Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 24th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Saturday, January 24, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Collapse was the outcome of Chaguanas
West MP/ILP leader Jack Warner s no-con-
fidence motion in Parliament yesterday
against Finance Minister Larry Howai.
That, after Warner packed up his papers,
gave up and walked out of the Parliament
20 minutes into his delivery after being cau-
tioned by the House Speaker to stick to the
After proceedings came to a premature
end, PP House leader Roodal Moonilal told
the T&T Guardian the Government on Mon-
day would consider bringing a motion against
Warner for abuse of privilege, bringing the
Parliament into disrepute by failing to speak
on his motion despite being approved and
for bringing the Finance Minister into dis-
repute without evidence.
"Jack was hanged with the collapse of his
motion. It was truly a bizarre, abnormal day
in Parliament," Moonilal added.
After leaving Parliament, Warner, speaking
to reporters outside of the Parliament cham-
ber, claimed it was all part of an attempt to
muzzle him and alleged the Speaker was
part of it.
The parliamentary session, which usually
ends at 4.30 pm, ended at 2.33 pm with
Warner's walk-out and when Speaker Wade
Mark declared: "This debate has come to a
The motion of censure against Howai---
present for yesterday's debate---centred on
Howai's tenure as FCB's CEO from 2006 to
2009 and involved a loan granted to the
Carlton Savannah for construction of a hotel
which allegedly affected FCB's non-per-
forming loan ratio.
Howai last night told the T&T Guardian
he was disappointed the motion collapsed
"as I would certainly have liked to have the
opportunity to address the matter of the
loan and the performance of the bank over
"I had taken the time to prepare fully for
the debate once I was advised it was on the
Howai added: "I also wanted to clear up
the fact that I had sent a pre-action protocol
letter on the matter one week before the
motion was filed.
"The explanation given may have made
it sound as if my legal action was brought
after the motion was filed.
"I want to place on record that my legal
action has nothing to do with the motion
and actually preceded it. I also wanted the
opportunity to place on record the stellar
performance of the bank over the years."
Before proceedings began, Mark told the
Parliament it was not his intention to stymie,
stifle or muzzle freedom of speech in the
chamber and as guardian of parliamentary
privilege he stood in defence of that.
He, however, noted he had received Warn-
er's motion on December 30, 2014 and
approved it on January 5, 2015.
Mark said he only received a few hours
ago notice from the High Court, dated Jan-
uary 16, 2015, on a matter concerning Howai
and Azard Ali of Sunshine Publishing Com-
Noting Parliament's sub-judice rule that
matters could not be dealt with while active
and awaiting judgments or discontinuation
in case they be prejudiced, Mark said he was
not aware when he approved Warner's
motion that matter involving Howai and Ali
was in court.
Mark said there was a comity between
the Parliament and Judiciary and whatever
was before each area, was dealt with and
not interfered with by either.
"We must not do anything to undermine
the confidence of the judicial system," he
Mark said he had to be sure what Warner
said in his motion would not address what
was before the court and if so he would have
to deny the motion.
He said he could not preside over matters
that brought the House into disrepute.
But, he said, he would allow Warner to
speak and say if his motion was what was
before the court. He said that was an indi-
vidual case and not general law and "we are
treading on dangerous ground."
PNM leader Keith Rowley expressed con-
cern about a precedent which might be set
if MPs "ran to the courts" to try to hamstring
debate on issues with court action. Similar
sentiments were expressed by PNM's Ter-
Moonilal said there would be occurrences
when the content of the motion would be
similar to the court content but Moonilal
said Government and Howai were "over
prepared" for the debate.
"We are ready, willing and able, bring it
on." he added.
No-confidence motion against Howai fails
Chaguanas West MP Jack
Warner leaves his seat
after his motion collapsed
during the sitting of
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Warner s motion called for MPs to express loss
of confidence in Howai and for Howai's appoint-
ment to be revoked by the Prime minister in con-
nection with the.
The motion noted Howai was CEO of state-
owned FCB during 2006 to 2009 when a loan
was granted to Carlton Savannah Limited for
which the funds were to be used for the con-
struction of a hotel.
It noted the Carlton Savannah Limited had
been placed in receivership and the outstanding
loan balance had negatively affected First Citizens
Bank's non-performing loan ratio.
The motion claimed Howai's conduct in his
previous capacity as CEO of FCB had eroded the
confidence of the public in the minister's ability
to administer over the finances of the nation in
the best interest of the public.
Warner, starting the motion, said if Sunshine
publications lifted the information from him,
it was fine.
He said he had brought the motion on Howai's
ability and competence as Howai had been
FCB's CEO and to see if Howai was fit and
qualified for the turbulent times ahead. He said
he would not speak of the court issue.
Mark advised him to read his motion, which
he did. Warner said he was guided by Mark's
He said trust was an issue in T&T and the
public was being told things would be alright
in the face of the oil price drop.
He said he was concerned about the ordinary
man s position, if a CEO was paid "$11.2 million
after losing a lot of money in a bank" and it
was said they did a great job.
Warner thanked the PNM for allowing his
motion to go to the top of the agenda list for
debate before other PNM motions.
He expressed concern on how Howai's behav-
iour as FCB's CEO would impact on his behav-
iour as a minister now. He said a Cemex issue
was a case in point, noting a meeting Howai
had in 2002 on a Cemex takeover.
Warner attempted to speak on a report by
Henry Ford, QC, on alleged insider trading but
he was advised by Mark to stick to the issues
of his motion.
Mark said Warner could not bring other mat-
ters into debate, only what was approved in the
motion. He said Warner was entering a new
area which was not approved.
Warner said when he had earlier noted he
would deal with matters pre-2006 and post-
2009, he thought that was approved by Mark.
Mark said he could not approve until he had
heard what Warner was saying and had now
"You are going in the wrong direction,"Mark
With that Warner said: "Thank you, I'm
through." He then packed up.
Mark sought a seconder for the motion. PNM
MPs --- Deyalsingh and Fitzgerald Jeffrey ---
attempted to but were told by Warner not to
bother. Warner then left.
Mark then pronounced: "This debate has
come to a premature end."
Warner later told reporters the High
Court matter was filed after his motion
and Howai did not send a pre-action
"Therefore this was done to muzzle
me. But I have other forums," he added.
He said he could not speak about the
Carlton Savannah issue since it was in
He insisted the situation was done to
muzzle him. In a subsequent statement,
"While the Government may try to
claim some kind of victory out of today's
proceedings, the fact is that the Gov-
ernment did not win but the people lost
I was muzzled---Jack
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