Can the PNM govern this country? This is a question that all real Trinbagonians must answer if this country has to move forward. I think the PNM can govern well…for its supporters’ welfare and hence its return to power time and again.
The PNM is a party that cares only for its supporters & Rohan Sinanan, Clarence Rambharat, Kazim Hussein and Terrence Deyalsingh. Irrespective of competence or knowledge, the PNM shall always support its diehards so long as they serve the PNM’s agenda. So, there may be a place for you in the PNM so long as you maintain a mindset that is compliant and subservient to the leadership and hates anyone who opposes the policies of the PNM.
The PNM has inculcated at all levels of society a culture of state dependency… a kind of baby-sitting culture. This is best demonstrated in the public works introduced in the 1970s following the Black Power Uprising. Over the years, governments have failed to question the relevance of such programs. Nevertheless, it was sustained to have at is disposal an army of political foot soldiers to march with the government to threaten opponents and critics of its policies.
Agriculture suffered because of the dishing out of jobs to party supporters. Most estates were shut down because of the absence of a reliable labour force. In the petroleum sector, WASA, and the port at PoS, party hacks were hired for huge wage packets. Those laboring in the fields felt cheated with their meagre wages.
PNM supporters were marginally involved in agriculture, so it did not make sense to invest in agriculture. With the oil and gas boom and “money was not a problem,” many entrepreneurs were given licenses to import crops that our farmers were producing: tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. The inputs by the government for the development of agriculture was always marginal. In fact, the markets that were refurbished – Macoya, Tunapuna, Siparia, Chaguanas, Debe and throughout the country – were not executed by the PNM but the NAR and the UNC. The PNM’s legacy was always promises. In Marabella, the sod turning ceremony was conducted three times in 15 years by the PNM for the reconstruction of the Marabella Market but was never executed. It was under the PP Government that the promise finally materialized. The reality is that market vendors in the majority are not PNM supporters!
The PNM cares for its supporters. This again is demonstrated by its launching of NEDCO-National Entrepreneurship Development Programme in 2002. The objective of NEDCO is to provide funding for the development of Micro Small Enterprises. This is certainly commendable strategy to assist small micro enterprises with much needed micro-financing. Now the question must be asked: who are the beneficiaries of this programme?
I don’t know of a single person who has received a loan from this public enterprise. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the forced closed down of businesses to arrest the spread of the virus, NEDCO recognized that many micro-enterprises have been hard hit and has offered a grant of $20,000 to help those entrepreneurs back on their feet. This is commendable but is this generous offer reaching the people affected?
In my neighborhood the vast majority of households are engaged in micro and small enterprises and have been severely hit by the lock down. Nevertheless, I don’t know of a single person who has benefitted from this COVID-19 grant. It would be nice if NEDCO can publish its list of COVID -19 beneficiaries so the doubts and fears of many can be allayed.
Another issue demonstrating that the PNM cares but this time for its financiers is the passage of the Procurement Act. The tendering process has been compromised by the passage of this watered-down Procurement Act. This legislation has simply entrenched corruption in the procurement of good and services by the State. No economy can strive without competitive bidding for contracts. Yet, the PNM government has gone on to pass legislation with a simple majority. What is even worse is our editors turning blind eyes to this naked injustice in exchange for honorary doctorates!
It is now public knowledge that the PNM modus operandi is to provide all the incentives for those it desires to help. The PNM is certainly a caring government to its supporters. This was demonstrated by the state agencies when they responded to flooding in the North-West recently. All the state agencies were present to lend assistance. However, when Barrackpore and St Helena are under flood waters, the state agencies are not to be seen or heard. There is no end in sight to the perennial flooding in south Trinidad. Where is Rohan Sinanan’s plan to help alleviate this persistent disaster?
The PNM caring attitude was demonstrated best in its response to the Greenvale flooding a few years ago. Every department of government was at hand to help while the residents of St Helena-less than one mile away- were left to fend for themselves. It is now clear that the PNM can solve infrastructural problems only when their supporters are affected!
It is becoming clearer daily that the PNM lacks a national vision. It is myopic and bias. It uses one Rohan and one Kazim to project a multi-racial image when the reality in the ground is naked discrimination along racial lines. The PNM has no qualms about employing sahibs like Terrence Deyalsingh and Clarence Rambharat who passionately hate themselves, all in the haste to find comfort in the bosoms of the PNM for self-sustenance.