Sunday, February 28, 2010

PM To Reintroduce Death Penalty on A Whim

Or after taking note of the results of the private poll he ordered recently. What a lot of people are having trouble understanding is how can somebody make such a U-turn on an important issue like this. And we're not talking of just anybody here. We're talking of the guy who holds the highest office of the land. And why now, a few months before we go to vote for the next government?

Was that done to send some hope to the MSM which is still waiting for an appointment to discuss the terms of an alliance? Or to remind the PMSD that the Labour Party is open to any and all political arrangements including those that leave XLD on the sideline?

Maybe, but it also confirms that Ramgoolam doesn't stand for anything. He just want to stay in power at all costs and is prepared to surrender whatever common sense he might have had to a poll.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

From 1 to 44 in 12

Barely 1% of our electricity was produced with coal in 1996, the first year of Ramgoolam as Prime Minister of Mauritius. When he left office in 2000 that amount had increased by about 20 times. By 2005, when it was Federation 2's turn to tell us ce n'est qu'un au revoir, they had increased it by a further 30%. And since Ramgoolam's return the share of coal in electricity production has reached new heights every single year and ended 2008 at 44.1%.

Berenger is now saying that a Ptr-MMM alliance is gonna save Mauritius. Yeah, right!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Labour Party Icon Snubbed

Would you believe this? Lady Ruhdihkahaah Jagatsingh, pictured above in the early 1970s, was today not invited to the 74th anniversary celebrations of the only political party she has known, loved and devoted an entire life to. 

Why was she not invited? The uninterrupted firing of missiles by the little fellow in the middle of the picture may have had something to do with it.

A Propos De La Banque de Maurice

Bheenick a été un excellent gouverneur. Il a du en plus livrer des batailles sur plusieurs fronts: il a vaincu la spirale inflationniste que lui a léguée Basant Roi; il a résisté aux appels indécents pour déprécier notre roupie et il a tenu tête a un board hostile dont la majorité des membres ont été nommés par un ministre des finances rigolo dont la carrière politique est heureusement arrivée en bout de piste.

L’île Maurice toute entière doit une fière chandelle à Bheenick pour avoir considéré les intérêts de tout un chacun dans l’orientation de la politique monétaire du pays. Vivement qu’il continue le bon travail qu’il a commencé pour de nombreuses années encore.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Paul Can't Find Any Place for Cassam in MMM

So he said a few days ago. What a lot of people are finding surprising is why did it take him so long to realise this after the whole of Mauritius had buried the issue for several weeks already

The same people don't understand why he didn't speak out at the time President Uteem made those not-so-famous statements. Was he trying to see how the public in general would react to the ex-President saying he doesn't see any problem of joining the MMM and in jumping into active politics again? 

That's one more proof that Berenger has been Leader of his party for way too long. 

By the way, is it the kind of signal that Kee Chong was waiting to say yes to joining the MMM?

Karl's Children Find Own Opium: Ideology

Many people who got intoxicated with Marxism in their youth and thought they could do better than the Labour government of Seewoosagur now say that their former political foes have done an awful lot for the country with the little means they had and that despite adverse circumstances. They also say that the MMM never missed an opportunity to betray its ideals just like Navin is betraying the ideals of the founding fathers of the Labour Party. They add that we now have the worst-performing team of all time.

I believe most of the right-thinking citizens of Mauritius will agree with this. We also didn't have any parliamentary opposition for the past 5 years and this has considerably weakened our democracy. And Berenger is no longer acceptable as Leader of the Opposition.

The tragedy is that some of the few interesting potential agents of social transformation, while being proud about not believing in God, don't even realise that they have been pitiful prisoners of ideology. For too long.

Breaking-free from that could certainly do them and Mauritius a lot of good.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gelane: My Week-end Plans

It could weaken back into a tropical storm when it gets closer to us on Saturday according to Weather Underground -- a really cool weather site. Here are its expected path and satellite shot as of a few hours ago.

Does Competence Breed Arrogance?

Bheenick is living proof of that said a newspaper today. I couldn't disagree more. Met the guy on a few occasions and arrogance is not something that would easily stick on his back. Far from that. And of course Manou is not likely to appear on a list of the dumbest people of Mauritius.

And what about the proposition that incompetent people are arrogant? Our joke of Finance Minister is certainly a case in point. Afterall didn't Bertrand Russell tell us that "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

You think cocksure and TINA are interchangeable? Hmm, that's not a stupid observation at all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Forget About That BBQ, Gelane is on its Way!

That's what I understand from looking at the satellite pictures and other charts at TSR. It's currently a cat 1 hurricane but should morph into cat 3 as it swooshes between the land of ti-lipie lor gro-lipie and its smaller sister Rodrigues. Looks like it gonna get closest to us by Saturday evening.

What do you think?

What Journalism is Not

Read the refreshing piece of on the string of articles that seem to come straight from Kafka.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Note From Kozelidir Fan Captures Mood of Nation

As far as one editorial published yesterday goes:

Saint Ali
Oh, pourquoi, pourquoi?
Toi le plus intelligent de tous
Pourquoi, pourquoi, on t'en veut autant?
Mon pauvre cheri
T'inquiete, je suis la

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Real Reason Behind The Mansoor Plan

I had already told you about it. And that on at least two occasions. The first one was three weeks before Santa passed by to drop the good stuff in your socks and the second one was last month.

