About Integrity

The MinPres gave a presentation at parliament regarding what she called her ambitious plan to restore confidence in government, including a dedicated bureau of integrity, BIA. However, with limited resources in 2020, we can’t have it all, her three-pronged plan will be sprung on just two legs in November.

She wants to make sure she says, we follow good governance rules, enjoy transparency and integrity in the war against corruption, embodied in famous bird cases Ibis, Ostrich, and Flamingo, ongoing criminal probes into ministerial shenanigans.

In the case of Ibis, the sentence is still being appealed in court, with jail pending. The former minister had an unfortunate brush with the law last weekend, as he was arrested, when he was sitting in his car on the side of the road, trying perhaps to make his way back home from a bar he owns, in Dakota. If he was under the influence why wasn’t he given a breathalyzer test? Our guess is that perhaps he is still an ambtenaar with foreign affairs, swimming in the overtolligneidpool, as a reserve?

In the case of Ostrich, your guess is as good as mine. The last time we heard anything was in October of last year when a search was conducted in homes, including that of former minister Sevinger.

Flamingo? We were just told, October 7th, 2020, that the home of TV anchor turned insider-fixer in the infrastructure planning department, Ronny Maduro, was investigated. That, as in all cases was a co-production, staged by Dutch RST, local Landsrecherche and Police.

The MinPres mentioned these three cases as the ones that eroded our confidence in the system, and announced she would like to empower her GOA department heads to police their own organizations and weed out internal corruption, because governments come and go, and the technocrats of the apparat remain. Within the bureaucratic apparatus, the apparatchiks, as they were nicknamed in the Soviet Union, rule supreme. They are already governed by a code of ethics, but don’t follow it religiously.

Then she threw Robertico “Tico” Croes under the bus.

We’re talking about a story from 25 years ago, when she was the tax inspector, a nine-year stint listed proudly on her resume.

Apparently, Tico Croes at the time the minister of economic affairs, or tourism, or both – he is now Director of the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies, College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, asked the inspector for leniency in tax matters and pressured her a number of times for tax holidays and breaks on payments for business associates. She rejected the unlawful demands she said, and asked for them in writing, later sorting the issue out in court.

Ok I checked, Tico was Minister of Finance of Aruba, 1998–2001, and Minister of Economic Affairs and Tourism of Aruba,1994–1998.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she walks into mine, said Rick Blain, in 1942 in a classic movie, Casablanca. Of all the iffy deals endured by the island the last three decades, why did MinPres pick that one?

How is it still relevant?

I asked.

AVP is in crisis, its management absent and the top banana has never been replaced, though away for three years. Perhaps MinPres is moving preemptively to prevent Tico Croes from even entertaining a glimmer of thought of a comeback, though his old party is in dire need of leadership, it’s heart occupied by tainted, contaminated apparatchiks, fresh blood needed.

The MinPres just reminded us his is tainted too, discrediting the man.

We know.

Unfortunately, all politicians are.

Good politicians are bad for business, bad politicians are good for business, one of my friends declares. Then he adds, good politicians accomplish NOTHING, besides. those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

I have philosophical friends.


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October 15, 2020
Rona Coster