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No, minister

  • Published at 12:10 am July 20th, 2016
  • Last updated at 03:48 pm July 20th, 2016
No, minister

This is not how ministers are supposed to conduct themselves.

Comments made by certain ministers recently have been nothing short of embarrassing for the prime minister and indeed the entire nation.

Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam’s statement that female labourers working abroad lie and spread gossip as an excuse to return home is not the sort of rhetoric one would expect from a government representative. This is not only sexist, but it completely disregards the plight of women who are working abroad under harsh circumstances as well as the very real threat of abuse.

There have been constant complaints by female labourers on how they have been the victims of abuse abroad, often at the hands of their employers, and it is simply audacious of the good minister to make counter-allegations to the victims. We need to remember that the nation depends quite a bit on the remittances sent in by these individuals, and shrugging off their complaints is, at the very least, insulting to the hard work they put up with to shape the economic future of our nation -- a future that our own prime minister has charted to be reached within this century.

Also rather brow-raising is Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal’s continued insistence that the Holey Artisan attack was carried out by a local outfit despite clear evidence to the contrary. Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu’s shifting the focus of the issue to unlicensed restaurants, educational institutes, and hospitals -- including Holey Artisan -- does nothing to shed light on the issue at hand. And, with a Nature Geoscience Journal claiming that Bangladesh is over a faultline that could result in an earthquake that might deal irreparable damage, Relief and Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury’s bullishness regarding this worry being unfounded can prove to be fatal if the worries do indeed come true.

The amount of goodwill and hope that the government had fostered is on the verge of being undone by the careless remarks made by a handful of uninformed, stubborn ministers who, at best, refuse to listen to reason, and outright spit on the cries of the people who are helping deliver the Digital Bangladesh that the prime minister herself has envisioned, far away from their homes.

This kind of negligence should not be accepted, not by the prime minister, not by her people. It’s clear that these rogue elements need to be sorted out, and seeks to undermine much of the prestige the prime minister herself has helped cultivate for the nation.

Careless remarks such as the ones we have seen recently will do more harm than good, and in no way aid in getting to the heart of matters.