“Today marks the first anniversary of Stuart Young’s unsuccessful stint as Minister of National Security. His record thus far has been one of incompetence, inexperience, non-performance and outright cluelessness. 502 murders under his watch has placed him amongst the worst performing National Security Ministers in our history,” says Naparima MP, Rodney Charles.
He has failed to imbue a sense of safety and security. He has failed to secure our borders. He has manifestly failed to manage assets under his remit to effectively fight crime. He has failed to harness resources for the TT Ghost Guard to even have body bags to retrieve the bodies of the murdered fishermen. He has failed to manage the Venezuelan crisis.
Good leaders know when to take advice. The UNC has repeatedly called on the Government to implement a well thought out refugee policy that is humane recognises the limits of our absorptive capacity and based on international best practices. His refusal to listen or even acknowledge that we were experiencing a migrant/refugee crisis until it was too late is testament to his substandard leadership skills.
Consider these figures, with 502 murders since August 2018; 412 men and 90 women, the escalation in crime shows no sign of abating. In fact, it is getting worse. Gang warfare in broad daylight, with resulting deaths even to bystanders, is now a new norm. This is the record under the PNM and Minister Young, a record from which they cannot escape.
This inept PNM administration cannot come up with a functional and workable crime plan. As a lawyer Minister Young, and the even more clueless AG, continues to pretend to fight crime by passing more and more draconian legislation and blaming the Opposition. No viable solutions have been manifest and no crime reduction targets set. They cannot continuously blame the Opposition for their own shortcomings even as we support their Anti-Gang and Bail Amendment laws among others.
T&T needs a Minister who takes responsibility for protecting our borders, who ensures that criminals are not being funded by Government programs, who can guarantee that support institutions like the DPP, our Forensic Science Centre and Judiciary function efficiently and effectively, who takes decisive steps to upgrade our National Security apparatus like the TTPS, who sets measurable, time defined, crime reduction targets and who reforms our prison system with targeted recidivism reduction rates.
On all these fronts and more, Minister Young has proven repeatedly that he is not up for the task and is clearly and resoundingly out of his depth. The Prime Minister must do the patriotic thing and assume responsibility for National Security, or failing that to appoint a more qualified and experienced person.
Given the prevailing hopelessness among the citizenry, the rising poverty, joblessness, escalating crime and an inept Minister Young, the PM must do the patriotic thing and call general elections now.
We simply cannot take another year of Minister Young.
MP for Naparima