Tonga is getting from worse to worst-ever performance by a government led by its Prime Minister. My previous concern over disruptive behaviour, and delay tactics to intentionally disrupt the procedures of Parliament over the Auditor General’s Report in relation to the Petition is the worst ever behaviour by Cabinet in Parliament. I thought, in my simple ordinary mind, that I had seen the worst from these people. I was wrong. My dictionary for bad governance and corruption runs out of terms to explain what is coming out of the political pipeline from Tonga to make sense without resorting to swearing.
The fact that it is very clear from the Auditor General’s Report that Ministers withheld key information required to carry out their task in auditing as required and directed by Parliament. That the very people at the centre of this investigation can by legal means not only withhold but also select the information provided for auditing. You have to have no conscience at all in order to comprehend this stupidity.
My simple mind thought that when the Legislative Assembly requested an audit, the Auditor General had the power to acquire any information from any ministry relating to the investigation. No, he doesn’t have that power. He has to request the authority to acquire the information from the very people he investigates or audits.
Does it mean that all this time we talk about good governance and anti-corruption we legislate against them? There are two that every good government gives power they need to execute their office and responsibilities, Taxation and Audit and recently Anti-Corruption. What is happening in Tonga, two of the Cabinet Ministers have owed the government so much tax by companies they either part-own or areassociated with. And now the office of the Auditor General is being disabled.
The least we can do is to postpone the closing of Parliament until our current and merry way of corruption is fixed. If not, Where to from here? Nowhere.
‘Inoke Fotu Hu’akau.