What's happening is that the bean-counting duet have reduced taxes for the rich by way too much for the government to be able to balance its books. Especially after clipping the worst growth rates in a quarter of a century. And instead of admitting that they indeed can't do better than a Rs 5 coin they are making government employees pay for their incompetence.

Gosh, I can't believe this. I am getting almost as good as Ms. Kwok as far as reading the tea leaves go. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

VAT Hike Reduced Teacher-Pupil Ratio By 16%

Yep, under Federation 2 the ratio fell from 36 to 30 at the primary level and from 19 to 16 at the secondary one. Smaller classes must have made teaching easier and the case for private tuition a little more ridiculous than it already was.

Still, there are a couple of things that should puzzle you:

1. If we built so many schools recently and given that we had already defused the demographic bomb back in 1973 there must have been a period when some ministers sat on their hands? Any idea what effect this had on the stress level of end-of-primary children?

2. And if no major public infrastructural project was carried out since July 2005 why did we have to keep VAT at 15%?

What Mauritius Achieved Without A BlackBerry

Independence -- 1968
Birth control -- 1963-1973
Free Education -- 1977
Economic diversification -- 1968-2005


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Imrith Saying Financial Secretary Second-guesses Parliament

You can listen to the interview he gave to Deepa Bhookun here and feel totally outraged. If that's true -- and it's easy to verify -- then Mansoor should immediately be given a one-way ticket to Foggy Bottom.

What's it with February anyway? Three years ago Sithanen second-guessed Ramgoolam with respect to one of his prerogatives: the nomination of the Governor of the Central Bank.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Alternative Views On the Stimulus Package

Union Boss Gives Statement Against Minister

He avers that this morning the Finance Minister called him twice on his cell phone in connection with the controversial Mansoor Plan and threatened him. Rashid Imrith said Rama Sithanen also used foul language seven times. He added that the foul language used would make the roughest thug blush.

The Ali Mansoor Plan which called for the freezing of careers in the public sector didn't go down too well with the state employees and the population at large. It was unceremoniously killed by the PM today.

PM Cuts Mansoor To Size

And gives unambiguous instructions to immediately end the latest installment of the madness that the bean-counting duet have been serving the beautiful people of Mauritius. By sending the Mansoor Plan to hell the PM is implicitly arranging an impromptu face-to-face meeting with Beelzebub for Sithanen .

That meeting could last a while if you ask me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Some Are Quick To Find Spurious Links

Here's one. 7 out 11 laureates of this year's vintage from our prestigious Queen Elizabeth College moved there after their school certificate so this is proof that splitting secondary school admissions into tiny regions works. 

Not exactly. What this shows is that part of Obeegadoo's reform merely prevented our smartest high-school students to enjoy each other's company. Or if you prefer increasing the number of schools students would have to change. That kind of also shows that the MMM has been brain dead for a long time now.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Union Bosses to PM: Don't Renew Mansoor's Contract

After the Government General Services Union (GGSU) asked the Prime Minister to cut Sithanen's university buddy to size the Government Services Employees Association (GSEA) has requested the head of government not to renew the contract of the Financial Secretary. Ali Mansoor, they say, is completely out of touch with reality.

Many posts in the public sector have remained vacant for years and agreed salary increases have yet to be implemented. Furthermore, hundreds of promotions have been held back. This is obviously affecting delivery of public services. And morale of staff.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

State Attempt to Clamp Down Free Speech Backfires

And angst-ridden Sithanen releases grants of consumer advocacy group ACIM in a hurry. You will recall that these were withheld for a year when the latter protested against the abusive petroleum prices that the good people of Mauritius were being fleeced with. The official explanation is that the STC lost Rs3 billion on hedging operations and that the organisation has to recoup the shortfall by making us pay for it.

The snag is that with the automatic pricing mechanism the STC didn't have to do any hedging as pump prices should inextricably reflect international prices. Rs3 billion is a lot of money. Government could have used this sum to make the SC/HSC exams free for several decades. And Sithanen still hasn't told us how all this happened.

Aren't you happy you're gonna vote soon?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Top 10 Most Popular Posts in January 2010

1. How Malawi Ended Extreme Poverty
2. Kozelidir Book Reviews
3. The 2010 Aston Martin Windshield Sticker
4. Did You Say TINA?
5. Economist on Growth Forecast
6. Labour-MMM Alliance Good for the Uteems Not for Mauritius
7. Gates Foundation Picks Kreol-speaking Economist To Head Strategy
8. Paglanomics
9. Evaluating Ramgoolam's Second Mandate
10. How To Make The Most of Kozelidir

65% of Poll Saying Sithanen Will Not Stay On As Finance Minister

42% of the 114 voters thought Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo would be the next Minister of Finance while only 8% voted for Pravind Jugnauth. Rama Sithanen collected 35% of the votes. The other interesting fact is that some 13% -- that's 5% more than what the Leader of the MSM received -- are saying that someone else would get the job.