Touria Prayag's Blog

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on March 25, 2011

weekly 25-03-2010

Ali Baba’s
caravan rolls on

The long-awaited day of reckoning turned out not to be
one. The protagonist, Maya Hanoomanjee, waltzed into
the Legislative Assembly seconds before the Prime minister.
Draped in a light blue sari, she looked splendidly
confi dent. As she had said, she had nothing to fear. Paul Bérenger’s
threat that the barking dogs would bite did not shake her
confi dence. She made her way to her ministerial seat where she
sat impassive, except for one or two verbal reactions to her colleagues
from the Opposition; reactions which allowed the very careful
observer to see through the veneer of the elegant garb and subtle
make-up. She watched the parliamentary debate as if the questions
being debated had nothing to do with her.
The look on her face changed little when the exchanges between
the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime minister about the Med-
Point saga heated up, reaching boiling point as the Speaker, who handled
the session with admirable objectivity and fi rmness, had to shout
“order!” several times before some semblance of calm was restored.
A cursory glance at her leader. He looked equally if not even more
unfazed. MedPoint clinic did not belong to him, he had only fi fty
shares and he will not take the money from their sale, remember? So,
he did not once glance towards the Prime minister as the latter was
being bombarded with questions about the alleged shady deal. Guess
this is what politicians call “serene”. And they had every reason to be.
As the Prime minister took the Private Notice Question, it became
clear that those who expected light to be shed on the MedPoint
‘mari deal’ were in for a big disappointment. The whole affair is now
shrouded in an opaque cloak called the ICAC. You just utter the
four-letter word and, abracadabra, it wraps itself around and
everyone in it is safe in its obscure recesses.
The questions raised by the Leader of the Opposition were
dismissed in a masterly way with no indication as to where the
PM stands in relation to the deal. In fact, the Prime minister even
latched on them and went off on an electoral campaign-style tangent
about how his government cares for the elderly and how these
deserve the best ever care etc. etc. Those of us who have one foot in
old age were really touched. We were about to start a fund-raising
exercise there and then for another Rs. 145m to pay for some used
pair of shoes or other celebrity memorabilia our hero, Pravind Jugnauth,
may be ready to part with. Since we could not raise the money
to buy these so very valuable possessions, we hope the minister
of Finance accepts our heart-felt gratitude in lieu for having kindly
demonstrated his care and the care of his government for the elderly
by donating to the country, in exchange for the meagre sum of Rs.
145m, a wonderful clinic where we will one day be looked after in
the most caring way. We hope that he does not feel shortchanged.
And God bless Ali Baba’s caravan! The dogs continue to bark
as there is, at this point, nothing for them to sink their teeth into.
As we join in the barking symphony, we would like to highlight that
the ICAC has a unique opportunity to change its image and the
country’s perception of it. I doubt that it will have a second chance.

weekly@lexpress.mu

 

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