It is hard to figure out some of our leaders in OEK. Take for example, Koror State Delegate Joel Toribiong. This guy is making me nervous everytime I hear him talk in the House floor. Yesterday, at the end of the first regular session of the year he made some comments that I think are just plain ignorant and stupid.
Firstly, he took the opportunity to give a sermon on the critics of his proposal to allow criminals in jail to be eligible for parole if they pay up their fines. He said that they deserve a second chance. My problem with this is not that nobody is against a second chance but criminal elements in our society maybe empowered by this reckless statement that there is always a second chance, and so they don't care if they are caught the first time. What this means is that it is okay to do wrongs in the society; sell drugs, killing people, robbing the homes of the elderly, etc. This is equivalent to getting the "Get Out of Jail" monopoly card giving you a free ticket if you get caught the first time.
I am very disappointed that there did not seem to be any sense of concern for the victims. His answer to the victims is to insult their injury and their intelligence by preaching that they should love and not hate their offender, and that they should do anything to forgive because it is the right thing to do. Well then Delegate, why not pay fines directly to the victims instead of paying to National Treasury, after all they are the victims not the government. And since we're at it why not preach to the prisoners also about love, hate and forgiveness, if you can ask the public to forgive, I am sure you can also ask the prisoners to own up to their crime and start loving, reject any kind of criminal activity, and to live as a productive citizens. I am now going to start calling this guy Reckless Joe.
Secondly, with all the influence his seat as a congressman can bring to make changes to everyones lives, he selects the government vehicles license plates as an issue that most need immediate attention. PPUC, PNCC, and other semi-government agency have their own license plate and he finds that the most pressing problem of the new year. If Reckless Joe is concerned about the government vehicles it should not be the license plate display but whether the cars meet highway safety requirements. Some of the cars looks like they need to be removed from the road at once, if they are not dangerous to the driver that they are to the public. Are the government vehicles exempted and not the public from the safety requirement laws?
Thirdly, Reckless Joe believe that PalauGov should sell the the shark fins confiscated for additional revenue and not burned them. Well, Reckless Joe maybe the the republic is not in the business of selling shark fins, that's why. This is a very bad policy. I do not know if Reckless Joe considered the consequence that Palau could face an internatrional backlash. We will not avoid the impression that our government is not serious about protecting the decreasing number of sharks. We can be accused of lying in and wait until the long liners have done their shark finning to ambush them and get their catch to sell. As a member of community of nations that is admired and looked upon to by many countries as an example of good and strong programs of conservation and the environment I don't believe it is worth the price of additional revenue to trash our image internationally.