Those who served in government positions (Regional Councillors, NDA representatives included) as staff or any other capacity (working for a state entity) should also be entitled for a state pension based on years served. Thus, I am in agreement with Freddie that Balram Singh Rai should get his pension; a bill should be legislated to grant the pension his pension. Separately, Isahak Bashir was penalized of his rightful pension amount because he was suspended from parliament by Sase Narain. That Speaker and others occupied positions for which they were not entitled; they were not duly elected by the population. It is well documented that elections were rigged between 1966 and 1992. Most of those who served as ruling party MPs illegally occupied their post; they lacked moral right to dictate who qualified for a pension since they themselves did not qualify for theirs.
Those who fought against the authoritarian Guyana Forbes Burnham PNC government, like Eusi Kwayana, Clive Thomas, Patricia Rodney, David Hinds, Arjune Karshan, Baytoram Ramharack, Wazir Mohammed, Paul Tennassee, Donald Rodney, Ogunseye, Ravi Dev, Vassan Ramracha, Desmond Trottman (although he condoned attempts at rigging the last election rigging), among others, should be eligible to receive some kind of “state compensation” for their years of service, commitment, and dedication to liberate the Guyana nation. South Africa adopted this principle of granting pension or state compensation to those revolutionaries who actively participated in the struggle to liberate the nation from racist apartheid rule.
Those revolutionaries in South Africa were not elected to parliament or served in state employment to qualify them for pension. But they were treated accordingly for time served while fighting for the liberation of the nation. Without their struggle, the country would have remained a racist state in which those who opposed it would not have qualified for state employment or to serve in parliament to qualify them for a pension. They gave their life to the freedom movement and were justly rewarded. They may have been elected serving in parliament if the apartheid system had not excluded them.
Similarly, in Guyana, Burnham ran a racist authoritarian political system that excluded Indian opponents and other revolutionaries from getting elected as a result of his fraudulent elections. The revolutionaries, or those who dedicated their lives opposing Burnhamism and were victimized, may very well have been elected to parliament and serving in government or some other government position entitling them to a state pension. It is only fair that these Guyanese revolutionaries be compensated, for giving their lifetime, with some kind of benefits in service to freeing the nation of Burnhamism. Without their contributions in the struggle, Guyana would have remained a dictatorship and those who are beneficiaries today would have been excluded from benefits including serving in parliament and as Ministers.
Those who were instrumental in rigging elections should not get pension and whatever pension they currently receive should be discontinued, and they should be prosecuted. A million dollar pensioner is a known murder and rapist. Government must take measures to cancel his pension and put him in front of the court for rape and murder; there is no statute of limitation these crimes.
Anyone who served the state (or any of its agencies) in any capacity as diplomats, MPs, in media, laborer, etc. entitles them to a pension. That is the pension rule in any developed (white man) country, including the imperialist countries (blood sucking as Burnham and Jagan used to call them) countries. Guyanese are very contented living in these imperialist countries and would never trade their freedoms for live in a socialist have like Guyana. Since Guyana is a socialist, working class haven, a utopia, why can’t all state workers who served the state get a pension like the MPs do?
In Guyana, a Member of Parliament gets a pension for serving a term; pension is prorated based on the number of years served and income. Burnham had created teenage (youthful) pensioners – any MP regardless of age who served briefly in parliament. Some of them had just crossed twenty years when they became eligible for a pension. (In America, government employee must be no younger than 55 to get a pension). After Burnham and Hoyte, pension qualifications were streamlined with minimum requisites.
Several former MPs (who served as Ministers or PS or Speakers) are currently receiving an average of $450K monthly. Those who served a term get about $40K if not a Minister; one term Minister gets close to $100K. If someone who served as a MP, a part time undertaking, can qualify for a pension, why can’t those who served many years in government, a full time position, be eligible for a pension?
Something stinks about state pension rule. Those who worked for the government and are not pension recipients should file a court case. In a white man’s court, they would definitely win. Hard working Guyanese should not be treated indifferently and unfairly by ‘korhee’ MPs. They are more deserving of a pension than those lazy MPs, especially some of them who disgraced parliament on February 22.