Dr Rowley, while claiming to be holier than the Pope and most incorruptible, continues to pussyfoot in dealing decisively with allegations of wrongdoing against his Cabinet and Parliamentary colleagues, says Naparima MP Rodney Charles.
Trying to get him to act on a Darryl Smith Report through probing questions in Parliament, is like pulling teeth without anesthetics.
By contrast, Mrs. Kamla Persad Bissessar like Lee Kuan Yew, is much more resolute, unambiguous and decisive.
“Take time off, clear your name and return” is Mrs. Bissessar’s off repeated mantra.
“Any Minister in a Mrs. Bissessar Government and charged with a DUI, knows instinctively that he/she must resign immediately. No ifs, no buts, no maybe” says Charles.
“As a sitting Cabinet member, I would be ashamed to have a note brought to Cabinet by any of my colleagues in which my immediate family would benefit by $23 million – recusal or no recusal. Not in a Kamla Persad Bissessar Government,” Charles added.
The UNC leader is much, much closer to Lee Kuan Yew than Dr Rowley.
Lee Kuan Yew was known to fire a number of Ministers once there was evidence of corruption.
On 21 November 1986, Lee received complaints of corruption against then Minister of National Development, Teh Cheang Wan.
Lee ordered the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) to investigate Wan who (unfortunately) committed suicide before charges could be laid. Such were the extreme lengths to which the late Singapore leader went to root out corruption and demonstrate that he meant business.
Contrast that with Rowley’s indecisive, ambiguous, confusing and unsettling handling of a number of allegations of corruption against his Ministers, Parliamentary colleagues and senior party members.
The handling of the fake oil and other well publicized issues of alleged wrongdoing are less than satisfactory.
“I often wondered how different it would have been for our country if our founding father Dr Williams had, like Lee Kuan Yew, dealt more decisively with O Halloran and others,” says Charles.
While Senator Ramdeen is innocent until proven guilty and may be vindicated in our courts as a number of past UNC leaders, he must, following his leader’s principled position, be complimented for doing the honorable thing and offering his resignation. The country owes Mrs. Bissessar a debt of gratitude for being the only PM in our country’s history to be so decisive, so forthright and so unambiguous, on the issue of corruption allegations.
I call on Dr Rowley to lead by action and not old talk. Stop barking about being against corruption while doing precious little. Be more forthright, unambiguous, and decisive in dealing with the perception and reality of corruption and wrongdoing in your party and in your Cabinet.
Shouting loudly from a platform will not change the fact that you are slothful in dealing with wrongdoing in your midst.
You may fool your supporters. You may even fool the country for a while – as you did with emailgate. But you cannot fool all of us, all the time. History will judge you as being manifestly weak in dealing with perceived wrongdoing in your party.