Saturday, November 5, 2011

Political Party Financing and Corruption

In a recent issue of Time Magazine, Fareed Zakaria writes
Special interests [in the US] pay politicians vast amounts of cash for their campaigns and in return they get favorable exemptions or credits in the tax code.  In other countries, this sort of bribery takes place underneath bridges and with cash in brown envelopes …  (October 31, 2011, page 19)
This echoes views held by some people in Mauritius who see political party financing as the root of all corruption.  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Swine Flu and Big Business

 [This article was first published in the local press in August / September 2009]

For the year, we forecast sales of Tamiflu to reach ¥53.0 billion, up 531.0%, due to expected resumption of government stockpiling in FY2009 and the ongoing recovery of the prescription rate for seasonal influenza.
(p3) – Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Annual Report 2008 

The recent announcement that the shelf life of Tamiflu could be extended by another two years got me suspicious. If it could expire in 2011, why did the suppliers print 2009 on the box? Was there a sinister motive underlying this decision to print an earlier expiry date?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mass absenteeism in Secondary Schools: Does the cause lie in the syllabus?

Every year at this time, we hear of the significant increase in absenteeism among Form V and Form VI students.  Various reasons have been put forward and chances are that the same phenomenon will recur next year.

One possible reason is that the solutions being proposed (e.g., sms messages to parents etc) do not address the systemic dimensions of the problem.