Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 17th 2013 Contents A11
Saturday, August 17, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar has called on all citizens to
work together to fight crime.
Persad-Bissessar made the comment
while delivering the feature address at
a dinner in observance of Eid ul-Fitr
held at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann s,
on Thursday. It was the fourth Eid cel-
ebration at the Diplomatic Centre.
Echoing the words of Imam Hisham
Muhammad, who spoke before her, the
PM told the large audience gathered:
"I like the call that you (Imam Hisham
Muhammad) made. When you said we
all have to come together in order to
deal with the surge in crime in our
"That is the number one issue and
the Government can t do it alone ..."
Persad-Bissessar said all members of
the different religious communities were
needed to assist in the fight against
"If we all were to come together, I
think we can make the difference
together," she said.
Persad-Bissessar apologised to the
audience for her late arrival, saying the
Government began its day very early
with "a comprehensive Cabinet meet-
ing" which, she said, was followed by
a National Security Council meeting
and a visit to Duncan Street, Port-of-
"We wanted to bring some measure
of hope and comfort," she said.
"We shared the pain of the mothers
who were there."
Persad-Bissessar said the Government
decided there were some measures it
would put in place to deal with the
recent surge in murders, among them
increased law enforcement presence,
more mobile and air patrols.
She said after being informed by
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal
and HDC chair that there was a vacant
block of apartments in the middle of
street, she said the Government decided
to take a decision to convert the vacant
apartments to put a police/army post.
Her statement drew applause from the
Muhammed, in delivering his Eid
message, said there was one above
always looking upon them who ensures
that people remain on the path of right-
"All those, and this could be for all
those outside there who want to do
wrong things, our Prime Minister just
said she had to come from somewhere
else because somebody decide to do
something wrong," he said.
"I am going to tell all those who want
to do wrong things today---stop it.
Because there is not just a Prime Min-
ister, there is not just a President, not
just a government... there is one above
who is looking all the time."
"It is about time we as a people, like
our forefathers and ancestors joined
together, we as well as imams, our pun-
dits, our priests, should join together
again in revitalising this message once
more. Revitalising that message that
there is one above who is in our lives.
One above who is observing, listening,
he is paying attention."
He said it was the responsibility of
everyone to work together to build a
better T&T tomorrow.
Persad-Bissessar also acknowledged
Jehue Gordon s gold medal win in the
400 metres hurdles at the World Cham-
pionships on Thursday.
Education Minister Dr Tim
Gopeesingh, Zalayhar Hassanali, wife
of late president Noor Hassanali, Senate
president Timothy Hamel Smith, House
Speaker Wade Mark, Opposition senator
Faris Al-Rawi, Gender, Youth and Child
Development Minister Marlene Coudray
and Trade Minister Vasant Bharath were
among those present.
Housing Minister Roodal
Moonilal said members of
Parliament may have a
shortened time frame for
which to speak during Par-
"There is an initiative now
to reduce the speaking time
of the members from 75 min-
utes to 45 minutes...and I
think we have built some
agreement on that," he said.
He said he has had informal
discussions with members of
the Opposition, and as mem-
bers of the Standing Orders
committee, such matters have
been discussed for several
"One issue we have raised
is the issue of speaking time
of members," he said yester-
day, while talking to reporters
after a function at the City
Hall Auditorium, San Fernan-
do.Proposed changes to how
Parliament sessions are con-
ducted was raised by President
Anthony Carmona during his
ceremonial opening of the
Fourth Session of the Tenth
Parliament in Port-of- Spain
on August 3.
Carmona delivered a hard-
hitting maiden address in
which he proposed several
changes for Parliament,
including the "timing of pre-
sentations" which he said
should be changed to an earlier
time to increase productivity.
"As head of the Parliament,
I strongly suggest that Par-
liament begin at 8 am, as we
all do, to deal more efficiently
and effectively with the
nation s business," Carmona
When asked whether there
have been any discussions
between the Government and
the Opposition regarding this
suggestion made by Carmona,
Moonilal said there were other
issues to factor in, which the
President may have over-
He said it was necessary to
factor in the committee sys-
tem, which operates parallel
to the parliamentary plenary
"All committees generally
meet on the morning of Par-
liament, so that on Tuesday
and Friday, several committees
are doing their work in the
morning, and then the entire
House sits in the afternoon."
He added that perhaps the
committee system could meet
at an earlier time.
He said it was possible to
come to a consensus so that
"committee work can start
much earlier in the morning,
to allow an earlier start for
Moonilal said it was nec-
essary to take the committee
work into consideration before
changes to the start time of
Parliament could be adjust-
"I think persons have for-
gotten the committee work,
so that if we meet early in the
morning as the full Parlia-
ment, it means that the public
accounts committee, the
work will be impeded. So we
have to look at that as well."
cut to 45 minutes
PM seeks citizens' help in crime fight...
'Govt can't do it alone'
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar talks with Gender Affairs Minister
Marlene Coudray during the Eid dinner she hosted at the Diplomatic Centre, Port-
of-Spain on Thursday evening. PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE
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