Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Petrotrin: radical surgery…or die

Br Raffique Shah
July 12, 2018

Raffique ShahI never thought I’d one day write a column that says what I’m about to. But as someone who has always put country before personal or ideological interests regardless of the fire I faced, I feel compelled to endorse calls for a radical restructuring of State-owned oil company Petrotrin.

If there is resistance to life-saving changes, declare the damn company bankrupt and shut it down.
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Frankie, don’t mess with us

By Raffique Shah
July 07, 2018

Raffique ShahYou’d think with all the entertainment from and excitement over World Cup football in Russia, we’d be spared the drudgery of everyday crime, inexcusable lawlessness and political bacchanal at least for one month. After all, it seems that everyone is riveted to a television set somewhere on “match-days”, which have been every day, almost all day, over the past two weeks. In fact, football fever has intensified during the knockout matches that will climax when new champions are crowned on Sunday, July 15.
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The housing conundrum

By Raffique Shah
June 28, 2018

Raffique ShahAt two ends of the nation’s housing spectrum there are seemingly intractable problems that defy solutions unless the population is prepared to change the cultural mores that have contributed to us facing this conundrum.

At the base, we see tens of thousands of citizens ranging from low-income workers to no-income “lochos” clamouring for Government to provide housing for them. Many among these can afford to pay the subsidised rental or mortgage rates that the Housing Development Corporation, either directly or through certain mortgage facilities, charges for its low-end units.
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I cry for the Fyzabad I knew

By Raffique Shah
June 21, 2018

Raffique ShahIt was on this historic day 45 years ago that I started a new chapter in my life-my involvement in the trade union fraternity, and more specifically, being part of the thousands who made the annual pilgrimage to Fyzabad to pay tribute to pioneers of the labour movement, more specifically Tubal Uriah Butler. From June 19, 1973 until I called halt to marching with my comrades in 2009, I never missed a Labour Day celebration in Fyzabad.
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Valuation Division off on wrong foot

By Raffique Shah
June 15, 2018

Raffique ShahOftentimes, civic and professional organisations that stay aloof of the political mud-wrestling that has long been the dominant feature of our parliamentary system, provide citizens with greater clarity on legislation that impact our lives than our warring politicians do.

Such is the case with the controversial Property Tax Act and its many amendments. On every occasion that the legislation has come before Parliament, it has generated a fish-market-like cacophony and wild fear-mongering to the extent that an entire general election campaign (2010) was conducted on the theme “axe the tax”, and the Manning government fell, albeit on issues wider and larger than the tax.
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Go after State lands thieves

By Raffique Shah
June 07, 2018

Raffique ShahI was about to write a column on my concerns with the Valuation Division of the Ministry of Finance, which plays a critical role in the implementation of the new Property Tax, when I read the lead story in the Sunday Express that pertained to a number of “hanky-panky” deals involving the distribution of State lands by officials of the Division of State Lands, which falls under the Ministry of Agriculture.
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Sat still stirring religious intolerance

By Raffique Shah
May 31, 2018

Raffique ShahSat Maharaj can manufacture a controversy in the calmest situation. He knows that the fundamental rule for staying alive in public life, and more importantly looking lively even though you may be half-dead is to get embroiled in “kuchoor”, as Indians would say, and do the most outrageous things to command media attention.
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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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