Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Greed is killing us not so softly

By Raffique Shah
October 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSome day last week, after I had eaten a very modest lunch, I was snacking on a few locally-manufactured crackers when my wife asked, “You still hungry, nah?” She has noted with unnecessary concern that I eat smaller portions, which I attribute to ageing and my now mostly sedentary lifestyle, the latter imposed on me by my infirmity. I don’t need calories that I won’t burn as I did during my very active pre-Parkinson’s life. That reality notwithstanding, the urge to snack on junk remains undiminished, much to my dismay.
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Budget biggest ‘bag’ thieves lay their hands on

By Raffique Shah
October 07, 2019

Raffique ShahIt is a newspaper commentator’s dilemma—having to write on the Finance Minister’s annual budget presentation, as readers expect him to, both before and after the Appropriation Bill is laid in Parliament. This becomes even more challenging when the package covers the year leading to a general election when the Government, and here I mean any government, engages in distributing largesse like the proverbial “parsad” at “pujas”, throwing goodies at the electorate with the expectation that they will yield votes.
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Why not the OWTU?

By Raffique Shah
October 02, 2019

Raffique ShahThe outrage that erupted when Government announced its decision to name the Oilfields Workers Trade Union’s company, Patriotic Energies and Technologies Ltd, as the preferred bidder for the oil refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre (Guaracara Refining Co), you’d swear all Cabinet ministers and the OWTU’s president Ancel Roget and his entire executive are guilty of high treason, and deserve to be hauled into Woodford Square and shot to death with goat-pills.
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Shame and scandal in the HDC

By Raffique Shah
September 26, 2019

Raffique ShahIn the wake of the cancellation of a lopsided, scandalous multi-billion-dollar contract between the Housing Development Corporation and China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company (CGGC) for the construction of 5,000 housing units, it is alarming that no public official has been called to account for the many concessions the Chinese almost escaped with but for the vigilance of the much maligned mass media.
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Crabs in a barrel

By Raffique Shah
September 16, 2019

Raffique ShahI had no prior information that the Express had commissioned a poll on Dr Keith Rowley’s performance as Prime Minister after holding office for four years, far less that publication of the results would coincide with my return as a columnist in last week’s Sunday Express.

So you can imagine my shock, having written on the propensity of politicians to use race as a weapon in the war for power, on reading responses to key questions in the Nigel Henry poll, based largely on race. In fact, the race-lines were so sharp, they startled many people who thought we had long overcome that primal instinct, that we were well on the road to electing politicians based on their policies and performance, or potential to perform, rather than their colour of skin or texture of hair.
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Racism—last refuge of a scoundrel

By Raffique Shah
September 09, 2019

Raffique ShahWhat possessed United National Congress leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to unleash a loose cannon in the form of ex-soldier Carlton Dennie on an unsuspecting audience of party faithful a few Monday nights ago, we may never know.

Surely she could not have known beforehand that the corporal, who had somehow been elevated to head the intelligence arm of the Strategic Services Agency, was about to cast a giant-but-crooked shadow over her beleaguered UNC that seems to be locked in battle with the incumbent People’s National Movement to lose the next general election.
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Ordinary people, extraordinary lives

By Raffique Shah
September 04, 2019

Raffique ShahThey will cremate Miss Eileen sometime today somewhere in Florida where most of her daughters and only surviving son live. I hope the passage of hurricane Dorian does not disrupt the final rites for one of the matriarchs of the village of Bokaro (now “Frenchified” to Beaucarro) where I grew up and spent my formative years. She was one of two surviving women who were bred-and-born in Bokaro, the other being Lucille Warrick who also migrated to the USA, and who is, give or take, of similar age to Mrs. Eileen Prince, 93, when the latter breathed her last two Thursdays ago.
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Oil in turmoil

By Raffique Shah
August 29, 2019

Raffique ShahI had planned to write a column sometime before the 2019-2020 Budget presentation on the successor-companies to State-owned oil giant Petrotrin, seeking to have the Minister of Energy and/or Corporation Sole (the Minister of Finance) inform the public of their progress or regress or stagnation. I thought that in the spirit of transparency, especially after citizens were stunned when we were told in 2017 or thereabout that the one-time pillar of the national economy was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and mired in multi-billion-dollar debts, we the public should know early o’clock if the new enterprises were faring any better.
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Least of the looters

By Raffique Shah
August 20, 2019

Raffique ShahIf the arrest of ex-Minister Marlene McDonald, and her indictment on fraud and misbehaviour in public office charges did anything for the morale of citizens, it was to restore confidence in some investigative units of the Police Service, and underscore the independence of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
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Turmoil in the global village

By Raffique Shah
August 14, 2019

Raffique ShahIt’s so easy for us to be so overwhelmed by our own mess—and there’s more than enough sewage there to drown us all—that we are unmindful of what’s happening in the wider world, developments that could impact our small island state negatively.

When the fallout from certain actions by powerful leaders hit us in the face with a bang, we will come awake startled, crying out: Oh Jeezanages! I was watching Marlene McDonald and her gang…ah didn’t see that bolt from Donald Trump (or Xi Jinping or Boris Johnson or Vladimir Putin) coming this way!
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