By Raffique Shah
September 28, 2016
You think we have problems in this country?
With days to go before Finance Minister Colm Imbert delivers the Government’s 2017 budget, Trinis by the thousand sit in bars across the country sipping beers or whisky, and amidst the din that is common to such establishments, shout to be heard: “Breds, we better drink up, yes…from Friday, we may not be able to afford Johnny Walker Blue!” Big problem, that.
Continue reading ‘Never lose human compassion’
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 27, 2016
I am an old timer. I believe integrity in public life predates the establishment of the Integrity Committee. My mother, born in 1909, used to say: “When ah dead, if anybody say ah owe dem any money, tell dem dey lie.” Her word was her bond. She believed each of us possesses an innate sense of what is right and wrong which tells us when we have transgressed those boundaries. Such a credo was part of an ethical value system that we, as black people, learned from our nineteenth-century ancestors. In those days, we did not need an Integrity Committee to tell us what constitutes ethical behavior.
Continue reading ‘Integrity and Probity’
By Richard Lord
June 21, 2016 – guardian.co.tt
Fresh moves are underway to increase the salaries of the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, the Opposition Leader and all other MPs.
This is as a Salaries Review Commission (SRC) consultant met with senior Government and Opposition MPs last week to initiate the process for the hike.
Continue reading ‘Pay hikes proposed for PM, Cabinet, Opposition’
By Raffique Shah
June 16, 2016
It would be asking too much of our politicians that they show some humility in their public lives. In fact, it will be true to say that, with precious few exceptions, politicians across the world are egotistical and arrogant, character traits that distinguish them from most ordinary human beings.
Lest I be accused of being unduly harsh on the men and women who offer themselves for high political offices, I ask that readers think of politicians you may know personally, contrast the genial soul you knew before he or she was elected or appointed to high office with the person you see (or saw) in office, lording it over lesser mortals.
Continue reading ‘No civility, much hypocrisy’
By Raffique Shah
June 06, 2016
When constitutionally-independent institutions in the country seem to be collapsing, when holders of the highest offices seem confused about their roles and perplexed about their powers, and when the law publicly proves to be the proverbial ass, then, Trinidad & Tobago, we have a problem…a very serious problem.
Continue reading ‘Integrity Commission a waste’
Friday, May 13 2016 – newsday.co.tt
THE BOOKS have been cooked.
Recent disclosures to Parliament have led us to conclude that the State’s financial accounting is seriously flawed. The books have been rendered defective through suspect accounting practices, gaps in oversight of revenue, and the use of tactics that have the effect of masking shortfalls. The result? A distorted picture. A Budget statement every year, yet no true accountability.
Continue reading ‘Cooked books’
Thursday, May 5 2016 – newsday.co.tt
IT WAS a bright cold day in May, and the clocks were striking 13.
This opening line is a paraphrase of the famous opening line of George Orwell’s novel 1984. It’s fitting, we feel, given what took place in the Senate on Tuesday.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, without citing specific legal precedent, made a chilling declaration.
Continue reading ‘Privacy is our right’
By JANELLE DE SOUZA
April 10, 2016 – newsday.co.tt
The seven percent levy on online purchases of goods and services scheduled to take effect by September will probably not slow down online shopping simply because local prices are too high.
Some regular online shoppers to overseas retail companies questioned the move by the Government to further tax online shoppers as they already pay a 20 percent duty and Value Added Tax on these items when they arrive in the country.
Continue reading ‘Online shoppers: 7% tax unfair’
Not worthy of public office
By Rhondor Dowlat
April 01, 2016 – guardian.co.tt
Former prime minister of T&T Patrick Manning believes that politicians who are guilty of hiring relatives at their respective constituency offices are not worthy of public office.
Manning made a statement via his Facebook page on Wednesday night.
He disclosed that in all his 44 years as a Parliamentarian, he has never employed a family member or relative in his constituency office.
Continue reading ‘Manning knocks MPs hiring relatives’
March 20, 2016, 9:49 pm AST – trinidadexpress.com
IT is disingenuous for Members of Parliament to be offering to refund salaries paid to relatives in breach of parliamentary rules, to quibble over definitions of employment, to suggest that new rules should not affect old behaviour or to dismiss them as mere guidelines. The fact that one of those MPs is Wade Mark, former speaker of the House under whom the parliamentary rules regarding employment at MPs constituency offices were reviewed and changed before being implemented in the current term, is scandalous.
Continue reading ‘Getting serious with errant MPs’