Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Refugees aggravate T&T woes

By Raffique Shah
November 21, 2018

Raffique ShahTrinidad and Tobago has found itself in an unenviable, as well as untenable, position of having to deal with hundreds of mostly Venezuelan and Cuban nationals who have entered this country, legally and illegally, then announcing themselves as refugees or seeking political asylum.

This situation is unenviable because we are the only English-speaking Caribbean island-state that faces an influx of Spanish-speaking refugees, in addition to Jamaicans and Nigerians who have overstayed their Immigration-approved time, and some Chinese, Syrians and Lebanese. Except for the fairly-prosperous Dominican Republic that shares the large island of Hispaniola with poverty-stricken Haiti, where nationals of the latter invade the former on foot, whence they face rigid deportation procedures, T&T is a unique magnet for illegal immigrants.
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Remembering the savagery of war

By Raffique Shah
November 14, 2018

Raffique ShahI awoke last Sunday morning to see and hear French President Emmanuel Macron deliver an address before scores of world leaders gathered in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. His was a good speech, an appeal for the world to not just to pay homage to the eight million-plus servicemen and women who lost their lives in the mistaken belief that they were fighting “the war to end all wars”, but also to note that if we did not learn from history, we were doomed to repeat the mistakes our forebears made.
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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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Flushing the prisons’ excrement

By Raffique Shah
October 24, 2018

Raffique ShahOne newspaper report put the tally of prisons officers murdered in the past 25 years at 22. Another stated that 16 were killed in 15 years. However we look at it, one can understand the outrage of those who chose to be at the vortex of the crime whirlwind that wreaks destruction across this country at being targeted by criminals, marked for death in a manner of speaking.

Make no mistake about it: it takes a measure of courage, one might even say madness or desperation, for a young man (or woman) to voluntarily offer to serve as a custodian in what are deemed prisons in Trinidad and Tobago. While, broadly speaking, jail is jail anywhere in the world, the stench that hits you when you enter the mostly stone-age structures that pass for prisons could churn the strongest stomachs.
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Reduce road traffic, improve productivity, economy

By Raffique Shah
October 18, 2018

Raffique ShahContrary to my assertion in last week’s column that most motorists and commuters do not care about the suffering they endure in daily traffic congestions, responses to the article suggest otherwise. As such, I shall share some more thoughts on the issue which is of immense importance to the economy, which it impacts negatively, and the physical and mental health of citizens, which also suffer serious consequences.
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Ah bus ah cuss on the PNM

By Raffique Shah
October 10, 2018

Raffique ShahIt’s a huge problem that adversely affects more than half of the population every day, costs the country billions of dollars a year in lost production, adds substantially to our mental and physical health bills—yet no government has had the testicular fortitude to confront it head-on, thus improving the quality and length of our lives.

Traffic jams, traffic congestion, call it what you will, will one day bring this country to a complete halt…full stop. And I dare argue that other than sitting in the now-mandatory air-conditioned comfort of their “rides”, music jamming, mankind “steupsing”, no one would even wind down his vehicle window to complain about this madness.
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Budget: capture every crook and dodger

By Raffique Shah
October 02, 2018

Raffique ShahI am writing this column before the Minister of Finance delivers his 2018-2019 Budget, and no, Colm Imbert and I are not friends, so I can’t call him on the phone and ask for a few tips on some of the measures he proposes to introduce to restrain the population from open rebellion, especially after his boss, the Prime Minister, declared last week that he will put the ruling People’s National Movement on a general election footing from early next year.
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We are not beggars

By Raffique Shah
September 26, 2018

Raffique ShahKamla Persad-Bissessar’s statement that a possible solution to Petrotrin’s problem might be to import crude oil from Guyana was uninformed—and here I’m being charitable to the Opposition Leader. But nothing she said warranted the barrage of insults hurled at Trinidad and Tobago in a response by one Robert Persaud, who is described as being a former Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment in Guyana.
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Enter Gary Griffith: Act One

By Raffique Shah
September 19, 2018

Raffique ShahGary Griffith couldn’t have scripted a better opening act for his entry onto the national stage as the new Commissioner of Police, even if he were the Bard of Cascade or whatever suburb he lives in or comes from.

After six years of play-acting by career police officer Stephen Williams, and amidst much intrigue, controversy and good old Trinidad bacchanal over the selection of a new CoP, which featured principal parts played by politicians of every hue and persuasion, not to add cameos by a significant number among the “extras” in the 1.4 million population, Gary landed the starring role—and what an entry he made.
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Day of work and rejection

By Raffique Shah
September 12, 2018

Raffique ShahI was not surprised when the trade unions’ call for the workers of the country to stay at home and observe a day of “rest and reflection” last Friday failed miserably. What was intended to be a general strike by whatever name labour leaders chose to label it, turned out to be a near-unanimous rejection of their insensitivity to the country’s economic crisis. Workers put their own job security and the national interest before the recklessness of a handful of unionists.
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