Lee Kuan Lee
Lee Kuan Yew may have passed but his legacy is here to stay and there are a few things about leadership that we can learn from this visionary leader.
Since Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965 — an event Mr. Lee called his “moment of anguish” — he had seen himself in a never-ending struggle to overcome the nation’s lack of natural resources, a potentially hostile international environment and a volatile ethnic mix of Chinese, Malays and Indians.
Lee led Singapore from a colonial backwater under British control to one of the world’s most thriving financial centers, and he did so with a tight grip on power.
“To begin with, we don’t have the ingredients of a nation, the elementary factors: a homogeneous population, common language, common culture and common destiny. So, history is a long time. I’ve done my bit.”
Exceedingly well written post from James (Jimmy) Fletcher, former Former Minister for Public Service, Information, Broadcasting, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science & Technology at Government of St. Lucia
His seven suggestions are outstandingly good and need desperately to be implemented in the Cayman Islands.
The fact that our Colonial Overlords, who carry the ultimate power in these islands, do nothing to properly govern these islands leaves me flabbergasted, not to mention their proliferation of the uniformed services.
The cavalier attitude by local members of Parliament towards Democracy and their Electorate proves that they see themselves as our Masters not Public Servants.
Wake Up Cayman Islands.
Two Cents Tuesday No 8 of 2021 (this one is longer than usual)
We have become a country where slogans are much more important than substance. We need to change that.
This year, the theme for our celebration of the 42nd anniversary of our country’s independence is “A Resilient Nation. We Can, We Will”. I like this theme, but not for the reasons you would expect.
Over the last 22 years, we have selected some interesting themes for our independence anniversary celebrations. On two occasions, we have basically kept the theme from the previous year (2015/2016, and 2017/2018). Unless you are a member of Saint Lucia’s Independence Anniversary Committee, I doubt you could, off the top of your head, remember most of these themes. However, even after you have recalled the themes for the respective years, I am almost certain you would not be able to identify any meaningful, sustained actions that we pursued during the year when the theme was current that would have caused the ideal(s) represented in the theme to become the reality for the majority of our citizens.
So, in effect, the theme for the celebration of our anniversary of 22 February 1979 is like the costume that wins King or Queen of the Bands. We admire these costumes (or themes) on the night of the competition, we parade them through the streets of Castries on Carnival Monday and Tuesday (or during Independence celebrations), and we forget about them for the rest of the year.
Can we honestly say that our actions have been designed to encourage “respect, tolerance and togetherness”? (2001). Have we been vigorously “guarding our national pride against the global tide”? (2003). Are we doing everything we can to ensure that we are “progressing in face of global challenges”? (2008). Can we honestly say that by our actions we steadfastly adhere to the principle that “tout Sentlisyen se yonn”? (2010). Have we been acting “in unity and dedication for the good of the nation”? (2014). Are we really “all in, our journey, our future”? (2019).
I did say that I like this year’s theme, but you would expect that from me because it speaks of resilience. Not for the first time mind you, because our 2011 theme also spoke of resilience. I guess back then we were invoking the spirit of resilience to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Tomas. But that is not why I like the theme. I like it because it also says, ‘we can, we will’. It suggests determination, commitment and action. However, for this to not be just another empty slogan, it must commit us to meaningful, substantial actions.
So, here are my recommendations for the themes for our independence anniversary celebrations for the next seven years, in no particular order, building on the foundation of ‘we can, we will’.
1. We can, we will work towards eliminating violence against women by changing how we raise our young boys so that they do not see girls/women as objects for their pleasure, but instead as people whose wishes must always be respected.
2. We can, we will, become a more fiscally responsible government, so that we stop living above our means and spending money on misplaced priorities, while carrying a debt burden that increases relentlessly every year.
3. We can, we will make urgent improvements to the justice system so that young men and women do not spend years remanded at Bordelais while they await trial.
4. We can, we will put an end to corruption at all levels of government so that our scarce financial resources can be used more efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all the people.
5. We can, we will work assiduously towards revitalizing agri-business in our country so that we become a country that feeds itself with fresh, wholesome, locally grown produce, as opposed to one that is slowly killing itself with dated, imported, canned and frozen food.
6. We can, we will re-establish our balance with our environment so that we protect our watersheds, our rich biodiversity and our land and marine ecosystems that are responsible for the quality of life we enjoy and which support all economic activity.
7. We can, we will educate and empower our citizens to help them to understand their rights and responsibilities so that they have the capacity, each in their own way, to make a meaningful contribution to the sustainable development of our country.
If we focus our attention and resources on one of these things every year for the next seven years, then in 2029, when we turn 50, we will truly be able to celebrate the fact that “We Did!”.
To safely open our borders the Cayman Islands should be joining this IATA Initiative.
IATA – Travel Pass Initiative
To re-open borders without quarantine and restart aviation governments need to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19. This means having accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status.
Informing passengers on what tests, vaccines and other measures they require prior to travel, details on where they can get tested and giving them the ability to share their tests and vaccination results in a verifiable, safe and privacy-protecting manner is the key to giving governments the confidence to open borders. To address this challenge IATA is working on launching the IATA Travel Pass, a digital platform for passengers.
