UWI in Debe – 2 questions

By MARINA SALANDY-BROWN
October 08, 2015 – newsday.co.tt

University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad Main Administration BuildingTHE RECENT debate of the rights and wrongs of a new UWI law campus being built in Debe revealed some of the complexities of the business of education and unleashed an unusually high level of public discourse.

I use the word “business” advisedly.

I could also add the word “politics”. I pose two questions arising from the hornet’s nest uncovered by former UWI principal and President of Trinidad and Tobago George Maxwell Richards in his speech at the recent opening of the 2015-16 Law Term. Firstly, what are universities for? Secondly, do we need more lawyers? I share Professor Richards’ view that a university’s “…contribution depends substantially on the activities of its academics and students to discuss, evaluate, criticise and investigate ideas and thus make available to the policymakers and the community possible options.” I would add that universities are where people learn to develop their thinking and knowledge to an advanced level that will serve in the advancement of the human race in all its aspects.

He expressed concern about the “academic isolation” of students at a UWI outpost. If he had used the word “intellectual isolation” he might have attracted less opprobrium since no one could reasonably argue that it is beneficial to cut off students of one discipline from those of different disciplines and aptitudes.

One of the most important aspects of higher learning is the cross-fertilisation of ideas and the growing of a critical mind. Presence at a multi-disciplinary campus may even expose students to other ways of seeing the world that might cause them to change academic direction and to, we hope, reconsider handed-down opinions and preconceptions.

Furthermore, in a multi-ethnic country such as ours, where so much ignorance of one another exists, despite our national cultural celebrations that breed tolerance but not much more, we should consider the counter-productive effect of creating a centre of single-discipline learning where most of the student body is likely to have a similar social, ethnic, economic and religious profile.

I agree that central and south TT should be better developed and that some decentralisation had to take place. I therefore support Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley moving the Ministry of Agriculture out of Port-of-Spain, for example.

We know too that creating a physical presence for important institutions brings development.

The architecturally delightful Bilbao Guggenheim art gallery in northern Spain, designed by the world famous Frank Gehry, was key in the extraordinary transformation of the depressed post-industrial, cultural backwater into one of the world’s iconic art and tourism centres. Similarly, university campuses bring business and development to towns. So, it would be pointless to argue that there is no politico-economic dimension in placing a campus in Penal/Debe.

As for the lawyers, I can only pose further questions: How many per capita do we have? How many more do we need? Many graduate annually, but apart from redistributing wealth (chiefly among the same societal group) and paying taxes on their hefty fees they do not produce anything tangible, so how do we evaluate the return on the cost of educating so many of them? Maybe as our society develops people need more legal help with their private lives and businesses, and our State and its agencies need better legal frameworks, but do we need a whole separate “isolated” campus to produce these professionals? And doesn’t our society need people in more “useful” professions? Qualified lawyers are among the brightest people but many of them are attracted by the potentially high earning power. I wonder, though, if TT has enough work to reward them as expected? Maybe we could put some of those good brains to better use.

Source: www.newsday.co.tt/commentary/0,218159.html

14 Responses to “UWI in Debe – 2 questions”


  • The same “academic isolation” argument can be used to describe the proliferation of correspondence, questionable degrees which many in T&T have availed themselves to. As a matter of fact, this same “academic isolation” argument can also be used to characterize tertiary education in T&T, two tiny, isolated islands of 1.3 million people.
    It is generally argued that standards at UWI have seriously deteriorated.What is needed in T&T are not more lawyers, but more good lawyers, so that we can stop importing high-priced lawyers from the United Kingdom whenever we have a challenging case.
    I agree that if we are going to have a satellite campus, why restrict it to Law only.

