This is clear from the letter of the Curacao government addressed to Binedi De Volkskrant. Until recently, Saleh, 82, was Curaçao’s only state secretary. He owes this honorary title to his long service in public administration.
Saleh was governor of the Netherlands Antilles between 1990 and 2001. He was previously President of the Joint Court of Justice, the highest judicial institution in the islands. Saleh was considered a symbol of integrity, in part because of the moral sermons he frequently delivered. For example, he told an audience in 2000: “Unfortunately, selfishness is still deeply rooted in the hearts of many.”
About the author
Ashwant Nandram is an economics correspondent for a newspaper De Volkskrant. He writes a lot about aviation and railways. In 2020 he won the De Tegel Journalism Prize.
But his reputation took a hit after fraud at Antillean insurance giant Enea. Between 2006 and 2018, the company was divested of hundreds of millions of euros. As a result, the pensions of around 30,000 clients are now at risk of being cut by up to 80%.
Public anger initially focused on Enya’s owner, Iranian-American businessman Hoshang Ansari. Then the incorruptible Mr. Saleh also came into the limelight. He was a supervisory director of the company between 2008 and 2018. In this role, he had to oversee the insurance giant. But Saleh never sounded the alarm. The fact that he now has 3 million guilders from the Antilles (equivalent to 1.5 million euros) has earned him a lot of ridicule.
Self-renunciation of the title
Now Saleh is in danger of finally falling from his pedestal. Prime Minister of Curaçao Gilmar Bessas writes to Salih that it is no longer possible for the government to maintain your honorary title, given the social role model associated with it. This has to do with Saleh’s role as “a commissioner at the root of problems within the intention group.” Saleh has until September 30 to relinquish the title of Minister of State, after which the government will make its decision.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister urged Saleh to “exercise maximum restraint” when he comes to the Netherlands. As Minister of State, Saleh will participate in a number of meetings on Budget Day next week. For example, on September 22nd he will be one of the speakers at a conference of the Benelux University Centre, just like former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen. As a Minister of State, Saleh may also have been invited to deliver the Throne Speech. The Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations was unable to confirm this on Sunday.
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