Bill Gates said last night [24 Feb] on Clubhouse that global travel will not be safe until 2022, because of inequity of distribution of vaccines.
This is consistent with what a friend living in Shanghai predicted in March 2020- overseas travel severely restricted for 3 years from Jan 2020. – 24 Feb 2021
It may be wise these islands to strive for political maturity, and realize that elections come with obligations
Corruption has been identified as one of the most important problems facing the world today. 1 It is a world-wide problem that became an increasing concern in the early 1990s. Since then, addressing corruption has become increasingly urgent. Corruption exists across the public and private sectors; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that bribery alone siphons between US$1.5 trillion and US$2 trillion annually from the global economy (two per cent of global GDP). 2 Corruption has a significant negative effect on human and economic development, as it hinders economic growth, results in lost tax revenues, and contributes to sustained poverty. It can also erode public trust and confidence in governments and can stifle progress and innovation.
Given the extent of corruption, major development and capacity building institutions including the IMF, United Nations, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Transparency International and the World Bank have been encouraging and supporting countries across the world to do more to strengthen their governance, accountability and transparency arrangements with the aim of eliminating corruption.
The Cayman Islands is not immune to corruption. Since 2011, there have been around 13 high-profile cases of fraud and corruption involving public servants; over the last two years, nine cases of alleged fraud and corruption in the public sector have been reported and are being investigated. Widespread corruption creates a significant reputational risk for the Cayman Islands if government is seen to be ineffective in tackling fraud and corruption.
Since 2007, consecutive governments have introduced measures aimed at combatting fraud and corruption, including passing legislation, setting up anti-corruption bodies and strengthening government policies and procedures. However, actions have not yet been extended across the wider public sector; and it is not yet clear how effective the framework is at preventing corruption.
This audit focuses on the institutional framework for fighting corruption at the national level and within the infrastructure sector, with emphasis on the three planning entities: the Cayman Islands Government’s Department of Planning, Central Planning Authority (CPA) and Development Control Board (DCB). We selected this sector because it is integral to the country’s development and economic prosperity and because there are significant numbers of major infrastructure developments (both public
1 2013 World Independent Network/Gallup International annual survey covering 65 countries.
2 IMF Staff Discussion Note – Corruption: Costs and Mitigating Strategies, International Monetary Fund, May 2016 https://bit.ly/2LZRp2m
Fighting Corruption in the Cayman Islands and private sector) currently underway in the Cayman Islands. We have also previously recommended that the National Development Plan be updated to provide a strategic approach to infrastructure in the Cayman Islands.3
The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of the mechanisms for preventing corruption at the national level and within the infrastructure sector. Specifically, we attempted to answer the following audit questions:
• How well-designed is the national framework to prevent corruption?
• How effective is the national framework in preventing corruption at the national level?
• How well-equipped is the infrastructure sector to prevent corruption?
The Government has made progress in developing a national framework for countering corruption. This includes enacting a range of legislation, the main component being the Anti-Corruption Law. However, some of the legislation has only recently come into force, and some has yet to come into force. https://bit.ly/2NCtqqA
The Great Change: The Great Pause Week 48: The Climate Cabinet
A short while from now all of the President’s cabinet nominees will be confirmed and a first cabinet meeting will be convened. We’d like to imagine that after the usual banalities and formalities, it might go something like this.
PRESIDENT BIDEN: We face a great many challenges as a nation — the viral pandemic; an economy that will remain in dire straits for much of this year with consequences that will linger long after; serious security threats from both state and non-state actors — but what we are going to talk about now is the other emergency, the one that we can no longer ignore. I am going to turn the floor over to my climate advisor, Gina McCarthy.
MS. MCCARTHY: Thank you Mr. President. I will keep this as short as I can. Many of you have years of experience getting briefings like this, but what I am about to tell you may surprise you.
Let me begin with a few charts most of you will be familiar with. This first one is from James Hansen’s famous 2017 paper, “Young People’s Burden.” https://bit.ly/3tXI0JH
(CNS): After Premier Alden McLaughlin said he did not intend calling a meeting of the Parliament before the body is dissolved in March, opposition members are seeking the seven signatures necessary to force a special meeting to debate the no confidence motion in Speaker McKeeva Bush. Answering questions from CNS at Thursday’s press briefing, McLaughlin said that, although government had circulated laws, there was no plan to meet before the election.
The premier said he was not prepared to call a special meeting and that it was up to the opposition members to secure the support needed for it.
How to Shrink the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
By dramatically enhancing Palestinian autonomy, Israel can deliver a better future for itself, its neighbors, and the Palestinians
The middle east is changing in front of our eyes. The process that began with an agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in August is gaining momentum and changing the political map of the region. Israel has now built ties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. But the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains intractable and unsolved, standing as an obstacle to further peace deals.
There is, however, more room than is commonly understood for progress on this front—and it is found in the fascinating disconnect between the political identity most Israelis embrace and the policies they support. In polls, most Israelis today identify as politically right-wing. But when asked what they think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most Israelis do not offer right-wing positions. Instead, they articulate much more complicated moderate or centrist views. If politics is about choosing an identity, then Israel is a right-wing country. But if politics is about solving problems, then most Israelis are somewhere in the center. https://bit.ly/3r5bbsj