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WHAT was former Amerindian Minister, Pauline Sukhai thinking when she declared that she was entitled to the $2.1 million spent on her dental work? Something is very wrong when a top public official could so arrogantly tell the nation that it owes her large sums of money to do her teeth. The vast majority of citizens of this country do not visit the dentist regularly, simply because they cannot afford it. Some young adults have never visited a dentist. Yet this ex-minister could arrogantly claim that her hefty dental bill was an entitlement.
That the former minister could say such a thing in the face of the sea of corruption being unearthed since the new Government took power tells us something about the lack of remorse in the ranks of the PPP leadership. One would have expected much humility from these leaders who, for 23 years, transformed Guyana into one of the most corrupt countries in the hemisphere. Where is the example for younger politicians to emulate? Where is the respect for the ideals of selfless service?
The former minister made her remarks at a press conference, where she was lambasting the Government for discrimination against over 2,000 Amerindians. The merits of her charge would have to be determined. But does she not know that she is guilty of the very over-reach she was charging the Government with? Does she know how many Amerindians $2.1 million could feed? Does she know that the money she spent is not hers? Does she know that minsters of government are not entitled to anything? Can she tell us what qualifies her for an entitlement to the public monies?
One can now understand those who feel that the PPP should be kept far away from power for a long time. Many supporters of the Government have been calling on them to deal more harshly with those who have been fingered in corruption. The Government has hesitated. Obviously, it is conscious of the charges of discrimination. But after listening to Ms. Sukhai, one wonders whether the PPP is not taking the Government for granted.
Ms. Sukhai’s behaviour is graceless. Her rude answer to the reporter who asked how the money was spent exposes a misplaced arrogance that has no place in public life. This is a clear case of “wrong-and-strong” that should be stopped by the PPP.
But we should not hold our breaths; time and time again, PPP leaders have exhibited this crass behaviour which flies in the face of acceptable standards for public officials. It is now clear that the PPP believes that although it is no longer in power, it still runs things. It is delusional, but it comes from a place of domination and contempt for the Guyanese people.
The party’s behaviour since losing office has been obscene; it has treated the new Government with utter disdain. The words pouring from the mouths of top leaders such as Rohee, Jagdeo and Ramotar go beyond the normal rough-and-tough of politics. The charge of ethnic cleansing, for example, is dangerous. Ms. Sukhai is blasting the party line for all to hear, but Guyana deserves better.

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