The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) says it strongly strongly condemns the recent behaviour of public officials who have made crass and divisive statements that go against the Political Code of Conduct signed by all political representatives.
“As a national organisation committed to improving Jamaica and fostering a decent, inclusive, and harmonious society, we find such behaviour unacceptable and detrimental to our nation’s progress,” the PSOJ said in a statemet earlier today (May 11).
The PSOJ said political leaders hold a moral responsibility to ensure that they not only adhere to the code of conduct but also set a positive example for the citizens of Jamaica.
“They must understand that their words and actions profoundly impact society. The PSOJ firmly believes that we can only effectively address our social issues if our leaders display good judgment in their tone and statements towards each other. We categorically condemn any distasteful and divisive remarks from any side of the political spectrum, as they only exacerbate tensions and hinder our collective progress.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESS FREEDOM
Furthermore, the PSOJ said the rights and freedoms of journalists are critical tenets of Jamaica’s democratic process. Noting that it is wholly intolerable or elected officials to rescind or infringe upon the rights of journalists.
“While we acknowledge the apologies extended for a recent incident at the PNP headquarters, we reiterate that such behaviour should never be repeated. We expect our public officials to understand and respect journalists’ essential role in society and protect their rights,” the Organisation further stated.
The PSOJ also made mention of the recent incident that occurred in Portland involving Everald Warmington.
“The situation involving Minister Warmington in East Portland is deplorable and highlights his continued failure to act in an acceptable parliamentary manner that promotes inclusivity at all times.”
While noting that public officials are entrusted with the duty to safeguard the rights of all citizens, the Organisation said, “Any instance where citizens are made to feel that elected officials are infringing upon their rights will not be tolerated. ”
“We call upon our political leaders to hold their political officials accountable and ensure that their behaviour meets the highest standards, reflecting the values and attitudes we wish to be demonstrated by all Jamaicans,” the statement continued.
With this, the PSOJ is calling upon the leaders of the two political parties to ensure that the political codes are followed.
“We, therefore, urge both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader to take the higher ground in managing the tone of communication within their respective political camps, aligning it with the agreed political code of conduct.”
According to the PSOJ, doing so will demonstrate their commitment to upholding the values of decency, inclusivity, and respect for all.
FURTHER DISCUSSIONS TO BE HELD
The PSOJ further emphasised that the private sector cannot support any crude or divisive behaviour from our public officials.
“We will therefore be engaging in discussions with the larger private sector grouping within our membership and Churches to determine how we can collectively move forward, as this conduct exhibited by our public officials is unacceptable. The PSOJ firmly believes that those entrusted with public office should set a better example for all Jamaicans.”
“PSOJ stands resolute in its commitment to fostering a society that upholds decency, inclusivity, and respect for all. Accordingly, we will continue to advocate for responsible and accountable behaviour from our political leaders and work towards a Jamaica that thrives on unity and progress,” the statement said.