Mur­der within Min­istry

- Prime min­is­ter apol­o­gizes, fires min­istry lead­er­ship -

The UB Post - - Front Page - By B.KHASH-ERDENE

Last week’s most strik­ing news was no doubt the mur­der that oc­curred at the Min­istry of Roads and Trans­porta­tion De­vel­op­ment on Thursday night.

Ini­tial re­ports sug­gested that the mur­der oc­curred af­ter min­istry of­fi­cials drank vodka to­gether at their work and two of them started a brawl.

The vic­tim who was only re­ferred to as “G” by the au­thor­i­ties was the head of mon­i­tor­ing, val­u­a­tion and in­ter­nal au­dit­ing at the min­istry, while the per­pe­tra­tor, re­ferred to as “M”, is the head of state spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tion depart­ment.

The per­pe­tra­tor was later iden­ti­fied by some lo­cal me­dia to be B.Makhbal, who was ap­pointed in De­cem­ber 2017. He pre­vi­ously served within the Min­istry of Min­ing and In­dus­try un­til be­ing re­lieved of duty by Min­is­ter D.Su­miyabazar. B.Makhbal used to work along­side Pres­i­dent Kh.Bat­tulga when he served as agri­cul­ture and in­dus­try min­is­ter from 2012 to 2014. Some re­ports also sug­gest that B.Makhbal has a close re­la­tion­ship with Trans­port Min­is­ter J.Bat-Erdene.

Ac­cord­ing to the as­sets dec­la­ra­tion sub­mit­ted to the In­de­pen­dent Au­thor­ity Against Cor­rup­tion, the man is ex­tremely wealthy. He has 117 mil­lion MNT in his sav­ings ac­count, owns jew­elry and valu­ables worth 480 mil­lion MNT, has three apart­ments, two land prop­er­ties and three busi­ness prop­er­ties worth 1.57 bil­lion MNT, drives a Lexus 570, and his fam­ily makes 229 mil­lion MNT a year.

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The Sukhbaatar District Po­lice is cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case. The po­lice held a press con­fer­ence re­gard­ing the case on Fri­day.

“The po­lice’s 102 hot­line re­ceived a re­port that a per­son died out­side the Min­istry of Roads and Trans­porta­tion De­vel­op­ment, lo­cated in 1st khoroo of Sukhbaatar District, on Au­gust 9,” po­lice spokesper­son M.Munkhshur said.

“In re­sponse to the call, the Sukhbaatar District Po­lice con­ducted ex­am­i­na­tion. Pre­lim­i­nary, it was es­tab­lished that 38-year-old G, the head of mon­i­tor­ing, val­u­a­tion and in­ter­nal au­dit­ing at the min­istry, was mur­dered by the head of the state spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tion depart­ment, 48-year-old M, and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues in its eval­u­a­tion phase. The case is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated un­der the Spe­cial Sec­tion 10.1 of the Crim­i­nal Code. The court hospi­tal will de­ter­mine the cause of G’s death.”

Cu­ri­ously enough, although the po­lice re­fused to re­veal the names of the vic­tim and per­pe­tra­tor, M.Munkhshur went on to ex­plain the cause of the in­ci­dent. “There are so­cial me­dia re­ports that the mur­der oc­curred over a dis­pute re­lated to of­fi­cial posts. This is false re­port. The mur­der oc­curred due to an ar­gu­ment over a per­sonal mat­ter.”

When asked for com­ment on the is­sue, Roads Min­is­ter J.Bat-Erdene told re­porters, “I am re­gret­ful that such an in­ci­dent took place. The state sec­re­tary has just re­cently met with the de­ceased’s fam­ily to ex­press con­do­lences. Since the law en­force­ment is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case, we have no choice but to wait for ver­dict. Yes­ter­day (Thursday) or the day of the in­ci­dent, I gave in­struc­tions to two of the heads of depart­ment. It seems that they drank vodka af­ter work. They ar­gued out­side and went over to the statue and fought, which was recorded by the se­cu­rity cam­era.”

