Integrity Commission would not be influenced by the political directorate when we passed the new Integrity Act. Additionally, the MOCA Act was amended by this Administration to ensure its independence.
Historically, it is labour governments that have done the most to fight corruption in this country from the formation of the Office of the Contractor General in the 1980s. Labour governments have never turned a blind eye to corruption.
It is therefore surprising that the Leader of the Opposition would say the Government should interfere when both the Government and Opposition passed laws to secure the independence of these entities.
Dr. Phillips seems to be attacking for political gain, the integrity of these entities headed by some of the most qualified and reputable persons.