26 April 2009

Deputy PM Mario Carrascalao: Every East Timor Ministry has Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism

(Translation from tetun) Jornal Diario Nacional Dili, 20 April 2009 - Deputy Prime Minister Mario Carrascalao says that nearly all every ministry is in the red, or is affected by KKN. (Translator's note: "KKN" is the Indonesian acronym for “corruption, collusion and nepotism”)

“Nearly every ministry is in the red, though at differing levels. It is true that some are worse than others. Some ministers do not even know that it is going on, and I think in these ministries it involves lower level civil servants misapplying state assets, not doing the right thing with it,” added Deputy Prime Minister Mario Carrascalao to journalist some days ago, after having attended a meeting at the office the President of the Republic (PR), Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta at Farol, Dili, where he discussed this issue with him.

PR Horta said he does not want this nation’s name to be sullied in the international community. He said that when there is corruption, it is the poor who lose out because funds do not make their way down to them, but go to a small group who take it all.

“I want to see an investigation,” PR Horta affirmed. Despite this, PR Horta said that he is satisfied hearing that Deputy PM Carrascalao has already sent some cases to the PGR (Prosecutor General of the Republic) to continue with investigations and take cases to court.

“I am also happy with the PGR Ana Pessoa. I know cases will now not just sit and gather dust when they get to her but will be investigated,” PR Horta assured journalists. PR Horta also said that, as the Head of State, he had 100% confidence and fully supported Deputy PM Carrascalao as he delves into the biggest concern in the life of the nation.

“I am appealing to him as a Timorese who loves the nation, who also fought for 24 years for the independence and freedom of the country, that I do not want to see our nation’s name sullied in the eyes of other nations. I give full support to the Deputy PM Mario to oversee good governance, the fight against corruption and ensure our ministries become stronger,” PR Horta said in expectation.

Deputy PM Carrascalao said in response to this concern that from May onwards he would undertake routine annual inspections to all government ministries.

“Whenever I come across some criminal activity or misapplication of state funds, I will be handing it over to the inspector general to investigate and take to the PGR. There will not memo from me involved,” affirmed the former PSD MP in the National Parliament. (ends)

Image added by ETLJB: Deputy Prime Minister Mario Carrascalao, former Governor of the Province of Timor Timur during the Indonesian occupation.
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