First famlies just cannot keep their hands out of the honey pot!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at 09:07 AM

It seems that corruption by first family members is the norm rather than exception worldwide.

It pains me greatly to see that Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan have been implicated in a corruption scandal by his wife and other family members.
Regretably, the same can be said for other icons of democracy and human rights. The husband of Benizir Bhutto was alleged to have taken millions in bribes while she was in power in Pakistan. While the sons of Kim Dae Jung had been jailed for corruption in South Korea.

Of course, one would expect corruption by first family members to be taken for granted in semi-developed democracies such as Malaysia, Nigeria and countries of the former USSR. However, the behavior of first family members in more developed democracies are often no better.

Berlusconi, the richest man in Italy is widely thought to be corrupt. He escaped conviction and jail by using his power as prime minister to limit the statute of limitations so that it would expire before he can be prosecuted. Similarly of all people, Margaret Thatcher was alleged to have lobbied for her son for an arms contract with Saudi Arabia which netted him several million dollars in commission.

Of course, first family members are constantly exposed to opportunities by those who hope to gain the president or prime minister's ear. But surely, those in power have a duty to educate their children and other relatives not to succumb to such temptation?