Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2013 Contents A5
Friday, July 5, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Days after Housing Minister
Dr Roodal Moonilal promised to
return the controversial Housing
Range Rover HSE the minister
continued to use the vehicle up
He used it yesterday morning
to attend a site visit to view
progress of residential land sites
at Cacandee, Felicity, being devel-
oped by Estate Management and
Business Development Co Ltd
(EMBD) for former VSEP employ-
ees of Caroni 1975 Ltd.
On Monday Moonilal said he
was forced to return the Range
Rover because the T&T Guardian
published the picture of the vehicle
on its front page, which, he said,
posed a security risk for him and
However, he used the vehicle to
attend the site visit.
When contacted for comment
on his retention of the Range Rover,
Moonilal said: "Wait, that is a
He admitted the Range Rover
he arrived in was the same HDC-
Asked if he was not returning
it, Moonilal said: "We are prepared
to give it back because of the secu-
rity issues. We are prepared. We
are just waiting for the new model
to come in the meanwhile."
Moonilal said he would return
the vehicle "in a few days. We have
to clean it out and empty it out."
Yesterday there was an increase
in security detail accompanying
Moonilal to the event. He was driv-
en to and from the tour by his
Special Branch security detail.
Moonilal said: "I need additional
(security) now because of the pub-
lic exposure caused by the
Guardian. We have additional
security from other agencies
because now I am in the second
most conspicuous vehicle in the
country after PM 1."
While he arrived in the Range
Rover, he did not go on the tour
with the vehicle. He instead opted
to ride in a Prado for the tour.
Moonilal said at present he was
looking for another model of vehi-
cle "because the security was com-
He said he did not use the
Range Rover on the tour because
of the "heavy terrain in Felicity."
He said he was hoping to get
a new vehicle next month.
"I am hoping the Guardian will
not take another picture, then we
may have to get a generic number
"We have also decided not to
purchase any other Rover from
the affiliate company of the
Guardian, when the Guardian
mechanic said the Rover is not
good for heavy terrain," he said.
Moonilal declined to say what
make and model of vehicle was
"We are now consulting the
Guardian car-leasing department
to recommend a good vehicle,"
The minister also dismissed
calls for him to apologise for say-
ing as Minister of Housing he is
"the landlord of criminal ele-
He said he had nothing to apol-
ogise for in the statement.
He added: "I did not say all
the people in HDC are criminals.
There are some criminal ele-
ments. It is evident that they are
not all criminal elements.
"That call (for him to apologise)
is foolish. I am stating a fact that
there are HDC sites where there
are criminal elements and we
have to deal with them. It is not
the majority. I have nothing to
The minister also dismissed
claims by Opposition Leader Dr
Keith Rowley that he was "vic-
timising" the People s National
Movement (PNM) Chaguanas
West candidate Avinash Singh.
Yesterday Moonilal toured the
Felicity area where Singh has
land. Singh has been accused on
squatting on those lands.
Moonilal, in response to Row-
ley s statement, which was
reportedly made on a local radio
"I took note that Rowley said
we are victimising his candidate
who is squatting on state lands.
I will ask Dr Rowley if he know
where Cacandee Road is and if
he can spell the first name or the
last name of his candidate."
See Page A15
San Fernando has done it
again...a girl topped this year s
Secondary Entrance Assessment
Sandyha Sookhoo, 11, of Grant
Memorial Presbyterian, San Fer-
nando, was the top performer as
the top three places went to
schools in south Trinidad.
Kay-Lynn Ramlal, of Tulsa Trace
Hindu School, and Troy Samlals-
ingh, of San Fernando Trinidad
Muslim League (TML) Primary
School were the second and third
place students respectively.
Last year s top student, Rebecca
Ann Jattan, also came from San
The three were announced yes-
terday as Education Minister Dr
Tim Gopeesingh visited the schools
of each student to share the news
with them, their parents, teachers
and other pupils.
There were tears of joy, whoops
of happiness, cheers, hugs and tons
of laughs as the success of the
pupils were celebrated.
This is the third time a student
of Grant Memorial Presbyterian
has topped the SEA examination.
In 2004 Reanna Gobin, a stu-
dent of Grant Memorial Presby-
terian, also topped the SEA exam-
ination. In 2000, the school also
placed first in the exam.
Of the 18,039 pupils, ten stu-
dents from Grant Memorial Pres-
byterian and San Fernando TML
placed within the top 200 students
and four students from Tulsa Trace
Hindu School also placed within
the top 200.
Gopeesingh said he was
"extremely pleased" with the
results and added there were
marked improvements in the Cre-
ative Writing Component CWC)
which he attributed to the addition
of the Continuous Assessment
When asked if he found schools
in Port-of-Spain were being out-
performed by South schools,
Gopeesingh said: "From our analy-
sis the Port-of-Spain schools are
having difficulties and we will be
looking to correct that."
He said he placed a lot of
emphasis on some of the schools
along the East/West Corridor.
When asked why it might be so,
Gopeesingh said it might be a
combination of factors, such as
dedication by parents and teachers
and the community.
He said all the etiological factors
must be worked with in the future
to help prevent such an occurrence
in the future. He said, however,
that further analysis on the matter
The minister said there was a
marked increase in this year s cre-
ative writing and language arts.
He said students scoring above
50 per cent in the language arts
examination had increased by over
seven per cent this year. While he
admitted that mathematics had
remained the same, he said, the
ministry hoped to improve on that.
He said students receiving 30
per cent or less overall also had
decreased from 14.6 per cent last
year to 9.9 per cent and he said
he hoped to move that to zero.
Gopeesingh, while at Tulsa Trace
Hindu School, said he wished he
could do away with the SEA exam
and said with CAC the ministry
was on its way to doing that.
However, there was a common-
ality between all three students
who topped the examination.
They said they distributed their
time between academics and
extra-curricular activities, with
third place student Samlalsingh
saying he wanted to become a
lawyer and a pro-footballer and
one day play for his favourite team
Sookhoo was described by her
mother, Marsha Sookhoo as "Ms
Grant Memorial" since her daugh-
ter was involved in many of the
school s extra-curricular activities.
Sookhoo attributed her success
to hard work, prayer "and the work
of our teachers and parents."
Sookhoo, who will be attending
Naparima Girls High School in
September, hopes to be a pedia-
Her father, Kelly Sookhoo, is a
surgeon at the San Fernando Gen-
eral Hospital. Sookhoo s advice to
future SEA students: "Work hard
and believe in yourself and trust
God in everything."
Marsha said her daughter had
to determine what she wanted to
do in life. She said she was an all-
round child and described her as
being very grounded.
Ramlal cried on hearing the good
news of being the second top per-
forming SEA student.
Her parents, Radika and Kello
Ramlal, also cried when they heard
the good news. Like Sookhoo,
Ramlal will be entering Naparima
Girls High School in September.
Oropouche West MP Stacy
Roopnarine-Lyder was present at
the ceremony at Tulsa Trace Hindu
School, Seepersad Trace, Penal.
The school was officially opened
She said: "I am very happy all
my hardwork paid off."
When asked what she wanted
to be rewarded with from her par-
ents, Ramlal said nothing as her
mother hugged her.
Her mother, Radika, said her
child worked hard and made sac-
rifices which led to her second
place. Radika, too, told other par-
ents to support their child/children
and to be there for them.
Samlalsingh said he was shocked
at first but very happy.
'I am hoping for new
vehicle next month'
Top SEA student
sails South again
San Fernando TML's third place SEA student, Troy Ramlalsingh, is kissed by his parents, Stephen and Jerrine,
after Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh announced the SEA results at the school yesterday.
PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
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