Monthly Archive for June, 2018

The housing conundrum

By Raffique Shah
June 28, 2018

Raffique ShahAt two ends of the nation’s housing spectrum there are seemingly intractable problems that defy solutions unless the population is prepared to change the cultural mores that have contributed to us facing this conundrum.

At the base, we see tens of thousands of citizens ranging from low-income workers to no-income “lochos” clamouring for Government to provide housing for them. Many among these can afford to pay the subsidised rental or mortgage rates that the Housing Development Corporation, either directly or through certain mortgage facilities, charges for its low-end units.
Continue reading ‘The housing conundrum’

Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 4

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 25, 2018

PART 4

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeSixteen years hence, Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) will celebrate its two hundredth anniversary since slavery ended formally. As I open my eyes, I am not sure I can see as clearly as the Minister of Finance how the African population will be positioned within the society in 2034.

Last Sunday I argued that by 2030, the Indian population will grow to between 588,000 and 776,000 people or 41 percent of the population; Africans will grow to between 525,000 and 615,000 people but remain about 36 percent of the population; and the mixed population will grow to between 339,000 and 417,000 people or 22 percent. In short, the African population will have dropped from 73 percent in 1803 to 36 percent in 2034.
Continue reading ‘Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 4’

I cry for the Fyzabad I knew

By Raffique Shah
June 21, 2018

Raffique ShahIt was on this historic day 45 years ago that I started a new chapter in my life-my involvement in the trade union fraternity, and more specifically, being part of the thousands who made the annual pilgrimage to Fyzabad to pay tribute to pioneers of the labour movement, more specifically Tubal Uriah Butler. From June 19, 1973 until I called halt to marching with my comrades in 2009, I never missed a Labour Day celebration in Fyzabad.
Continue reading ‘I cry for the Fyzabad I knew’

Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 3

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 20, 2018

PART 3

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt’s an iconographic image, one that is indicative of our times: the destruction of black men in an age of unreason and indifference.

There they are: a brother in a blue polo shirt that reads “salopian” on his breast. Another brother holds him back as he vents his anger against Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds on Old St. Joseph Road. Brother Hinds, decked out in a Panama hat and trademark deadlocks that falls below his waist, seemed absolutely engrossed in the pain and anger directed against him (Guardian, June 9).
Continue reading ‘Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 3’

Valuation Division off on wrong foot

By Raffique Shah
June 15, 2018

Raffique ShahOftentimes, civic and professional organisations that stay aloof of the political mud-wrestling that has long been the dominant feature of our parliamentary system, provide citizens with greater clarity on legislation that impact our lives than our warring politicians do.

Such is the case with the controversial Property Tax Act and its many amendments. On every occasion that the legislation has come before Parliament, it has generated a fish-market-like cacophony and wild fear-mongering to the extent that an entire general election campaign (2010) was conducted on the theme “axe the tax”, and the Manning government fell, albeit on issues wider and larger than the tax.
Continue reading ‘Valuation Division off on wrong foot’

Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 2

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 11, 2018

PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn January 29, 2011 after the People’s Partnership government was elected, I participated in a conference on multiculturalism that was sponsored by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Trinidad and Tobago. Kamla and Sat were thick as thieves then and Kamla’s government decided that multiculturalism would be T&T’s cultural policy.
Continue reading ‘Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 2’

Go after State lands thieves

By Raffique Shah
June 07, 2018

Raffique ShahI was about to write a column on my concerns with the Valuation Division of the Ministry of Finance, which plays a critical role in the implementation of the new Property Tax, when I read the lead story in the Sunday Express that pertained to a number of “hanky-panky” deals involving the distribution of State lands by officials of the Division of State Lands, which falls under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Continue reading ‘Go after State lands thieves’

Preparing the Way for Kamla

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 04, 2018

PART 1

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was Indian Arrival Day. I just had to go down to Paravati Girls Hindu College, Debe, to hear what Sat Maharaj, leader of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) had to say about the importance of Indian Arrival Day to his community and his response to the negative media coverage that attended his demand that Nafisah Nakhid not wear her hijab at his Maha Sabha School, which he said violated the school’s dress code.
Continue reading ‘Preparing the Way for Kamla’