Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 14th 2017 Contents A6 news
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Behaviour of MPs upsetting to population
Prime Minister Dr Keith
Rowley yesterday asked the
Leader of the Opposition
Kamla Persad-Bissessar if
she was prepared to honour
a commitment she gave dur-
ing her term as Prime Minister
that "we as a Parliament need
to review and make changes
to the whole system with re-
spect to the appointment of a
commissioner of police and
the service commission that
services the police."
Rowley raised the issue during
his brief contribution to yester-
day's debate on a notification
from the Office of the President
to re-appoint attorney Martin
George as a member of the Po-
lice Service Commission. The
PSC has only two members - the
chairman and another member.
If George's nomination was ap-
proved the PSC will be able to
meet. It does not now have a
Rowley said he wanted Per-
sad-Bissessar to answer the
question "to put an end to what
happened here this evening."
The Opposition via its first
speaker to the debate on the
motion , Oropouche East MP Dr
Roodal Moonilal expressed con-
cern over the manner in which the
matter was being dealt with in the
Parliament, saying George's CV
was presented but the nominee
was not before the Parliament
to be able to answer questions
he wanted to ask him.
During Moonilal contribution
House Leader , Camille Robin-
son-Regis and Finance Minister
Colm Imbert made several at-
tempts to challenge the contri-
bution under various standing
orders, especially with respect
to relevance. House Speaker
Bridgid Annisette-George over-
ruled but advised him to deal with
the notification. Rowley said the
behaviour of MPs yesterday was
"upsetting to the national popu-
lation," adding that "we have not
He said Moonilal attempted to
"create some copy of the Ameri-
can system (of appointing people)
where persons who are examined
by the Parliament. That was ir-
relevant and was wrong. "
Rowley said there was no sys-
tem in the United States "where
persons who have to be appointed
to positions are in fact debated
on the floor of the Parliament,
Prime Minister on debate to appoint PSC member...
Govt focusing on quality of Police Service---Rowley
Prime Minister Dr Keith
Rowley, answering ques-
tions from the Opposition
in the House yesterday, an-
nounced the Government is
about to initiate a manpower
resources audit in the Police
He said one of the Govern-
ment's measures in its attack on
crime is to focus on the quality
of Police Service personnel and
the question of accountability.
Rowley said this was being
done to ensure the service's man-
power resources are operating at
Asked by Opposition MP Rod-
ney Charles if the Government
had a crime plan, Rowley, mak-
ing light of the question, replied,
"We have no intention of com-
mitting crime on
this side of the country and we
have no crime plan.
"We have an anti-crime plan."
That plan, he said, largely en-
tails better equipping the police
service to do its job to fight crime.
"The responsibility lies with
the Police Service."
Rowley said the Government
will leave no stone unturned to
help the Police Service become
better and more efficient and to
operate in a more responsible
Charles, showing documents
in his hands which he said were
the PNM's earlier Ten Point
Crime Plan, asked Rowley, "Are
you denying authorship?"
Rowley seemed irritated by
the question. "Well, if you have
it what you coming to ask me that
for?" he shot back.
This prompted Oropouche MP
Dr Roodal Moonilal to call for
the Speaker's protection (from
'I'm scared," Moonilal was
heard saying, as Speaker Bri-
gitte Annisette-George called
The Opposition peppered the
PM with questions during the
Questions to the Prime Minister
segment and it was Tabaquite MP
Dr Suruj Rambachan's turn next.
He asked Rowley, as head of the
National Security Council, what
kind of support was he giving to
the Police Service to make it more
In a more diplomatic tone,
Rowley replied the Government
had spent a significant sum in
helping the police in the area of
He said one of the main areas
of focus in the Government's an-
ti-crime plan was on gathering
information on who was plan-
ning and executing criminal
He indicated a lot of the violent
crime had to do with gang activi-
ties. As for Carnival celebrations
next month, Rowley said, there
will be a significant increase in
joint army/police patrols at all
venues of activity. YB
The payment of $18 million in
annual wage increases promised
to Petrotrin workers by the Gov-
ernment is completely dependent
on cost cutting exercises by the
State-owned oil company, says
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley,
washing the Government's hands
of the matter.
Rowley made the statement in the
Lower House yesterday in response to
a question from Barataria/San Juan
MP Dr Fuad Khan.
He said he had already made that
matter clear in his address to the na-
tion last Wednesday night.
"I took the trouble to address that
matter last Wednesday night."
Rowley said he was sure some-
where in his speech he specifically
said Petrotrin would be making the
payment by cost cutting measures.
He promised to send Khan a copy
of the speech if he wanted.
Khan replied he listened to Rowley's
speech quite closely but what he want-
ed to know was if Petrotrin did not
have money where was it going to find
it to pay the workers.
To which Rowley replied that it was
not a question of Petrotrin not having
money since it was a "multi-million
The PM said it was a question of
what kind of cost cutting the State
company would take.
This was a "matter for Petrotrin at
, the PM said, putting an
end to that question.
The Oilfields Workers' Trade Union
(OWTU), led by leader, Ancel Roget,
threatened strike action last week and
an impending shutdown of the coun-
try in protest of the Government's of-
fer of a zero-zero-zero wage increase
for the period 2011 to 2014.
The OWTU cut down bamboo stalks
and began erecting its strike camp but
at the last minute settled for a five per
cent wage increase with the Labour
Roget sent back the workers to their
jobs with a directive to put out greater
Political analysts and members of
the public have indicated it was a
affair, with Tabaquite MP Dr Suruj
Rambachan talking about the possible
coming privatization of Petrotrin.
Asked about Wendell Mottley, a for-
mer finance minister, who has been
advising Cabinet on the restructuring
of Petrotrin along with other members
of the Cabinet sub-Committee on En-
ergy, Rowley dismissed any questions
He said Mottley, as well as local
stakeholders, and international peo-
ple, if needed, will advise the Gov-
He said the Mottley report will be
before Cabinet in the near future but,
based on the nature of its contents,
he will have
to consider whether it will be made
public or not.
Rowley also said the National Gas
Master Plan should be launched by
Prime Minister Keith Rowley,right, speaks to Finance Minister Colm Imbert,left,
and Attorney General Faris Al Rawi during the sitting of parliament yesterday.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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