The bribe and the building

Of bribes

Well, what a way to start the year 2019 with stories of bribes and buildings.

I’m sure you may have already heard this story if you follow news from Micronesia. If you haven’t here is an article that explains the situation briefly:

Last week, the US Justice Department filed charges in the US District Court for Hawaii against Frank James Lyon who’s the president of the civil engineering firm LYON Associates in Honolulu.

Between 2006 and 2016, it’s alleged Frank James Lyon made bribe payments of at least $US200,000 to Micronesian officials.

According to court documents first reported by Hawaii News Now, in exchange he and his co-conspirators obtained around $US7.8 million in contract payments.

It’s alleged that between 2011 and 2016 Mr Lyon spent another $US240,000, this time to Hawaii officials. He subsequently won a $US2.5 million contract.

Prosecutors allege the bribes came in the form of vehicles, gifts and entertainment for officials, and were falsely classified as business expenses.

That’s pretty much the gist of it.  A sad story for our country.

Innocent until

Let’s remember that, we have just heard some parts of this story.  Also, until someone is convicted in a court of law, they are just accused of a crime, not guilty.  Yeah, I watched hundreds of episodes of “Law and Order”… you can’t fool me 🙂

We shall have to see how this will play out.  Since Hawaii is a U.S. state and FSM is a soverign country, what will happen?  This is where I am most curious.  Not that way.

Of buildings

A two day celebration was held in Chuuk.  The Chinese-built Chuuk State Administration buildings are done, in the words of a highly placed FSM Gov official:

“The biggest project, in the biggest state of the FSM, donated by the biggest country in the world”

Why the fixation with size from this government official?  By the way, the Chinese flag was way bigger than all the flags (FSM and Chuuk state) flying that day.  But you know what they say about flag size, right? 🙂 Listen to the podcast to find out.

Till the next blog post or Podcast, see you later.