Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 8th 2013 Contents A35
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Many people would have had
favourite pieces from President Car-
mona's speech, mine was "Can we
say that we are discharging our du-
ties in a manner that is scrupulous,
painstaking, principled and gov-
erned by conscience?"
This was, of course, in reference
to the members of Parliament, but
we, as Trinidadians can ask this
question of ourselves in any posi-
tion of leadership, be it as leaders of
businesses, institutions, schools,
and even (or should I say especially)
families. We all need to realise that
actions speak louder than words,
and if we are to affect change, it be-
gins at the top.
I took this as a wake-up call to all
the adults in T&T to lead by exam-
ple---and primarily for those of us
who are parents---from the home.
Parents are the first educators of
their children, and if children learn
what they live, we only have our-
selves to blame for what we see
Understanding and living the
virtues encapsulates all the words
used by President Carmona to de-
scribe the manner in which we
should discharge our duties. Our ac-
tions are not simply a sequence of
disconnected choices. We develop
or acquire interior dispositions or
habits, which incline us to perform
particular kinds of actions. When
these actions are good we call them
It has been often said that your
conscience is "the voice of your par-
ents." How many of us realise how
closely our children observe the
choices we make and how we act
on them? These are the same deci-
sions that will form their moral
compass as they progress in life.
How we use our intellect, will and
freedom is crucial to their formation
of conscience, and this process be-
gins from the second they are born.
We, as human beings, can act
freely yet find our freedom of
choice and action easily subverted.
Four main reasons can account for
this: poor judgement and impulsive
decision making; a lack of respect
for others and a lack of responsibil-
ity; a lack of courage in the face of
external pressures; and cases of
poor self-management by feelings
and passions unchecked by reason.
If we look closely, the opposite of
the factors mentioned are: sound
judgement (prudence), responsibil-
ity (justice), courage (fortitude) and
self-mastery (temperance) which
are the four cardinal virtues from
which hinge all other virtues. If we
use these as the guidelines to
strengthen our inner core, we can
then be scrupulous, painstaking and
principled in our actions, and truly
become the leaders that our society
is crying out for, in all aspects of life.
I earnestly appeal to the Prime
Minister and the Government to
abide by the recommendations of
the Armstrong Report. This report
was compiled by an independent
team of 19 experts (Highway Re-
view Committee, led by Dr James
Armstrong) in various fields---urban
and regional planning, hydrology, so-
cial impact assessment, environ-
mental impact assessment,
economic cost-benefit analysis, land
tenure and acquisition, traffic and
transportation planning, law and
The report was produced after in-
tense research, critical analyses and
study of the issues regarding the
Debe to Mon Desir Highway. Having
read the report, it is clear that the
document is scientific, objective,
factual and evidence-based.
The Debe to Mon Desir highway
is a multi-billion dollar mega project.
It has been a very controversial
project because of the lack of trans-
parency regarding its cost and fea-
sibility. The feasibility of the project
has not been determined.
The recommendations made by
the Highway Review Committee are
crystal clear: No further work must
be carried out on the Debe to Mon
Desir highway until a number of
substantive studies are done, which
include a cost benefit analysis, hy-
drology study and social impact as-
The Armstrong Report is a land-
mark document. Documents like
these must be complied with to en-
sure that there is transparency and
accountability by governments
when executing big public projects
using state funds.
This is one opportunity to show
that you are doing so.
A WAKE-UP CALL
Madam PM, abide by Armstrong report
It's Your Write
to break law
What gives Dr Kublalsingh the
right to set up shop outside of the
Prime Minister's office? Is this not in
fact creating a security hazard?
Would he be allowed to do the
same outside the American or Cana-
dian embassies, demanding an inter-
Much has been said about crime
affecting our image throughout the
world and yet still our supposedly
law-abiding citizens insist on impos-
ing their desires on the public.
What if all of the families of those
who have been incarcerated for years
waiting for decisions regarding their
freedom, decide to do the same thing
outside of the law courts?
What about all of those who are
continually calling for justice for their
loved ones who may have been killed
in questionable circumstances?
No, Dr Kublalsingh, we cannot jus-
tify breaking the law. This will only
lead to more chaos and lawlessness.
Is this where we are heading?
I, the undersigned writer Michael J
Williams of Maracas Valley, am not
the same-name blogger "Michael
Williams" referenced by Dr Hamid
Ghany in his Sunday column "Vox
Populi Vox Dei".
I contribute very little to the blogs,
perhaps a total of six short para-
graphs in three e-mails, for all of 2013
I skim any blog which appears on
my inbox and immediately delete to
clear the clutter.
I wish you would give this letter
similar prominence to Dr Ghany's col-
Michael J Williams,
Nelson Mandela Drive,
work of a sick mind
The Muslim Social and Cultural
Foundation strongly condemns the
acts of desecration on the mandir lo-
cated in Felicity. If nothing, the recent
by-election should have taught us ac-
ceptance and tolerance within our re-
To have gone into a place of wor-
ship to vandalise and steal, exposes
the traits of a very sick mind. Even re-
cently within our community we
were subject to theft of funds for
charity and electronic equipment.
As with most religious organisa-
tions, we know that the Hindu com-
munity will not allow the task of
rebuilding to daunt them and this will
only help them to grow stronger.
We are familiar with many of the
devotees at the mandir and I can say
with a surety that they have already
risen above this incident. We ask that
jewelry and pawn shops be on the
lookout for the stolen items being
sold or traded.
It is our fervent hope that the per-
petrators will be caught and dealt
with in an expeditious manner.
Muslim Social and Cultural Foundation
Letters via post should be sent to the Editor-in-chief,
22-24 St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain. Faxes: 625-7211.
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