  • African trinidadians are constantly shooting themselves in the foot (Particularly Afro Saxon politicians & Elites) by not calling it out as it is. The real concern of african people regarding the debe campus is connected to the issue of growing concern of the hinduization and indianization of the University Of The West Indies & over the past five years the U.T.T. So we have a H.U.W.I and now a H.U.T.T…The racism & ethnic/religious chauvinism in academia where all the faculties of prestige are squatted upon by hindu & indian nationalists with the express purpose of keeping out dark skinned africans is disgraceful. Did you hear about the deyas lining the stage, not for divali, but graduation last year? why can’t we just express our issues boldly & openly like the indian community does? Why do we have to hide the abuses others inflict on us? Why help the abuser by shushing the victims’ concerns? It is ridiculous! the area where the campus is built will be controlled wholly by the hindu & wider indian community exclusively, economically, academically & psychologically! Just like H.U.W.I. St. Augustine. Thus is the intended purpose…also, notice the behaviour of kamla & her posse in the last 5 years…every abuse of state power was routed through legal technicality…no morality! (as we understand it) with this success they want to create an army of lawyers for the u.n.c.! Remember how the u.w.i. blocked Dr. Rowley from giving a post budget speech as then opposition leader? Remember the candid revelation by kamla’s political appointee & then minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis (Tropical Bear) that she & her fellow faculty actively campaigned on campus for kamla using subliminal messages during lectures (she found it hilarious). Do you doubt the motives? Fazal Karim officially DEDICATED the newly established OIL DRILLING campus in Usine St.Madeline (indian area) to guess who? Trinidadians? No… Former CARONI workers… (Hindus/Indians)…the same workers who were compensated for the closing down of caroni with the best VSEP package T&T has ever seen! The caste mind is obnoxious & vile! The fear by the afro saxon elite to ‘call a spade a spade’ is rocket fuel for these opportunistic racists.

    • “Our doctrine has always been that you have to institutionalise Hinduism, create institutions to anchor Hinduism on the institutions.”…..Sat Maharaj
      “Aiding in this, Maharaj boasted that the Maha Sabha owns many pre-schools, primary schools and colleges (high schools) altogether staffed by 1,000 teachers which, he said, was “quite unlike India”….. Express
      What better evidence does one need to confirm the fact that hindutva is already entrenched in our system? Most of this is due to the cowardice and fear of the Afro-Saxon executive being called a “racist”. The fact is those who would call you a racist in an instant, are usually those people who harbor racism as a means of “earning” favors for their kind and theirs only. Take for example the case of the “Trinity Cross”. Sat Maharaj garnered the support of the Muslims communities and christian sympathizers to edit that word “trinity” to mean a discriminatory word orchestrated by the the larger christian community against non-christians. The Afro-Saxon politicians bought into it and today, we are still waiting to see the “harm” of the word “trinity” towards the non-christians. The politics of fear and victimhood won as a result of those claims of “racism”.
      It is high time we get to know and understand the hindu.
      Kamla Persad Bissessar has given us the best opportunity to learn and pursue the doctrine of hindutva. The Afro-Saxon politician is usually cowed into believing that he has the power to discriminate which is far from the truth. Those calling the mantra of racism are usually the most racist people themselves. The fact of the matter is: those suffering the worst form of racism are African people. The evidence of such racism is the condition of the people in such places like Laventille, Morvant, LaBrea, Point Fortin
      and Arima. Compare that to the ra realities of Debe, Penal, Barrackpore and Caroni and the evidence of development is much more accentuated in those areas. So, how could the Afro-Saxon be racist? In fact he is definitely not but if he listens to the criers of racism, he would believe that he is! What fallacy? Kamla’s era has come and gone and there is a lot to learn from it. The way forward is not neglecting LaBrea and other communities but making sure priorities are put in place to ensure they they are a part of the renaissance of community development.

      • Kian it is even more disgraceful than fear and cowardice on the part of the afro saxon politician and elites…it is pure, willful ignorance of hinduism and the implications of the hindutva thrust of the indian community. Most africans i particular christians don’t want to learn and find out what they are dealing with and prefer to stick their heads DEEP in the sand…the problem & danger with this strategy is some of our most vital parts are left open to ravaging!

