Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Sunset or sunrise, no support from Kamla

By Raffique Shah
December 13, 2017

Raffique ShahIf there was anything shocking about the opposition United National Congress members voting to scuttle the so-called anti-gang legislation in Parliament last week, it was the seemingly shocked expressions on the faces of the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and other members of government.

I was shocked that they were shocked by the opposition vote. Did Dr Rowley and his ministers really expect Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her colleagues to support the Government in any bid to fight crime? Any street-smart Trini could have told the PM long before the Bill came up for debate that the UNC would not allow it to be passed in the House.
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Riding a wave of discontent

By Raffique Shah
December 06, 2017

Raffique ShahMany people, among them the anointed political pundits, seem to think that the widespread discontent among large sections of the population over what they see as lame governance by the Keith Rowley-led administration, and a depressed economy that shows no sign of recovery, could erupt into a violent political upheaval such as this country has experienced on several occasions in its pre- and post-colonial history.

In fact, I sense that many politicians are hoping for an eruption that would force the Government out of office by one means or other, thus creating a vacuum that would be filled by those who appear to be best organised at the critical point in time.
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A time to kill

By Raffique Shah
November 30, 2017

Raffique ShahI am not optimistic over the Prime Minister’s promise to citizens that the near-riot that erupted for the umpteenth time last week in the Beetham community will not occur again.

Dr Keith Rowley said he has directed the heads of the Police Service and the Defence Force to ensure that law and order are enforced in Beetham and elsewhere in the country even as people exercise their right to protest. He called for those who used the recent disturbance to engage in criminal acts to be prosecuted, and acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said he had a team of officers examining video footage of the mayhem to identify and arrest the culprits.
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Only in Trinidad

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2017

Raffique ShahUntil such time as persons in public life who are criminally responsible for stealing from the public purse, or for abusing their powers to enable their friends or associates to unfairly, maybe even illegally, acquire state lands or subsidised housing, are thrown into jail like the common thieves they are, this society will continue to decay, to fall apart, hurtling towards a failed state, a dubious title that we seem hell-bent on attaining, as if it were an achievement we can be proud of.
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Sexual misconduct haunts public figures

By Raffique Shah
November 16, 2017

Raffique ShahAmidst an avalanche of allegations of sexual misconduct against a phalanx of prominent men, mostly in the USA, but also in other developed countries, one can anticipate a similar surge here in Trinidad and Tobago, although our litigation procedures are more constrained, some might argue restrictive, than in those jurisdictions. I argue, too, that cultural differences influence the way the local public, if not the courts, view such allegations.
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No scruples, no consciences

By Raffique Shah
November 9, 2017

Raffique ShahTwo Thursdays ago, at around 11 a.m., one of my brothers was robbed at gunpoint as he pulled up at the entrance to his home off Beaucarro Road. He had returned from First Citizens Bank in Couva where he had withdrawn a few thousand dollars to pay farmers who supply him with hot peppers. Three young men, one armed with a gun, rushed him and threatened to kill him. They searched his pockets, stole the cash, his wallet (with vital documents) and phone. After seizing his keys from his car and telling him to run for his life, they bolted to a car parked nearby and made good their escape.
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Fall of giants—but there is hope

By Raffique Shah
November 3, 2017

Raffique ShahA friend of mine, a Queen’s Royal College alumnus, no less, and an Afro-Trini, which is relevant only because of the theme of the discussion we had, having scanned the list of the 389 national scholarship winners, noted the demise of his alma mater in academic performance (and in sports, I should have reminded him), and more generally, the seismic shift in scholastic achievements from geographical, race and gender perspectives.
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Let casino workers plant peas in Cumuto

By Raffique Shah
October 26, 2017

Raffique ShahIt says so much about this country, about the national psyche, when, in the wake of a budget that will impact the cost of living almost across the board, reducing people’s purchasing power, the most vociferous protests are coming from gambling establishments that add nothing productive to the economy, but enrich a handful of casino owners, pauperise thousands of families, reduce many female gamblers to prostitutes, and provide the biggest avenue for laundering the ill-gotten gains of criminal enterprises, in particular money from the illicit drugs and firearms trades.
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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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