Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

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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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Sewage more than water

By Raffique Shah
March 14, 2018

Raffique ShahThe last time the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) awarded increases in water rates to the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) was in 1993. The RIC used data from the year 1989 to determine the increases. One can easily assume that in the ensuing 29 years, every commodity price from foods to fuels, apparels to real estate, has tripled, maybe quadrupled, so why should water rates be any different?
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Realistic rates hikes for T&TEC

By Raffique Shah
March 07, 2018

Raffique ShahAs the nation grapples with two seemingly intractable problems, crime and the economy, we pay little or no attention to two critical issues that are bound to generate a furore sometime soon—increases in water and electricity rates.

The Regulated Industries Commission (RIC), which determines how much the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and the Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) can charge consumers for these vital supplies, has indicated it will soon set in motion the procedures that will guide it with respect to granting or denying these agencies rate increases.
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No guns in our schools

By Raffique Shah
February 27, 2018

Raffique ShahWhile I empathise with the trainee teacher who was robbed at gunpoint on her school’s compound last Wednesday morning—I suffered a similar fate at my home back in 2002—I do not understand why people are shocked by the brazen, early morning robbery.

If we feel schools should be sacrosanct, that bandits and other criminals should show respect for our institutes of education, perish the thought. Some parents, teachers and students have long jettisoned that notion by their misbehavior, and students’ brawls captured on the ubiquitous phone-video-cameras are among the most popular fare uploaded onto sundry so-called social media Internet sites, providing perverse entertainment for people who seem to spend all their waking hours digesting cyber-garbage.
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Toco port: let PM put his money where his mouth is

By Raffique Shah
February 21, 2018

Raffique ShahAs Government wrestles with seemingly intractable problems that bedevil the Trinidad-Tobago sea-bridge, and with the public’s focus riveted on which ferry might be operational on any given day and how many passengers or vehicles are left stranded at either port, the population could be easily blindsided to a looming disaster-in-the-making, the Prime Minister’s pet project—a port/ferry terminal in Toco, and a new main road from Valencia to Toco.
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Chalkdust, calypso must change or die

By Raffique Shah
February 16, 2018

Raffique ShahDear Chalkie,

I rarely respond to critics of views I express in my column, unless, like you, I hold them in high regard. Just as I enjoy the freedom to criticise public figures within the bounds of decency, I respect others’ right to respond to my opinions when we disagree, or even when they distort facts and resort to abuse.
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Mad, mad Trinidad

By Raffique Shah
February 13, 2018

Raffique ShahWhen opposition and government parliamentarians jointly pursue any issue that seems to be of national importance, I become very suspicious. Recently, when they did in the instances of the passing of former President Max Richards and election of Justice Paula Mae Weekes to the presidency, I expressed my fears in this space. Now that they have unanimously appointed a special select committee of six MPs them to probe the fiasco that the appointment of a Commissioner of Police is turning out to be, I smell a rotting rat whose putrid stench permeates both political parties, some commissions and commissioners, and possibly holders of high office who are aiming to go higher and higher.
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Death of calypso tents

By Raffique Shah
January 30, 2018

Raffique ShahThey looked pathetic, three of the leading calypsonians in the country—Chalkdust, Sugar Aloes and Pink Panther—as they begged the Government for a “mere half-a-million-dollars” to operate the Calypso Revue tent over the three-week Carnival season. Admitting that they had already received $100,000 funding that was woefully inadequate, the top bards invoked the name, memory and legacy of the great Lord Kitchener, who founded the Revue 55 years ago. For Kitchener’s sake, they pleaded, grant us the half-a-mil.
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