Friday, March 5, 2010

Bad combination

What is the main reason and factor that makes tribes and groups of people from the same developing nation fight each other, and divide themselves into other tribes living in hostility?

This is the journey of the devil’s circle which began in ancient times. The journey, which we are doomed to live with forever and ever, takes root from a bad combination, or mixture, that occurred in that country sometime earlier. This is the combination of weak governance and big potential income.

The crisis that hit hospitals for children of all ages, in Ulaanbaatar City last week has exposed and proven again how really the Mongolian governance is weak.  Maternity houses no longer can meet minimum requirements and conditions of public hospitals, and have needed to rent facilities, leading to three children sleeping in a single bed in that rented facility.

Principal governance duty and responsibility of a democratic state is to protect life, health, property and the freedom of its people.  This  duty and responsibility means the establishment of every single standard and norm of necessary conditions and ensuring the observation of these standards and norms in a proper and strict manner. Once a law or order is established, it must serve every single person in an equal way, but sometimes it is called the government showing its power and strength.

Unfortunately, our government fails to fulfill its principal duties and heretofore had not solved many problems existing for many years. Consequently, certain social branches are in crisis and ordinary people lose lives. 

The early wave and signs of such a crisis also is happening in the education system, which is demonstrated by the fact that citizens seek to run away and escape abroad from their homeland in search of a quality education, en masse. They also seek the possibility to stay there in that foreign land, and search for a better paying job. A man never dies due to a crisis in education, but he seeks to escape from it.

However, the crisis in the health care system is more urgent, as it can potentially cause the loss of lives of many people, most importantly, infants and children. Maternity houses and children’s hospitals have lost management and it has been many years that there has been no planning or policy-making, or fulfillment in these areas. In addition, there is no hierarchical control or supervision over them, and no structure in place to impose responsibility and accountability at all levels. All these negligences have turned maternity and children’s hospitals into places where people are not healed but are infected and their lives needlessly stolen away. 

Ideally, these are supposed to be the places to which people go for healing, not for dying. Ministers and officials who are appointed by political parties and who are responsible for all of these, do not do their jobs and always change directions before doing something for the good of people. The only thing they’ve managed to do is to create an abnormal system in which they, when sick, go abroad for treatment at the expense of the taxpayers, while leaving the general citizenry to deal with the problematically afflicted hospitals here. All this proves again just how deep the crisis in the health care system is.

The next wave of the crisis is ready to hit the system of dwelling apartments and public utilities.  All hot and cold water piping systems of dwelling blocks in the capital city are totally deteriorated and are ready to erupt and cause seriouse damage to thousands of dwellers. Water and sewage pipes that must be replaced after twenty years utilization, are deliberately “forgotten” to be changed in a planned way by city authorities, and so-called apartment owners’ associations, which were privatized by the city authorities, in conspiracy.
A bad governance waits until the crisis develops and the people die, instead of planning their work and preventing the crisis. The only thing they care about is getting additional money or budget revenue for themselves while they’re in office. In addition to the current system of weak governance and unaccountability at all central and local administrative levels, it is also the time to make huge profits from mineral resources.

Authorities from a country with weak governance spend income from mineral resources for their own personal wealth, while ordinary people get poorer and poorer. As a result, the people in turn, stand up and fight against the government, dissolve the government, and in the end, the next faction takes the power. While it is not possible to determine and judge the capacity of a governance within a short period of time, the social and economic situation gets even worse while we try to judge and evaluate the capacity of that faction. Consequently, the people again remove them from power and a subsequent, equally corrupt and inefficient faction comes into power. That is how the devil’s circle begins.

In this process, those with rich wealth and capital place their wealth and capital abroad and eventually migrate (escape) out of their homeland. Those who are highly-qualified leave the country and only those who have no other choice are left to stay in the country and spend the next century fighting each other. This has already happened before many times in history. Some press even call it “The Damnation of Natural Resources”.

We, the Mongolians, should strengthen the management and governing capacity of the government in all levels and ensure institutional capacity of public organizations in order to avoid this vicious circle.

This important task must be carried out by the ruling political parties by means of punishing their members who are responsible for the above crisis, and thereby fulfilling their public, and civic duties of social leadership. 

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