  • Our first step in this regard re..Further development of this type of education… is to analyse the needs of the greater society. For example CRIME…we need to focus on root cause, analysis or forensic methods, investigative process, policing methods or improvement or greater strategies in crime prevention. While on crime we need to to look at better judicial methods and justice in our courts. Judges need to stop lawyers from prolonging cases unjustly and there is justice for NOT ONLY the rich but for all. There are too many lawyers in T&T in it for the money only and not for justice. When an SC inputs into your case he must justify what he has done to help your case. Hugh Wooding efforts have not inspired us at all. In engineering the ridiculous position of Petrotrin tells us that this complex plant was a huge COW being milked by every political regime of the past and the OWTU. There is nothing in this old antiquated structure to be proud of. And there are others. Yara is a total disgrace to T&T. BUT to others it is another CASH COW. I am talking from experience as an engineer (University of Toronto educated) with over 30 years of solid experience. We have had no replacement for the factory inspectorate as our industry is currently run by vandals posing as industrial specialist. The Norwegians before they came to T&T in 1992 had absolutely no industrial experience but they had plenty money. They spent millions of USD on the three plant with no documents indicating what each expenditure was supposed to accomplish or what return was possible to benefit the T&T taxpayer or part owner. We were played by them. OUR INDUSTRY IS RUN BY BUSINESS MEN WHO ARE FOCUSED ON PROFIT AND LOSS ONLY. Our chemical engineers are turned into technicians ( with endless wasted UWI and UTT education) as our process/project engineering like in Yara was moved abroad, In Yara it was moved to Brussels (extremely expensive part of the world) and peopled by mostly Norwegians staff. And this is a huge cost to the TT plants and by extension the government; we TT citizenry do not have anything to gain and they import huge errors into our plant system. And to top it all these plant are badly run with very low ontream time factors spewing poisonous gas on our people and causing massive global warming gases into our atmosphere with no controls from government sources. The net result is that they are milking the T&T plants until one day they will be simply a pile of junk. The goodly Minister wants to audit everything. She has to be very careful as the Norwegians have billions USD and they will pay well to influence who needs to be influenced. They were part of the $70 million USD that disappeared from the building of the Tringen Plant in 1986 -1988 when club 88 was formed. There is plenty more I can talk about on Yara. And I am a free whistle blower for whoever wants details. In Point Lisas there are plant leaders there who were chosen by sheer political associates. After Eric Williams died in 1981, some strategically placed persons simply helped themselves to our tax monies. These persons were not trained to use natural gas (at 8-10 USD per million BTU) to bring acceptable returns to the treasury. We signed all kinds of secret deals under the Manning, Panday and Kamla administrations grossly giving away our natural gas for simply grease hand returns. Billions were spent on OUR industry for little returns to us. From 1981 to 2015 our industry really belonged to a chosen few among us who were simply con artists. Central Bank became part of the deals. We need to stop this disregard and disrespect. I knew one of these persons from the FedChem years who never went to any reasonable school system ( DO NOT EVEN HAVE FALSE PAPERS ) made endless money in the Duprey CLICO years and got millions in dividends recently after it went under. This is only one person who never contributed anything to optimum running plants but was well placed with family at the helm of NEC. There were many more who helped themselves. This is just gross injustice that keeps insulting our intelligence over many years; this must stop. The Energy Minister must look at all engineers working in and out of T&T and ensure they work as per their training and are allowed to develop just like that of countries like Qatar or other countries. Engineering salaries in T&T are extremely low for locals because neither the university nor the industry contribute to any acceptable training for engineers that work the plants. In our schools there are no unit operations studies as our schools are ill equipped. I can speak much more volumes of the mass nature of our ill run / mismanaged industry. We must take away the right of highly placed individuals in our society from placing their false papered sons and daughters in top jobs and have our industry run down from year to year a la Petrotrin. Manning’s friend ran Pheonix Park as his own personal asset to cover a poorly conceptual design of NGC. So much so every so often when that plant structure trips via their ESD system the entire country suffers from electricity outages. So much for his false papers. And of course his successor pulled key huge investment NGC monies from CLICO and caused a cash flow problem there and we know what happened there. These individuals were nothing but educated fools. What are the civil engineers doing? Are our bridges, roads, built adequately. Why does flooding continue to destroy the country and puts endless persons into poverty. Is any body doing studies on where and what capacity of our water catchment areas? DO we need required revamps to very old system? Why can BOTT and APETT not used to manage likely projects financed by mainly the government. Our engineers need to work on sewerage waste systems in the universities. We need to reclaim water for use in seasons where there is no or little rainfall. We ned to improve our beaches. We need to solve our housing problems; build more high rise apartments. And yes we need to improve our transportation system (NO MORE BUSES FOR SOME FREAK TO BUST OUR TREASURY). Instead use our natural gas to power a suitable rail system. WE can built a ferry system to route around T&T. These are needed returns here to the citizenry. Currently BOTT and APETT are the “boys club” where they whine and dine themselves every year and use our forced dues to serve them alone; we get to pay dues for no return. I was injured for life, got no viable return from NIS or the company and APETT looked the other way unconcerned. I was employed by a foreigner doing a job way below my pay grade(forced to as I was threatened with job loss) and the OWTU looked the other way under the stewardship of a former Labour Minister former OWTU President. This crap must stop in T&T. Of course money passed. But there are more endless injustice in the professions in Trinidad. Young highly educated scholars are forced to return to T&T under the PP government (joint arrangements were made with other governments where these persons were educated) and no proper job creation were made for these individuals in T&T. Even when they were employed their salaries and job functions were simply depressing. Governments who insist on the GATED programs must do a lot more to ensure local employers do not discriminate and so frustrate our young scholars for their own profit /loss situation. WE SHOULD NOT BE EXPLOITED IN OUR COUNTRY. Government must look carefully at UNION AGREEMENTS to ENSURE CLAUSES SIGNED TO PROPERLY REPRESENT WHAT WORKERS WANT. In the YARA system who highly boast about safety there are no proper safety or injury benefit clauses. Government needs to ensure that workers have a forum NOT THE COURTS AS MONEY IS A PROBLEM HERE to vent their issues against an extremely rich employer like YARA who can perjure current legal system. Can the Education Minister do an audit on our local universities to determine how our monies are spent and who benefits from our tax monies? I will say more to come…….

