Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Campaign financing: laws will hardly help

By Raffique Shah
May 24, 2018

Raffique ShahIt was perhaps an indicator of just how inured this society is to corruption that, except for an Express editorial, no one has commented on Justice Frank Seepersad’s scathing but incisive remarks in his ruling against Jack Warner in a $1.5 million lawsuit that reeked of political machinations.

The lawsuit was filed by Krishna Lalla, who admitted to being a supporter of the United National Congress, although he denied that the money he had “loaned” Warner in 2007 was a campaign contribution to the UNC for the election that year, which the party lost.
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Harness the best cocoa in the world

By Raffique Shah
May 16, 2018

Raffique ShahSometimes it pays to stay aloof of the noise that tends to pollute discussions on issues as important as the state of the national economy and efforts to resuscitate it. Last week, Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s mid-year review of the fiscal 2017-2018 Budget, which has been elevated to a media event, degenerated into a political slugfest involving several prominent economists and political commentators, and cantankerous Colm.
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Police Service a disaster zone

>By Raffique Shah
May 8, 2018

Raffique ShahThe Sunday Express described it as a “disaster week” for the Police Service. If I were the editor, I would have headlined the editorial “Police Service a disaster zone”. With apologies to the many dedicated police officers who adhere to their oath of office and battle against Sisyphean odds of rampant lawlessness within their ranks and in the country at large, the events of last week involving their colleagues engaging in criminal activities or shameful acts were not aberrations.
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We must manage migration

By Raffique Shah
May 01, 2018

Raffique ShahSometime in or around 1990, a large number of mostly Indo-Trinidadians, variously estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000, fled this country for Canada, and successfully exploited that country’s liberal immigration laws pertaining to refugee status and asylum, claiming political or racial persecution in Trinidad and Tobago.

The “refugees”, who were really Trinis seeking greener economic pastures in a huge, thriving Canada, realised their dreams through the wiles of a pool of “immigration lawyers” who, for handsome fees, beat the system and won them the right to live and work there. I imagine that most of them remain residents of Canada to this day, and they are happy in their adopted homeland.
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Give Tobago full independence

By Raffique Shah
April 25, 2018

Raffique ShahI’ve had it up to here (Shah motions his right palm one inch above his five-foot, six-and-a-half-inches-frame) with the cantankerous complainers from the island of Tobago who, seemingly every day, appear on multiple media forums to cuss Trinidadians in general, and the Government in particular, for failing to provide them with heavily subsidised services, be it ferry or air transport, medical or education facilities.
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Gold…at what price?

By Raffique Shah
April 18, 2018

Raffique ShahUnderstandably, the nation celebrated the two gold and one silver medals Trinidad & Tobago won at the Commonwealth Games staged in The Gold Coast, Australia, over the past two weeks. With “bad news” dominating the headlines daily, from crime to corruption, political wrangling and bungling to institutional paralyses, only the sourpuss among us would dismiss achievements in sports as being irrelevant to national pride.
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Slaves to technology

By Raffique Shah
April 11, 2018

Raffique ShahAt the recent launch of its newest smart-phone, Samsung’s sales manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, Terry Weech, was asked what was the best feature of the Galaxy S9. Without hesitation, he said, “The camera!” He proceeded to promote the US $1,000-plus device’s 12- megapixel camera that captures photographs and videos that are “comparable with the quality used by media houses”, but said hardly a word about its communications prowess and other features that might propel me to hobble off to the nearest mobile phones dealer and buy one.

And I sat in my chair and wondered…
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Remembering Cheddi Jagan

By Raffique Shah
April 04, 2018

Raffique ShahHe was the most sincere, humble, decent political leader I’ve known, Of course, mere mention of sincerity, humility and decency as being the foremost character traits of any politician, especially when he was the leader of a main party in any country, axiomatically infer that he was also a failure if success is measured by winning elections and holding on to power.

All of the above were true of Cheddi Jagan, Guyana’s first Chief Minister (in 1953, when the colony was named British Guiana), a patriot whose birth centenary passed very quietly on March 22. In fact, I, who considered Cheddi a friend and comrade, would have not remembered the occasion had my columnist colleague Ricky Singh not written about it.
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Reformation before revolution

By Raffique Shah
March 29, 2018

Raffique ShahI was writing last week’s column when Madam Justice Paula-Mae Weekes’s inauguration as President of the Republic was underway at the Queen’s Park Savannah, so I missed out on most of the pomp and pageantry. No disrespect was intended: President Paula (well, we did have President Max) will understand my absence, what with a deadline to meet, and with Parkinson’s affecting the pace at which I write, though not the speed at which I think or the sharpness of my memory and mind.
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Too little, too late?

By Raffique Shah
March 23, 2018

Raffique ShahIt may well be a case of too little, too late. It might even be a classic case of trying to set right an historical economic wrong when the oil barrel is about to run dry. But for sure, Government’s Rip Van Winkle’s rude awakening to the reality that Trinidad and Tobago has for far too long been gang-raped by the large energy corporations, with the complicity of its mothers and stepmothers (successive governments and some of the elites), reduces informed patriots to a mixture of tears and guffaws.
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