Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 8th 2013 Contents A28
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, June 8, 2013
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It was Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar who took a
cue from Chinese culture on
Thursday to remark, "We are living
in interesting times..."
The PM wasn t referring to
Tuesday s episode when PP Sen-
ator Jamal Mohammed and PNM
Senator Fitzgerald Hinds were both
on the same side.
That is, standing in a space
between the Independent and
Opposition benches, speaking to
Independent colleagues James
Armstrong and Victor Wheeler
prior to the start of that day s Sen-
Nor was Persad-Bissessar
remarking on the picong her mem-
bers had hurled at PNM s Faris Al-
Rawi that day hailing him as "the
next PNM leader." Without missing
a beat, Al-Rawi retorted, "We re
all leaders in the PNM."
That perception by PP would
have been further fuelled when
Government members accused Al-
Rawi of taking a position contrary
to his PNM Lower House col-
leagues on the Customs Bill.
Persad-Bissessar s remark actu-
ally came at Thursday s appreci-
ation function for officials who
worked during the recent official
visits of US and Chinese leaders.
The spotlight was held by Foreign
Affairs Permanent Secretary Mar-
garet Parillon who emerged from
the background, where PSs usually
reside on media issues, to defend
her ministry s handling of the vis-
its.Similarly under pressure recent-
ly have been police probing "E-
mailgate" who have contended
with stiff public attacks from the
Opposition. How much that influ-
enced public opinion might be
weighed based on public heckling
which probe leader Mervyn
Richardson endured during private
time recently---a disturbing sign
of the times and truly unsweet
Third World "music."
Police have not risen to debate
or bait since any retort may be
construed as tainting and therefore
compromising the probe.
Monitoring of the matter by the
DPP s office and the DPP s call for
other expert assistance in the mat-
ter, which would likely become
reality due to that office s input,
should foster some reassurance.
Whatever and whenever the
result of "E-mailgate s" probe, both
political sides have demonstrated
cognisance of the seriousness of
the issue, the PP engaging high
profile criminal law expertise.
From public information so far,
those aware of the e-mails con-
tents after it was received by PNM
leader Dr Keith Rowley were the
whistleblower who gave it to Row-
ley, former president George
Maxwell Richards to whom Rowley
passed it in January, and the
Integrity Commission which
received it in early March.
Following Government s view
that the Commission could not
deal with the matter, the advice
of the Commission s senior coun-
sel which was subsequently
sought---that the Commission
could indeed probe the matter---
upholds the action by Richards
who may have taken the time
between January and March to
investigate where it might be dealt
with before forwarding it to the
With the Commission currently
constrained to probe the matter
by lack of new commissioners,
chairman Ken Gordon was asked
if the IC would probe it, once fully
Gordon confirmed the matter,
"being serious, will certainly be
an active issue" ahead for members
of the new Commission.
Gordon added the new team
would have to determine if it will
probe the matter, addressing this
based on the merit of the situ-
Word from the President s
House is the head of state this
week resumed the selection
process for the new Integrity Com-
mission, briefly on hold during
recent official visits.
Seven people were interviewed
between April and up to Wednes-
day when three more interviews
were done, it was confirmed.
Projections are interviews may
be wrapped up by next week and
appointments soon after, in about
Meanwhile Government s
peripheral problem---Jack Warner
and Chaguanas West---looms clos-
er. PP sources said an election date
is likely just before the July 29 final
segment of Ramadan. Yesterday
was the deadline for voters to
ensure they were on the electoral
list.While UNC elections officer
Ramona Ramdial s explanation of
party rules indicates Warner may
not necessarily be the sole nom-
inee, Warner has disputed her
interpretation, a sign of many more
And not solely for the Integrity
Commission or police to adjudicate
INTEGRITY COMMISSION AHEAD
PS on protocol furore: Kamla's personal touch
Protocols are only guides to behaviour in certain matters. Create new ones to fit
the country. Soft, not stuffy.
r s adasai
Jack on $6.8m firetruck deal: I'll do it again if I had to
Jack has to get paid somehow. He never works for free.
Mr Warner, if you want to be generous, do it with your own money, not at the
expense of taxpayers. Where's the logic in spending $6.5 million on something
costing $2 million and want to justify it by saying the original estimate was $10
million. Any sensible businessman would've left it there. You and Cabinet should
be responsible to repay every cent for this idiotic decision.
So spending $6.8 million on an untendered contract to a PP supporter to re-
trieve a $2.3 million truck, while other companies quote $0.1 million is not evidence
of corruption? Well if it is not corruption, it demonstrates a staggering degree of
incompetence and disdain for the people's money. If he had had to pay for it out of
his own pocket, would he be so blase about it?
How big is the ravine and what is the supposedly environmental impact on
the fauna and flora, Mr Warner?
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