On Sunday af­ter­noon, Min­is­ter J.Bat-Erdene tweeted, “I will re­sign from the min­is­ter’s po­si­tion. I will take eth­i­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity.” He did not pro­vide fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion but it is im­plied that with the mur­der that hap­pened within the min­istry, the de­railed train in Dornogovi, and road dam­age across the coun­try caused by flood­ing, the min­is­ter had a tur­bu­lent week­end to say the least.

On Sunday evening, Prime Min­is­ter U.Khurel­sukh held a press con­fer­ence re­gard­ing the in­ci­dent and dis­missed all top of­fi­cials at the Min­istry of Roads and Trans­porta­tion.

“I ex­press my deep­est con­do­lences to the fam­ily of the de­ceased on be­half of the gov­ern­ment of Mon­go­lia,” U.Khurel­sukh said. “I apol­o­gize for the in­ci­dent which in­volved higher state of­fi­cials -- of­fi­cials who work in lead­er­ship po­si­tions at the min­istry -drink­ing and brawl­ing and end­ing one an­other’s valu­able life. This in­ci­dent clearly il­lus­trates the need to im­prove dis­ci­pline and re­spon­si­bil­ity. I re­al­ize that go­ing forward we must con­tinue to work to im­prove dis­ci­pline and re­spon­si­bil­ity at all lev­els of the gov­ern­ment. Hence I re­lieved of duty the lead­er­ship of the min­istry, the min­is­ter of roads and trans­porta­tion de­vel­op­ment, the state sec­re­tary at the min­istry and the re­lated depart­ment heads at the min­istry dur­ing to­day’s Cabi­net meet­ing… As Par­lia­ment ap­proves the ap­point­ment of a min­is­ter, and un­til Par­lia­ment dis­cusses the is­sue, Deputy Min­is­ter of Mon­go­lia Enkhtu­vshin will act as the min­is­ter of roads and trans­porta­tion. The deputy roads min­is­ter and the state sec­re­tary were dis­missed through the Cabi­net meet­ing too. I also note that these three in­di­vid­u­als ad­mit­ted to their own short­com­ings and handed in their res­ig­na­tion,” the prime min­is­ter said.

“The Mon­go­lian state must be hon­est. We must tighten re­spon­si­bil­ity and dis­ci­pline. Our peo­ple want and demand this from us, and I be­lieve that we must meet this demand in our work as prime min­is­ter,” he af­firmed.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports by time.mn, four depart­ment heads stayed af­ter work at the min­istry to drink and two of them ended up ar­gu­ing, which led to the mur­der. Even the roads min­is­ter him­self seemed non­cha­lant about the fact that higher state of­fi­cials are drink­ing al­co­hol at work, sug­gest­ing that this is a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence.

This rep­re­hen­si­ble in­ci­dent demon­strates a fla­grant dis­re­gard for the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and trust placed on the es­tab­lish­ment, and serves as a proof of ev­ery­thing wrong within the state. There is some­thing se­ri­ously wrong when the high­est gov­ern­ment bod­ies ap­point in­di­vid­u­als who drink and brawl at work and are ca­pa­ble of mur­der to serve the peo­ple. It is even more sick­en­ing to think that the hard-earned money of tax pay­ers line the pock­ets of these dis­grace­ful in­di­vid­u­als, whose only qual­i­fi­ca­tion is who they know.

The sad­dest as­pect of the story is the pub­lic’s re­ac­tion to­ward the in­ci­dent. The fact that most peo­ple didn’t jolt with in­dig­na­tion and were in fact ex­pec­tantly gloat­ing at the per­pe­tra­tor speaks vol­umes about the ex­tent of moral de­prav­ity present in our so­ci­ety to­day as well as the lack of faith in the sys­tem.

Min­is­ter J.Bat-Erdene’s tweets

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