Archive for the 'corruption' Category

Society steeped in corruption

By Raffique Shah
January 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSometime in 2017, I wrote a column in which I counselled Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to refrain from hurling allegations of corruption against ministers and senior officials of the People’s Partnership Government unless or until such time as some them have been charged with serious corruption-related criminal offences.

By then, I had reasoned, most citizens had grown fed up with such allegations being made by parties in power and those in opposition, with no proof produced as they exchanged places every five years from 1986 when the People’s National Movement was first voted out of office after a 30-year grip on power. The average person knew or believed there was rampant corruption involving PNM ministers, and the overwhelming vote they gave the National Alliance for Reconstruction was fuelled by expectations that they would finally see “big sawatees” hauled before the courts in handcuffs, with many of the crooks ending up behind bars like the common criminals they were.
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Bring on an anti-corruption court

By Raffique Shah
November 07, 2018

Raffique ShahUntil scores of corrupt politicians, public officials and thieving contractors in this country are jailed for pillaging the public purse, and are seen wearing “prison blues” so that the population is convinced that justice is evenly dispensed, the lawlessness that runs rife in the society will ravage its body politic like an invasive cancer.

It will inevitably permeate the few decent souls remaining, like the persons whose compassion for their less fortunate brethren during the recent floods kindled hope in our hearts that there is still some humanity left in this jungle of feral greed.
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Campaign financing: laws will hardly help

By Raffique Shah
May 24, 2018

Raffique ShahIt was perhaps an indicator of just how inured this society is to corruption that, except for an Express editorial, no one has commented on Justice Frank Seepersad’s scathing but incisive remarks in his ruling against Jack Warner in a $1.5 million lawsuit that reeked of political machinations.

The lawsuit was filed by Krishna Lalla, who admitted to being a supporter of the United National Congress, although he denied that the money he had “loaned” Warner in 2007 was a campaign contribution to the UNC for the election that year, which the party lost.
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Forged in the Bowels of Corruption: Pt 3

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 26, 2017

PART 1PART 2 — PART 3 — PART 4PART 5

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe development of Trinidad and Tobago’s energy sector owes a lot to the dedication and ingenuity of Ken Julien, our energy czar. Wendell Mottley, T&T’s former Finance Minister, suggests that Julien would not have been successful if he had approached his job through “the typical state bureaucracy.” He was successful because Eric Williams, the former PM, “insulated the energy investments from the hassles and delays that might ordinarily be expected in a programme of such size, complexity and duration” (Trevor Boopsingh & Gregory McGuire, From Oil to Gas and Beyond).
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Only in Trinidad

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2017

Raffique ShahUntil such time as persons in public life who are criminally responsible for stealing from the public purse, or for abusing their powers to enable their friends or associates to unfairly, maybe even illegally, acquire state lands or subsidised housing, are thrown into jail like the common thieves they are, this society will continue to decay, to fall apart, hurtling towards a failed state, a dubious title that we seem hell-bent on attaining, as if it were an achievement we can be proud of.
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Forged in the Bowels of Corruption: Pt 2

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 20, 2017

PART 1 — PART 2 — PART 3PART 4PART 5

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThings get mighty strange in T&T. Before President Anthony Carmona could wash he foot, he jump into de dance with the chiasmus: “I don’t feel because there is a recession that we need to have a recession in education” (Express, November 11). It sounds noble but it does not amount to a hill of beans.

When there is a recession everything recedes including educational funding for the simple reason that the government or the stakeholder does not have enough money to pay for an expensive enterprise, particularly when monies extended to that enterprise may not have been used with the necessary circumspection. However, the President’s statement sounded Solomonic in the presence of enablers of a seriously disabled system. They included UTT chairman Prof. Ken Julien, deputy chairman Prof. Clement Imbert, UTT president Prof. Sarun Al-Zubadidy, Education Minister Anthony Garcia and Chief Justice Ivor Archie.
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Forged in the Bowels of Corruption: Pt 1

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 14, 2017

PART 1 — PART 2PART 3PART 4PART 5

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe last time I heard, the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) was a public institution, which suggests the public owns it. This suggests further that the public (in this case, the taxpayers) have a right to know what’s taking place at “our national university” since the taxpayers have spent billions of dollars to establish this public institution.
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A happy wonderer

By Raffique Shah
October 04, 2017

Raffique ShahWhen you have lived as long as I have, and for most of your adult life you have had an interest in politics and affairs of state to the extent that you actually pay attention the annual Budget presentation by the Minister of Finance, you will have learnt that you waste valuable time listening to a mostly boring speech that contains little or nothing that is dramatic or surprising, and you’d be better off doing something more interesting (reading a good book, in my case), and await the summary of its salient points as captured by journalists who are paid to do such scavenging, or, if you have the stamina, listen to analysts who more or less say the same things year after year.
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Burden of corruption

Br Raffique Shah
August 29, 2017

Raffique ShahIt’s not that we have achieved nothing in 55 years as an independent nation. It’s more that successive governments that have held power during that time have squandered bountiful resources and wasted opportunities that, in the span of half-a-century, could have transformed Trinidad and Tobago into the paradise it had the potential to be. That we are today on the brink of becoming a failed state rather than being a beacon of success is an indictment against every prime minister who held office.
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Cooked books

Newsday Editorial
Friday, May 13 2016 – newsday.co.tt

THE BOOKS have been cooked.

TheftRecent 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.
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