Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Considering a new commissioner

By Raffique Shah
October 19, 2017

Raffique ShahThe last hope we have for reining in runaway crime in this country lies with a leader yet unknown, the man or woman who will be recommended by the Police Service Commission to be named Commissioner of Police, subject to approval by Parliament. In fact, since crime affects so many aspects of citizens’ daily lives as well as the country’s economy, and because the Police Service is, or ought to be, the spearhead of any assault on crime, the new commissioner will carry on his shoulders a burden bigger than Government’s, and greater expectations than any other office-holder in the State-apparatus—the President, the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice.
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Every Trini wants to go to heaven

By Raffique Shah
October 11, 2017

Raffique ShahAs I digested details of Government’s 2017-2018 Budget and monitored the furore that followed its presentation, I kept hearing “in mih head”, somewhat like calypsonian Shadow and his “Bassman from hell”, the lyrics of a song that was popular about ten years ago, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die (to get there).”
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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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Public transportation a priority

By Raffique Shah
September 27, 2017

Raffique ShahI continue to focus on issues pertinent to the economy, to chastise the Keith Rowley-led administration for using the slump in the energy sector, hence plummeting government revenues, to moan and complain and blame for their inactivity, rather than being bold and innovative, grabbing opportunities that require little by way of capital investments, but which might yield rich returns.
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Grab Gulf coast opportunities

By Raffique Shah
September 20, 2017

Raffique ShahThe suggestion I made last week to phase out the Port of Port of Spain (PPOS) as a cargo port and expand the Port of Point Lisas (PPL) to become the main such facility in the country, generated much interest and discussion. That, plus the fact that the Minister of Finance will unveil the fiscal 2018 Budget in a few weeks, prompted me to return to the issue of rationalisation of the nation’s ports, and in the context of diversification of the economy, to marine services as having immense potential as a key earner of foreign exchange.
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Beyond the ferries fiasco

By Raffique Shah
September 14, 2017

Raffique ShahThe sittings of the Joint Select Committee of Parliament that is probing the procurement process of two ferries, maybe three, were broadcast live on television and are said to have displaced the leading “soaps” in popularity among television and radio audiences. Predictably, they generated juicy scandals that implicated politicians and corporate and professional hustlers who feast on the multi-million-dollar, taxpayer-subsidised Port of Port of Spain (PPOS).
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Roodal riding Anand’s misfortunes

By Raffique Shah
September 07, 2017

Raffique ShahNo one has challenged Opposition Member of Parliament Roodal Moonilal’s assertion that the arrest and indictment of former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan last week was a “distraction by the PNM”. Moonilal is reported to have said: “…This is the modus operandi of the PNM, whether it is Basdeo Panday, Vijay Naraynsingh, Sat Sharma…to harass, to intimidate, to oppress and suppress independent voices against the PNM and their government…”
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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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Gluttons for political punishment

By Raffique Shah
August 24, 2017

Raffique ShahAmidst the cacophony that has erupted over the inter-island ferries fiasco, the calls for official enquiries of one kind or other into the leasing of the Ocean Flower II convince me that as a nation, we are gluttons for political punishment.

The Prime Minister, yanking our collective chains with perverse delight, names business magnate Christian Mouttet as sole investigator into circumstances surrounding the Port Authority’s (PATT) decision to lease the Ocean Flower II and the aptly-renamed Cobo Star cargo vessel from a seemingly mysterious company, and to hand in a report to him within 30 days.
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Ferries fiasco symptom of systemic societal problem

By Raffique Shah
August 15, 2017

Raffique ShahIt is incomprehensible to me how two boards of directors at the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT), two line ministers responsible for the operations of the ferry service between Port of Spain and Scarborough, and a battery of senior public officers in the employ of the PATT and Government, could make such an unholy mess of the sea-bridge, culminating with the acquisition of a defective old tub that failed to even arrive in the country.
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