Issue is about ethics not Geetanjali Singh

Dear Editor,

Last week the Minister of Education found the time to stand behind Ms Geetanjali Singh, quite unaware of the looming social tension under the surface in Guyana.  Unfortunately, the narrative of Minister Manickchand was that Ms Singh is an “attractive unassuming woman.”

We stand behind Ms Singh 100 per cent in securing a job in her field of talent since she is a qualified and talented woman who is fit to work, although not in an institution which is responsible for auditing the books prepared by a team headed by her husband. Would the shareholders of Banks DIH Ltd hire Mr Clifford Reis as CEO, his wife as the internal auditor and his brother’s company as external auditor?  This is the extent of the absurdity that is being imposed on the nation by the PPP.

It is clear that the PPP is bent on continuing this charade between the Minister of Finance and the Audit Office but it is clear things will come to head very soon. We are calling on President Ramotar to right this wrong, and swiftly.

According to the Minister because Ms Singh is “very quiet and will perhaps never be in anyone’s face,” she has a right to audit the books of the government when her husband is the principal official in charge of preparing those books.  Really?

This Minister wants us to believe that because Ms Singh is a “dedicated wife to a busy professional husband,” it qualifies her to audit the books that recorded how her husband spent other people’s money.  And because she is “one of the best young mothers,” this Minister wants us to believe that Ms Singh is not eligible to be in a conflict of interest position?  Utter twaddle!  Absolute codswallop! Complete garbage!

This excuse that men are attacking Ms Geetanjali Singh just because she is a woman is nothing but a political cop-out in the face of misrule.  All Ms Manikchand is doing is meddling with the truth. If the Minister of Education chooses to enlighten herself on the literature out of the World Bank, Australia, the UK and the United States among others, she will find that nipping conflict of interest (COI) in the bud is critical to curbing corruption.  For the enlightenment of the Minister, COI is defined by the UN as happening “when public interest is compromised by the private interest of public officials”.  Ms Geetanjali Singh is a very public official (the brains at the AG Office) whose office is called upon to interrogate the books produced by her husband.  Any woman worth her salt will know that Messrs Goolsarran and Ram are not attacking a woman but they are attacking the poor judgment and unethical behaviour being displayed by people who clearly should know better. Now is the time to stand behind these national patriots.

In conclusion, let us cut all the hogwash about attack on women since that is a gross untruth; this issue is about ethics and it has nothing to do with Ms Geetanjali Singh.

Yours faithfully,
Asquith Rose
Harish S Singh

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