  • Mr.Max should do the right thing and appoligise for his statements on “academic isolation”. He obviously grew up in a very isolated world. The world I am currently living in is the most connected world ever. The Internet has turned the world into a global village. South UWI campus will be providing several different courses and was the dream of the current UWI chancellor. He saw the need for a secondary academic institution that will cater to a vast number of students across the Caribbean.

    The south UWI campus is located on former caroni lands with the highway passing next to the campus and going all the way to Point Fortin. Students from San Fernando, Penal, Siparia, Fyzabad, Point Fortin and other southern towns will benefit from this location. It used to be long ago everyone had to live or commute to St.Augustine with parents being anxious about the safety of their daughters. That will be no more, increasingly more students are seeking to be qualified with degrees in various field. Having obtain my bachelors I know how important it is for many young
    citizens. Trinidad education system is set to produce citizens for the future of this world…

  • There is no world more ‘isolated’ than the caste mind. Can’t touch this one, can’t marry that one, can’t allow this one to own land or business….very isolated!

  • A good lawyer knows the law.

    A great lawyer knows the judge.

    Nuff said.

  • As to the question of lawyers and business persons we feel we need so badly I say this. First and foremost we need to turn most of our young minds to understand that what they have or are capable and is GOD GIVEN. MAN only gives them trouble to deal with. And ALL THAT IS GOD GIVEN IS FOR SERVICE TO HIM AND HIM ALONE. When you do like most of our past so called “techocrats” and belief it is all about self and self interests then you and yours and by extension the entire country flunks in terms of progress. So I say to Dr. Rowley and his chair, unless you bring back the oldies who have grossly failed us and got kudos for doing so by a past failed regime you had your own problems with, to define the old mistakes only THAT and the declare the existing obstacles in the system to progress then you
    are committed to making more of the same old mistakes. I GO BACK TO WHAT I HAVE PREVIOUSLY SAID. Crime has made its way into every root of our many problems and has taken from us the good life in T&T we once knew under the father of our nation. Take Agriculture and pilfering and just plain murder in the “DRUGS” industry that we have. Instead of an energy forum we need a crime forum. Given as per your words that we now want to grow our own food; yes I say I agree. BUT CRIME IS OUR MAIN OBSTACLE TO THAT EFFORT. And we need to use mother nature not ammonia to get the nutrients we need from that effort. We need EDUCATION of what works for US. NOT FIRST WORLD BS. WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT HURRICANES SANDY AND KAIRINA had nothing to do with GOD 9 AND NOW SOUTH CAROLINA); these are man made events a la ATLANTIC ENERGY and others who are spewing bad arse gases into our atmosphere. THE FOUR WINDS OF THE WORLD ARE TURNING CRAZY ON US ALL. FLOODING today in T&T is all about localised overheating in our atmosphere from FEDCHEM to POINT LISAS TO PETROTRIN TO POINT FORTIN TO LA BREA etc. GOD allows us these mistakes so that we can learn (since the days of the garden of Eden where we do not touch the bad arse tree or else). Yes we can pray to God and get answers. Yes we can atone for our sins. Yes we can say we are sorry for our mistakes. HOWEVER IF WE DO NOT CHANGE; GOD DOES NOT NEED TO CHANGE WE DO. However if we DO the same “old” shit. THE SAME OLD THING happens again. Therefore we need to develop all the history of T&T (good and bad) and teach our young to understand and learn from our own mistakes over time. We need to forget our prejudices and preach about our GOD GIVEN talents to all rank and file NOT JUST A CHOSEN FEW BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. What the hell we have to hide and from who. We need to focus on root causes to our many problems and work towards real time solutions NOT COPY WHAT WORKS ELSEWHERE, LOOKS GOOD THERE AND ARE PLAIN NICE TO HAVE. AND SPEND PLENTY MONEY AND GET NOTHING IN RETURN. WE NEED TO TRAIN OUR PEOPLE AND BRING THEM TO THE PROBLEM AND MAKE SURE THEY RESOLVE THE PROBLEM. Not walk away spend our money inefficiently and leave someone else to clean up THEIR mess for plenty more money. WE DO NOT NEED UNNECESSARY WORK FOR OUR LAWYERS. Instead send our lawyers to study industrial law where it is begging a need. Many of us are punished by foreigners who use our lack of lawful systems against us even killing our people and covering it up as a “hand of God”. God does not delve in evil ways. I DESIGNED PLANTS NOT BE MAXED OUT ONLINE BUT TO OPERATE AT OPTIMUM CONDITIONS DESPITE THE MARKET PRICES FOR FEEDSTOCK OR PRODUCTS. PLANTS ARE DESIGNED TO OPERATE TEN YEARS WITHOUT A MAJOR STOP NOT 3 YEARS. WHEN YOUR ON STREAM TIMES ARE BELOW 96% YOU ARE OPERATING POORLY. Everything evil is produced by MAN AND HIS GREED. GOD allows us to learn from our evil ways. HE GAVE US A FREE WILL. Our natural gas system (NGC) was conceived by persons who had a good idea and thought they knew it all. POURQUOI I say this. PARCE QUE natural gas contains water,SEA WATER, sand, oil, heavy hydrocarbons (= gasoline ends CALLED HEAVIES), and lighter ends like methane. The idiots put on paper to consumers we are selling YOU.. CH4, C2H6, and basically trace of others. Then they put a system in place that cannot output this product so there are huge LEGAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FOREIGNER TO FEED ON. WE ALSO HAVE PLANTS THAT SHUTDOWN UNEXPECTEDLY MORE OFTEN THAN THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO OR DESIGNED TO DO. AND WE ARE USED AS GUINEA PIGS ON NEW DESIGNS AND BRING IN OBSOLETE AND POISONS IN CHEMICALS THAT DO NOT WORK AND ARE VENTED ON US. HENCE THERE ARE HEADACHES FOR SENIOR PROCESS ENGINEERS LIKE MYSELF. I am educating you to ask Mr. Rowley what his plans are TO RESOLVE THESE MANY PROBLEMS KEPT FROM HIS REACH. I have no other forum BUT THIS ONE. When the gas is pulled from the well they take out most of the water, sand,oil (all wells have more gas or more oil but they contain both they do not discriminate like us),heavies and light ends. To move the gas from off shore they use massive compressors. UNDERSTAND ONE THING …ON AN OIL OR GAS PLATFORM YOU CANNOT DO ANY WELDING; HENCE EVERYTHING HAS TO BE DONE ONSHORE AND MOVED ONTO THE PLATFORM AND FLANGED UP. SO ONE IS LIMITED IN MODIFYING OR DESIGNING GAS OR OIL PLATFORMS. Do they teach you this basic stuff in your school? ASK DR> ROWLEY WHY SINCE MOST OF YOUR REVENUE COMES FROM OIL OR GAS SALES? When the natural gas comes onshore via pipeline it comes at 1800 psig and there are SLUG CATCHERS waiting to receive the gas and remove the “slugs” of liquid. WHAT ARE THESE SLUGS OF LIQUID? MOSTLY HEAVY HYDROCARBON GAS OR SIMPLY GASOLINE BASED GAS AND WHAT DO WE DO WITH IT -WASTE IT. BUT THEY ARE CHARGING YOU FOR IT BY REMOVING THE SUBSIDY – THE ONLY GAIN YOU GET FROM THE ENTIRE PROCESS. FOREIGNERS DO THIS TO YOU. WE ARE AFRAID OF THEM IT SEEMS. ,,,AND THEN THERE ARE PIG SYSTEMS THAT AS FAR AS I KNOW DO NOT WORK AS IT REQUIRES REAL ENGINEERS TO OPERATE EFFECTIVELY. WHY PIGS FOR THEY MEANT TO CLEAN THE MILES OF PIPELINE BEFORE THE NATURAL GAS REACHES THE CUSTOMER. FOR YEARS POINT LISAS AND OUR ELECTRICITY SYSTEM SUFFERED IMMENSELY. THE MASSIVE WRONGLY DESIGNED VALVES THAT MISHANDLES MORE THAN ONE PHASE OF FLOW MALFUNCTIONS TO CHOKED FLOW AND BRINGS DOWN THE ENTIRE SYSTEM. CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT HAPPENS WITH THIS LIQUID FILLED GAS WHEN PHEONIX PARK SHUTS DOWN. YOU PAID BY GOING TO COURTS (ANOTHER FOREIGNER) TO BURY A REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR FAILED ELECTRIC POWERED EQUIPMENT THAT FAILED FROM OVER VOLTAGE OR NO VOLTAGE. When the natural gas