New Year Resolutions 2010
— Ramesh Beeharry
Resolutions are like the signposts that we place along the highway to guide us towards a particular destination. If perchance I were given a say in the affairs of the Nation, the following would be my list to lead it towards a better and richer tomorrow.
- Law and order. Priority of priorities, this will receive the undivided attention of Government. Maurice Ile Durable, Jinfei, Cybercity, Highlands and all previous progress will be meaningless if people do not feel safe in their own homes and fear for their safety when they go out. Prevention will be a priority, so more CCTV will be installed and more policemen put on the beat. And, when a crime is committed, every effort will be made to bring to justice the perpetrator. To minimise recidivism, retribution will be accompanied by rehabilitation.
- Transparency and Good Governance. This will be a must because we aim to play in the senior league. It will be rigorously applied to the public as well as the private sector; and contraveners will be made to feel the full weight of the law. Arrival of accused parties by ambulance, on stretchers or with medical certificates signed by top medics will not be a reason to abandon cases of corruption, embezzlement or whatever.
- Congestion. Even after the road building/dream bridge programmes have been completed, we know that the problem will be only partially resolved and somewhat incompatible with MID. For the long term, therefore, we will start work straightaway on a Master plan for the implementation of a modern mass transit system worthy of a Cyber island. We will aim for completion by the end of the next Parliament.
- Marchands Ambulants. We will go for zero tolerance and return the footpath to its rightful owner, the pedestrian, so that he can walk freely and safely on it rather than run the gauntlet in the gutter, dodging street hawkers, parked vehicles and dangerous traffic. All of the stuff that these people sell is available in shops and proper market stalls.
- Maurice Ile Durable. History will record this as the prime legacy of Dr Navin Ramgoolam, whose baby this is. There will be no vacillation on the subject. With the solid commitment of the PM in leading the way, we will be intransigent in our application of the law (both natural and man-made) against all violation of the Environment and our natural heritage. All future policy decision, whether central or local, will have to be MID compatible.
- Public Corporations. These will be run by people who have the necessary competence and track record. Amateur players and “hedge-takers,” in what is a highly complex and sophisticated marketplace, have no place in multi-billion businesses. Their incompetence confers too heavy an avoidable burden on the Treasury, which has to be funded by the poor, beleaguered taxpayer. Enough is just enough!
- Laureates. Now that Dr Bunwaree, the Education Minister, has decided to grab the bull by the horn, all his Cabinet colleagues will be duty bound to help him implement this popular policy decision. Well before the general elections which are due mid-2010, the public will be informed of the timeframe of the changeover from the current 32 to the proposed 300-400 students who will benefit from the public purse.
- Television. The MBC has served the country well enough, but is perceived as being partial to the government of the day—which makes it susceptible to manipulation by the latter. Being over 40 years old now, the Republic is mature enough and deserves some independent Channels to provide the necessary balance.
- Empowerment and ASP. All disbursement/repayment will be made through the medium of a commercial bank. Sure, the latter will charge for administering these, but this is a small price to pay for much needed transparency. Abusers and defaulters will be named and shamed by the bank, without needing any permission from politicians.
- Water. We will do everything to stop any wastage. If necessary, a new tariff will be introduced if it is felt that the current one does not encourage responsible use of this valuable commodity.
- Loto. The public will to be told what proportion of the money, due to the Government’s special Fund, will be spent on each of the national projects which were identified at the outset. The Fund will be administered by a professional, independent and accountable body, which will publish an audited financial report annually. Before all that, however, someone will explain how 58 percent for Gross Income metamorphosed into 58 percent of Net Income that is paid into the Fund and who authorized this change.
- The New Year. 2010, under a new Alliance Sociale Government, will be remembered as the year in which a New Dawn broke over our little Paradise. “C’est un Plaisir!” will be on every citizen’s lips, as life takes a new turn for the best.
Happy New Year to all my compatriots.