It was infuriating to hear Mr Stuart Young in Parliament this afternoon explain why Members of the House of Representatives ought not to use their platform to attack civilian citizens of this nation, only immediately direct a personal assault on my name and character and insinuate the most sinister of connotations. While I understand why the PNM might want to disassociate themselves from the implications of squandering BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars, the truth is that they should have had more regard for their responsibility to protect the citizens and the public purse with as much vigour as he attempted to protect himself.
While Mr Young might not have wanted the information which was sought through the Freedom of Information Act under my name uttered in the House at a time when his government is attempting to place a greater burden on the national debt, the first thing that he ought to remember is that this information is not an opinion formulated in my head, but rather is a culmination of information gathered from the public service.
The information being shared by myself in the public and by the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament is not some concoction in the vein of ’email gate’ or the Nelson scandal and ought to be disseminated to the populace so that they might better understand how their money is being spent, or wasted. And at a time when government revenue is diminished due to global energy prices and a lack of innovation by the government to stimulate the economy, the average man and woman on the street are more interested than ever in understanding why the PNM are unable to provide even the most basic of services and welfare that is owed to them through taxes.
But this brings me to the utter failure of an excuse by Mr Young to justify this gross expenditure as some noble attempt by the PNM to defend the Republic from my legal attacks during the pandemic. What exactly has the PNM been defending? The majority of cases that I have had the misfortune of having trouble the courts with are merely FOIA requests that the PNM fail to respond to in their attempts to conceal their actions in government. Almost every single FOIA request is met with a failure to comply which then necessitates legal action in order to access public information.
Then came the issue of the installation of an Acting Commissioner of Police, in which my legal challenge only scratched the surface of that national scandal. And currently, there are two challenges before the courts in which we are awaiting the Judgements in regard to the postponement of the Local Government Election and the appointment of the Chairman of the National Insurance Board. Both of these issues are equally as important to the national landscape of this nation, in comparison to the Appointment of the COP, and the cases that we have put forward are compelling arguments against potentially illegal PNM action.
The main issue that I have with the statement of Stuart Young, is that the PNM has not been able to successfully defend any of the actions to which legal cases were made by myself since 2015. It is with some sense of pride that I feel somewhat responsible for the eventual removal of Faris Al Rawi from the Office of the Attorney General as he lost every single case on behalf of the State to me and my legal team. Of course, all of my success comes from the legal genius of Mr Anand Ramlogan SC and his indomitable ability to argue these cases provocatively in court, and this is further demonstrated by the fact that he has had countless other victories against the state outside of my own.
The fact that Stuart Young would attempt to present any legal defence of PNM actions as noble when the Judiciary has ruled against them ad nauseum is pitiful and deceptive, to say the least. The current PNM administration will no doubt go down as the most illegal administration in history based on the number of court judgments handed down against their actions.
That this Government is using taxpayer dollars to defend their illegal actions against the very same people paying it is an atrocity on par with any dictator in the world today. Every time I sit in court, I remain cognizant that I am paying the bill of the lawyers who sit across from me in Court as I attempt to defend the Rights and Freedoms Enshrined to me and every other Citizen in this country. But I go through with the fight because thankfully the Judiciary remains Independent from the corruption of the PNM government, as they have demonstrated in their rulings.
Imagine that Stuart Young is making these arguments on the same day that Justice Devindra Rampersad was called upon to defend the Judiciary as an institution in response to statements made by the PNM Government in handling the Brent Thomas fiasco!
That Stuart Young would therefore stand in Parliament today and attack me for not only fighting to defend the Constitution and for Transparency and Accountability of Government shows how little he values his place in those Hallowed Halls and the Oath he took when he was elected to serve as a Parliamentarian. Because what I am accomplishing through the Courts is exactly what he is being paid and failing to do in Parliament, and is therefore only adding to the Bill of money being squandered by the PNM government on a daily basis.
Ravi Balgobin Maharaj
Mob: +1 868 476-6181