reaches between 600-800 psig at Point lisas the pipelines are filled with very cold liquids (a pressure reduction liquid gas separation process called the Joule-Thompson effect). How do i know this happens? You can also as you observe in hot sun conditions that the line has water condensation on the bottom section as the cold liquid hydrocarbon causes the atmospheric moisture to condense ON THE PIPING. Over time even when the piping is shutdown you see moss like growth on the line indicating the pipe had liquids in it. NOW YOU KNOW WHY A CARBON STEEL PIPELINE WILL CORRODE OVER TIME – IT DOES NOT MATTER IF IT CARRIES OIL OR GAS. IN USA ON THE POLITICAL PLATFORM THERE IS IN INTENSE DISAGREEMENT TO ALLOW THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE – OBAMA WANTED NO PART OF IT FOR NEAR 10 YEARS NOW. THE PROBLEM THERE IS BY THE TIME THE PIPING CORRODES ALL THE FINANCIERS WILL HAVE MADE THEIR MONIES AND DISAPPEARED. SO WHAT ARE WE SAYING. DO WE BRING IN CONOCO WHO MAKES A KILLING OF OUR FEEDSTOCK NATURAL RESOURCE AND GIVE THEM PART OF THE ENTIRE JOB AND SOLVE ONLY PART OF THE PROBLEM? REMEMBER THIS IS GASOLINE WE NEED IN OUR CARS. YOUR ARE GIVING AWAY OUR GASOLINE TO HIDE YOUR MISTAKE THAT WE ARE PAYING FOR. ALL THE TRINTY CROSS SHOULD BE TAKEN BACK. PHEONIX PARK BE OWNED BY US EVER SINCE AND WE SHOULD BE TAKING THE ENTIRE NATURAL GAS FEEDSTOCK AND WE SHOULD BE ENJOYING CHEAP GAS FROM A PROPER GAS TO LIQUIDS PLANT. THIS FORMER BIGOT TRIED TO BUILD ONE IN PETROTRIN AND FAILED. BG BUILT TWO IN CARAPAL IN T&T CENTRAL RANGE. I WORKED ON ONE OF THEM. I WORKED ON A DESIGN IN POINT LISAS THAT NEEDED A DOWNSTREAM PROCESS IN PETROTRIN TO CLEAN UP THE LIQUID HEAVIES THAT INCLUDES BENZENE, TOLUENE ETC. THIS WAS ERIC WILLIAMS’ DREAM WHEN HE INFLUENCED US TO COME BACK HOME IN THE 70S. THEY TOOK IT AWAY FROM US AND WASTED THE OPPORTUNITY. THEY BROUGHT IN BUSINESS MEN LIKE ISH WHO NEVER KNEW WHAT THEY WERE SELLING TO MAKE A KILLING AT OUR EXPENSE. WE WERE/ARE OVER WORKED, UNDERPAID, KILLED OF IN OUR WORK PLACES, DISABLED FOR LIFE, RETIRE WITH LITTLE AS THE FOREIGNER SAYS BOLDLY TO US WE ARE JUST CRABS IN A BARREL. AND TO OUR LOCAL FRENCH CREOLE FALSE PAPERED CHOSEN BOSSES OR BOURGEOIS BLACK OR TMAN TYPE INDO BOSSES – SUFFER THEM ENOUGH AND THEY WILL PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT WE WANT THEM TO DO. HAS TRINIDAD CHANGED? NO PERHAPS TOBAGO HAS – THEY TOLD THE SYRIAN GET LOST NAH. WE NEED TO GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN POWER WHO UNDERSTANDS OUR MISSTEPS. WHO CAN TELL THE FOREIGNER – THIS IS WHAT WE WANT. THE FOREIGNER USES TRINIDAD AS A GUINEA PIG STATE – SOME CRAZY DESIGNER WANTS TO TRY OUT A NEW PIECE OF EQUIPMENT OR PLANT WE ARE HERE FOR THAT. TRINGEN 1 WAS A FAILURE AS FOR STARTERS IT WAS A NEW GUINEA PIG DESIGN AND ONLY ONE EVER BY FLUOR THAT FAILED ELSEWHERE IN THE 70S . IT HAS A 50,000 GPM SEA WATER SYSTEM THAT WAS MEANT FOR FRESH WATER IN OKLAHOMA IN USA. GUESS WHO BROUGHT THIS PIECE OF JUNK TO TRINIDAD BACK IN 1975/6 FOR HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO MAKE A KILLING ON REVAMP TURNAROUND COSTINGS TO THE TAXPAYER? ONE OF OUR METHANOL PLANTS WAS PEOPLED BY PNM PARTY STAFF ONLY …PARTNERED WITH A COMPANY WITH NO TRACK RECORD OF THIS DESIGN ELSEWHERE. THE PLANT HAD TO BE GIVEN FREE NATURAL GAS TO TURN A PROFIT. NEED I SAY MORE…..THE RICH IN TRINIDAD WHO KNEW LITTLE OF WHAT THEY BOUGHT MADE TRILLIONS FROM THE 70S TO NOW AND THIS IS PEANUTS TO WHAT THE FOREIGN OWNERS MADE. WE WERE PLAYED. DO YOU WANT THEM TO CONTINUE PLAYING YOU? KAMLA AND HER BUNCH WERE JOKERS. I LEARNT THAT WHEN THEY MOVED THE FIRST ENERGY IN 2010. IS ROWLEY PLANNING THE SAME? I AM TOLD PETROTRIN BUYS OIL, PROCESSES IT AND TURNS A PROFIT WITH ANTIQUATED EQUIPMENT. CAN THEY GIVE US SOME NUMBERS OR IS THIS A SECRET. MEANT FOR ONLY A CHOSEN FEW? DO THEY HAVE REPAIRS RECORDS ON MODIFICATIONS? DO THEY HAVE RECORDS ON PERSONS HIRED OR PERFORMANCE REPORTS. IS THE UNION IN BED WITH THE COMPANY OFFICIALS? ARE WE GETTING MORE OF THE SAME?

    • It is a fact that heavy capital programs when implemented do not only need operational costs but maintenance costs, as there is a devalued costs to plant and equipment over time. Maintenance programs must be also effected religiously to reduce breakdowns and loss of production. I have seen many decision making done in a car parked under a Samaan tree on CARIRI compounds, the occupants being Ken Julien and Lenny Saith prior to their entering into Board room discussions at CARIRI. Trintoplan was given contracts to monitor gas and particulate emissions at FEDCHEM and other energy based industries in order to satisfy pre-conditions demanded by Foreign partners before contract signings. Was any of the findings religiously implemented for safety of workers, environment etc. The answer is partially i.e., low cost programs were but not capital intensive. Why? profits were the bottom line. I also met a foreign national who was a zoologist and was placed in charge of Quality control at ISCOTT at the time.

      Nothing beats back Caroni (1975) Ltd. where a lot of raping and plundering was taking place. Imagine the Managing Director (Gordon Maingot) making 23 trips to Tate and Lyle in one year. Separate chauffeur for his wife and family living on the compounds. That’s what you call life. Kudos to Panday for achieving what was dog wages at the time to increases that can sustain the average cane cutter living expenses. Over time what has happened? the said cane cutter earning daily wages was now working less hours instead of 8 hours and earning a full day’s pay. His counterpart working on rigs in the oilfields was doing the same, George Weekes knew this very well. That was the breeding of a new culture. Is it symptomatic that the same thing was happening at the upper echelons of society when bosses of darker colour were replacing the lighter skin coloured bosses?

      I can go on and give umpteen examples that impact significantly in the development and failed agricultural and industrial diversification of Caroni. I would be spinning top in mud regurgitating what is supposedly known already. I will always maintain that the decision to destroy the best converter of solar energy into potential energy-the sugar cane plant- is a dire mistake rather than admitting the cover up of lumping costs from these diversification programs into the production cost for a ton of sugar, which is the classic ineptitude (square pegs in round holes).

      Is it possible that there is the dependency syndrome in our psyche that we were meant to be followers rather than leading our own destiny? i.e., small island generate parochial minds. Take this a point further, we are only capable to see race, ethnicity, and materialistic and superficial benefits? As well as living a comparative life with the Jones’s rather than building on spiritual and principled values?

      Is it that international forces beyond our control (market pull/technology thrust) syndrome that predicates our decision making despite we know what we want locally? i.e., to foster a level of independence?

      I can write ad nauseam on this but I hope the people who labeled George Chambers as dumb would realize he was a very smart man who just did not want to be a bragger. Those labelers are the dumb ones and am afraid we may see a regurgitation of the same old policies of yester year.

      • TRINTOPLAN and the french creole element literally controlled BOE and APPETT for years and made millions for them and their friends. I singly tried to get APETT and UWI to join forces through Continuing Studies program under CLEM to change the path for our engineering advanced in our oil and gas plant industry but they were all sefies, in it for self and the effort crashed as they hired a foreigner to shut the effort down and victimised me over the years. That foreigner was eventually a reject in Yara as he caused Yara to lose millions in project works but he is still making millions in T&T. This must change. OUR PEOPLE CONTINUES TO BE PLAYED. OUR PLANTS ARE STREAMLINED TO BE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ORIENTED ONLY. ENGINEERING WAS MOVED ABROAD FOR OTHERS TO MAKE A KILLING. IS THIS WHAT THE FATHER OF THE NATION WANTED FOR US? WE WERE PLAYED FOR NEAR 50 YEARS NOW. ROWLEY NEEDS TO GET OUR BOE AND APPETT TO BRING OUR ENGINEERS UP TO SCATCH TO FIX OUR PROBLEMS. GATE IS ONLY PART OF THAT PROCESS. THE HEAVIES IN NGC GAS SUPPLY STREAMS ARE REIGNING HAVOC ON OUR DOWNSTREAM PLANTS AND OUR ELECTRICITY SYSTEM. BUYING PHEONIX PARK WAS NOT ENOUGH TO FIX THAT. WE NEED A GAS TO LIQUIDS FACILITY OR FACILITIES TO TAKE THESE PRECIOUS LIQUIDS OUT OF THE NATURAL GAS SYSTEM, PROCESS THEM FURTHER AND USE THEM TO OUR BENEFIT. I CAN SAY MORE AND WILL….

  • It is tradition in our culture of political correctness to be very economical with truth. When called upon to deliver words of wisdom, most of our educated and richly endowed class of accomplished individuals, will deliver a Shakespearian moded speech of superlative grandeur, than keep to the simple relevance of what they are gathered for. How many times have we heard of the speeches given by the current President, speaking of the failings of ordinary citizens and how we should act in order to be of service to society. However, this same President is yet to address a simple failing of his that he is yet to come clean to the public with truth and that is, an explanation of his $28,000 housing allowance. He avoids that at every turn, yet on countless occasions he preaches morality to us as though he has a patent on the subject. THE POINT HERE IS, WE MUST LEARN TO CUT THE BULL….. GET TO THE POINT, BE RELEVANT AND ADDRESS ISSUES WITH HONESTY, SPEAK TRUTH WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE KNOW. IN THE CASE OF former President Maxwell Richards, he spoke truth to the knowledge he had, and what do we hear? He must be mistaken… he may have delivered the wrong speech…. he is not speaking the truth….. etc…etc…etc…
    We have become so accustomed to hearing sugar-coated words of comfort from our elected officials that when we hear the truth from them we are confused! The fact of the matter is that Max Richards is correct…..for a change…. We have been so fooled by what is considered education that anywhere an institution of higher learning exist we instinctively accept it as GOOD. What good is an isolated school of law, residing outside of the other fraternities of higher learning offer to the country? I dare say NIL! This country already has more law graduates than it can afford to employ. So, I ask again – what good is such a school? The utterings about this topic is more political than it offered value to the investments. An isolated nursing school can be beneficial. An isolated medicinal school of administration can be of value. So why to ww need more SELFISH lawyers? We need to cut through the politics, cut through the unmentioned racism, cut through the sectarianism, cut through the regionalism and deal with NEEDS! That’s what is to be done. Whilst this argument is going one, there is NEED to address youthful delinquency in the nations schools, prisons, homes and places of higher learning. That building in Penal/Debe can be used by the judiciary to address some kind of resolution to this problem. In the matter of corrections, we have a case of lack of addressing the social, educational and recidivism among young people who have gone astray. This building can be used to address those problems. What appears to be a noble approach by the administrative powers of the University of the West Indies to extend the faculty of law by extending regional access, is in fact nothing short of school administrators with political leanings allowing the dictates of their biases to speak as truth.
    If one wants to be totally honest. Let’s face it, this idea was conceived and financed by the Kamla Persad Bissessar administration as political feed to the UNC faithful – plain and simple! It was NEVER meant to be an idea for national consumption. It was driven by politics and meant to be satisfied by politics. Nuff said!

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