Transparency International has condemned an entire nation by an inscrutable process

Dear Editor,

I wish to reply to a letter published by your newspaper on December 11, 2012, authored by Mr L C Ram.  This letter purports to respond to some views I expressed in the Stabroek News, on December 8, 2012, on certain disclosures made by Transparency International.

I must first confess that was I overwhelmed by the vile language and viperous tone in which this letter was written.  It is clear that Mr Ram has shifted his personal vendetta from Dr Ashni Singh and his wife to me and my colleague, Cde Gail Teixeira.

In an exchange of letters in the press some time ago in respect of a different matter, Mr Ram launched a similarly diabolical and vengeful tirade against me. What I said then remains most apt: “to these ad hominem remarks I shall not respond and to those venomous levels I refuse to descend.  I prefer to predicate my public exchanges on more rational, civil and mature foundations.”  I now turn to the issues raised by Mr Ram in his letter.

A distillation of the circumlocutory argumentation of Mr Ram, stripped of its vitriolic content, yields the following propositions:

1. that the Transparency International Report is grounded upon some empirical data; and
2. that corruption is defined by Transparency  International  lexicon as a misuse of public office for private gains, and presumably, their assessment is therefore confined to public office and public office holders.

These assertions are, at best, palpably wrong and at worst, hopelessly tenuous.

Firstly, it is an axiomatic truth that Transparency International’s methodology is a perception-driven process and not one premised upon empirical evidence.  The report itself, by its own title, unwittingly admits to this reality, as it is styled a Perception Index Report.   No amount of clumsy ranting and raving can change that methodological fact.

Secondly, a process which seeks to diagnose the level of corruption in a society but confines its assessment only to the public sector, is one that is both woefully myopic and deeply flawed. Using the definition coined by Transparency International, the reality is that in any society, the other half of a corrupt transaction is, invariably, extrinsic to the public sector.  In other words, the private gain which flows from the misuse of the public office, largely emanates from outside of and not within the public sector.

Therefore, when Transparency Internation-al ranks Guyana as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, it condemns the entire state apparatus, including the executive, the judiciary and the legislature, the private sector and the entire citizenry, as corrupt.  It does so, not upon empirical verifiable evidence, but upon the perception of people who neither work nor reside in Guyana and who are virtually unknown to us; and via a process which offers none an opportunity to utter a single word in our defence.

It is this unjust damnation of an entire nation by an inscrutable process with which I take severe umbrage.  No amount of invective will shift me from this position of principle.

Yours faithfully,
Mohabir Anil Nandlall MP
Attorney General and Minister of Legal

Latest in Letters

default placeholder

The city council would need revenue to deal with vagrants

Dear Editor, Please refer to a letter which appeared in the Monday, June 27, edition of your newspaper captioned ‘City Hall should forget parking meters and build homes for vagrants and beggars’.

default placeholder

Dangerous demagoguery won in a European country again

Dear Editor, United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister David Cameron lost his job, after losing the UK referendum to leave or remain (the Brexit vote) in the European Union (EU).

default placeholder

Part of northbound lane of East Bank road deteriorating

Dear Editor, I would like to draw to the public’s attention the rapid deterioration of the northbound lanes of the recently constructed Section 2 on the East Bank Demerara Road.

default placeholder

Ogunseye should get Dr Thomas’s version

Dear Editor Based on a conversation I had had with Dr Clive Thomas after the 1992 elections, I asked Mr Tacuma Ogunseye to check his facts directly with Dr Thomas (‘Mr Ogunseye should get the facts from Dr Thomas,’ SN, June 23).

default placeholder

Guidelines for hiring teaching heads of department are archaic

Dear Editor, I note with worry and also much anger the replies of GTU President Mark Lyte and Mr George Cave in the print media recently regarding my letters in the press which highlighted the actions against dozens of teachers in the High Court, especially as they relate to my own preliminary promotion to Head of the English Department.

default placeholder

West Indies should be allowed to take part in Champions trophy

Dear Editor, Decisions have been overturned by those who made them on much more significant issues than which teams are excluded from a particular international sporting event or series of events.

default placeholder

The party is over

Dear Editor, With reference to the headline, ‘Cases being built against drug kingpins -US embassy official’ (SN, June 26),  this is the second instance in approximately two weeks that the US government, through a very high level representative, has showed its hand. 

default placeholder

‘I have never defended the PPP – only its right to govern’

Dear Editor, In his riposte titled ‘Cheddi Jagan withdrew the offer of a ministerial post to Clive Thomas’ (SN, Jun 22), Tacuma Ogunseye falsely attacked me. 


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: