Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Simple equations, complex solutions

By Raffique Shah
December 10, 2019

Raffique ShahExactly one month before last Monday’s local government elections, I wrote in this space, inter alia: “…The PNM will face the December 2 elections at its most vulnerable point since winning the general election of 2015. Under its watch, thousands of workers have lost their jobs, most notably the 4,000 or so who were employed at the State-owned oil giant Petrotrin, but also other private sector employees who were retrenched amidst continuing economic stagnation. Serious crimes continue unabated, people are dissatisfied with the public health services and the availability of adequate potable water, many roads are in a woeful state, and so on…
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First World, not failed state

By Raffique Shah
December 06, 2019

Raffique ShahTrinidad and Tobago is not now a failed state as many people claim it is. But it is precariously positioned at critical crossroads where, should the government and the populace take the wrong path or worse, stay put and do nothing, the country can descend into an abyss that would reduce the economy and the social fabric that has thus far held us together as a model nation to nothingness.
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The bitter taste of sugar

By Raffique Shah
November 26, 2019

Raffique ShahI breathed a sigh of relief when I read my Express colleague Mark Wilson’s column last Friday headlined “Big Sugar, Kamla? Not so sweet.” I had just read the newspaper’s editorial which, in essence, supported a proposal made on the elections campaign by United National Congress leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to resurrect the country’s sugar industry if her party returns to power, presumably following the 2020 general election.
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Periscope on local government elections

By Raffique Shah
November 8, 2019

Raffique ShahFour weeks before the local government elections, and nothing tells me that there will be any more excitement than there was on November 28, 2016, when the customary one-third of the one million registered electors bothered to vote (34.34 percent to be precise), with the results being as predictable as the campaign was boring.
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We live only once, but…

By Raffique Shah
October 31, 2019

Raffique ShahLast week, as I listened to Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh complain for the umpteenth time about the high percentage of citizens who are literally eating and drinking themselves to chronic, costly lifestyle diseases and early deaths, I thought I needed to return to the topic I focused on in my previous column—food production and consumption.
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Eating ourselves to early deaths

By Raffique Shah
October 23, 2019

Raffique ShahFact: while we the people of Trinidad and Tobago eat much of the foods, fruits, etc, that we produce locally, most of what we consume for sustenance and satisfaction, maybe as much as 80 percent, we do not produce. We import it.

Fiction: if they are given adequate incentives, starting with land tenure and going all the way through tax-free inputs and proper marketing facilities and concessions, the nation’s farmers can feed the population.
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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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