Corrupt Anthropology, or the Anthropology of Corruption? - Building Markets

Corrupt Anthropology, or the Anthropology of Corruption?

by Building Markets
March 15, 2011

Husband or Wife: Who Got the Cash?

Some days ago an old and dear Timorese friend of mine came to the house for a Sunday sundowner.  He has been abroad for a couple of years in Europe.  He was bemoaning the politics of Timor-Leste – declared his decision to return to Europe as soon as possible – to pack his bags settle his affairs and get back to Dili as soon as a plane can carry him.  He wants to enter the fray of Timorese politics – for the Opposition.  No doubt my friends in Government will welcome the challenge. Fine by me, I am not a voter, and its not my country to decide which way it goes.

Somehow we got onto the subject which everyone talks about in Dili.  Corruption.

  1. Here is UNDP’s view.
  2. Here is Lao Hamutuk’s view.
  3. Here is the Government’s reaction.

Normally I steer clear of this subject but his assertions were startling and very interesting.

He told me that among the rising middle and upper classes of Dili its the women that control the bank accounts.  As a result rising salaries and other business incomes are being controlled on a tight leash by the wives – yet the husbands are hungry to benefit from the extra income or earnings derived from rising government salaries.

However, because their wives have them on a tight allowance they cannot enjoy themselves as much as they might like.  As such these same men decide to dip into public funds to sponsor their extracurriculur activities, hobbies, etc, etc.

Anyone know if this is as true as my friend vehemently claims it is?

Tags : anthropology corruption

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