・ Attorney General Office and Office of the Special Prosecutor 司法長官、検事事務所が汚職公務員を検挙する義務を果たしていない。
BECHESECHUSEM EL OMERREDER (To Few Corrupted Leaders and the Smarts)
By Santy Asanuma
Let us not kid ourselves that common Palauan citizens do not know what corruption is. Some intellectuals and corrupted at that have the audacity (ng diak dektir ma rengir) to support elected leaders on radio talk shows and printed media to justify that it is okay for our elected officials to openly promote foreign businesses that they have vested interests in. This includes members of their immediate family or close kin (te kauchad). And they are deliberately trying to violate our minds and sway the public to accept that this behavior is acceptable in their twisted logic and philosophies.
In traditional Palauan society, they diplomatically coined a phrase for corrupted leaders who are looking only for their own interests and are very conning (kmal cheblad) in doing such undertakings in the community. The phrase ‘besechusem a chimam’ is literally saying that your hands are dirtied and/or smell, especially of cooked fish. This implies that the person is either involved somehow and/or the guilty party in the matter at hand. As such, the person should shut up and/or remove himself from the situation entirely (mo cheroit er ngii). Palauan traditional society does not even tolerate the appearance (a di osenged er ngii) of wrongdoing. This will suffice for sanction (blals) including to the point of removal from the ‘bai’ (council of traditional leaders).
The problem is many elected leaders today are literally getting away with murder because the prosecution, which is the work of Attorney General Office and Office of the Special Prosecutor, are for some reasons not doing their jobs in going after corrupted government officials. And not all government officials are corrupted. But some have multiple violations of laws but are not being penalized or punished for unknown and at best weak reasons. As a result, this has given the impression to the public that crooked government officials are above the law.
Palau has the Code of Ethics Law and various laws that can be used against corrupted elected leaders and government officials both in national and state governments. In fact, the appearance of improper conduct or use of public of office for personal interest is a crime. It is high time that we the citizens make a law through popular initiative as provided in the constitution to make this crime a treason against the nation and people of Palau. And for such people not be allowed to ever work either directly or indirectly for any public office both in the national or state level.
Elected and government officials committing corruption should be given no less than the “medobech a dekelel” (to be ostracized and/or exiled) to show our strong sentiment (rengud) toward this unacceptable selfishness and malice (kikeongel lomeruul) against Palauan society. These type of corrupted elected leaders and government officials should be given the highest punishment because they swore on oath to protect and promote the interests of Palau over everything else including their own. So when they disregard our country and only look out for their self-interests, it is a violation of public trust and betrayal against Palau as a whole society.
There is a reemergence (luuta el mocha rengii) carelessness in use of public funds and office almost like in the 1980’s to early part of 90’s because nobody is being penalized or punished in recent years. Through the coconutnet in the country, suspicion among the people runs high on flagrant abuse of public funds like the PAN money being used for non-environment projects. There is a notable increased on all expenses junket trips plus per diem in recent years that have no direct connection to development plans or real benefit to the tax payers. Money is being spent for the shake of spending but no improvements on the life of the people.
The popular initiative should be worded that such corruption is a treasonous crime against the nation and people of Palau and should be chopped down. It should be rebuked with disgust as rape that violate only the victim but in this case it violates the entire community’s public trust which is a critical element for smooth running democratic society. Corrupted government officials are evil people and should be given that label without restraints (kirel el diak dolengmes er tir er a delengerngerir). The penalty of minimum jail time of ten years should be set without parole or reduction in prison term and be made to pay back whatever money they illegally spent. We have to kill corruption at its stump (ke di nguu er a olemelel).
(Ngarker Olbechel, Tia Belau, 27 Aug 2018)
NGUIBES ER A UDOUD (Pacific Island Prayer for the Love of Money)
By Santy Asanuma
Even the poor love the idea of having, if not enough, more money they can spend on what they need or want in life. Let us get one fact straight before we go on. Money and those who have it or have the power to distribute it do not want it to be plentiful or in excess like the leafs on trees. You see money is meaningful only to those who are in power to use it to promote their interests. And they do not want everybody to have too much of it. Money in its essence is to separate the haves and the have nots. In cynical terms, this is a class struggle for the haves to always have the advantage over the have nots.
The way we have form our modern society is based on this relationship. Those who do not have it are willing to work for it in exchange for their time and services. Very few of us work for the love of work today. In fact, if you take away the pay from most of us doing the work that we do today, most if not all, will walk away from that job. Of course, we have to buy our daily life needs not only to survive but to live comfortably. Without money, life as we live it today seem impossible or we are forced to live like homeless or beggars.
With this becoming more pressing reality of life for Palau, many people are beginning to weaken on their principles like one’s ancestral land cannot be bought with any amount of money or Palauan pride has no price tag on it or the reputation of my clan is way more important than my individual interest. People or kinship are more important than money. Really? Do Palauans today still believe in these? Because in our traditional society, money is less significant than people. Money like everything else in life is only a product by us which can be created or earned through one’s effort.
When we lose sight of what are really important in our life and put money as the ultimate goal then we have put ourselves in a very vulnerable (ke de mla mo er sel kmal lokedeldaol kung) position because those that have money can do whatever they want with us. In this situation our dreams and our wishes as people would not see the light of day because those that want our lands do not share the same beliefs or value our history or where we came from as a people. History has many examples of this where a different group of people take over another country through war and suppress its people to the point of their extermination (mengitechut malechub e ng tulukngemed er tir).
Most of us do not believe that this is possible while seeing the evil dollar diplomacy come back and done openly and aggressively than ever before by those who have more of it in the name of altruism. You see this is where principles come into the picture to help a group of people and their country stand their ground on what is more important in life than money. We see it around the world, especially in the Pacific region, that China is holding a bag full of money in our faces and tempting us to do away with our principles which in most case affect the cradle (omkedecheraol) of our culture and society as a whole. The following prayer in irony (ng ko ra oltobedechur malechub e ng klebelung) is being posted in the social media.
PACIFIC ISLAND PRAYER
Our Fathers and Mother, who art in Canberra, Wellington, Washington DC, Taipei and Beijing; hollowed be thy policies; thy aids and loans come; thy will be done in the Pacific Islands; as it is in Canberra, Wellington, Washington DC, Taipei, and Beijing; give us this day; our daily aids and loans; forgive our mismanagement; as we forgive our corrupt politicians; lead us not into poverty; but deliver us; from your domination. Amen. Is the prayer you want our children to be praying in the future?
(Ngarker Olbechel, Tia Belau, 19 Sep 2018)
最後はパラオの盟友Ongerung Kambes Kesoleiの記事。彼はレメンゲサウ大統領に近く、大統領批判になる事は書かない。その彼が批判記事を書いているというのは相当な危機的状況である、という事だ。
一番重要なのは下記の部分であろう。レメンゲサウ大統領が海洋保護区法案や、海底通信ケーブル、その他インフラのリフォームの法案を通すために、影響力あるそして中国との国交を進めようとしている上院議員 Hokkons Baules,と、Sabino Anastacio (Speaker of the House of Delegates)との妥協を進めることとなった。レメンゲサウ大統領が海洋保護区法案を強引に可決した背景にはこれを支持する日本財団の存在があったことをここに書いておきたい。私が財団内で何度も反対し、２つ目の博論で海洋法を選んだ理由である。
”But this marriage based on political convenience hasn’t always fared well with Remengesau. Eager to avoid trouble with his political allies, he has given way to legislative bullies to run roughshod over his appointees and administration officials.”