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Reflections on Corruption: Dissent as Democracy

Reflections on Corruption: Dissent as Democracy


March 26, 2024


As I ponder corruption, I'm reminded of a saying: "We cannot see the forest for the trees." Sometimes, we're so immersed in the details that we fail to see the bigger picture. Recently, the verdict against a former prime minister was ordered to repay over NAf. 300,000 to his former employer because he put too much into his pension, highlights a troubling trend. Despite this, he remains a prominent figure in the business community, unchallenged and unapologetic.

Just yesterday, a court acquitted the last suspect police officer accused of involvement in the disappearance of 600 kg of narcotics from a police station a few years ago.

Today, an audit reveals widespread irregular refunds and payment arrangements by the Landsontvanger―National Receiver.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of VVRP admits to not signing off on permits for a condominium complex, threatening one of Jan Thiel's last natural areas.

These incidents paint a grim picture: once promising young men enrich themselves without regard for anything beyond personal or group interests. They abuse power shamelessly. We must acknowledge our pervasive corruption from top to bottom, across the board. A decade ago, we condemned Gelt Dekker, Bosman, and van Raak for their accusations. Now, silence reigns.

Where is the Public Prosecutor's Office? What about the transparency-promoting foundation? While celebrating their tenth anniversary, their impact is minimal, even obstructive.

In a corrupt society, progress stalls, poverty surges, and people flee places with better prospects and less corruption.

Dissent is our best defense against corruption, I believe. Beware: unwittingly or knowingly participating in corruption only exacerbates the problem. We face a monumental challenge.

Miguel Goede

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