It is disturbing that the Rowley Government makes substantial effort in wrongfully accusing the Opposition for a Facebook post on the Paria Fuel Trading Company in order to create distractions, yet continues to deflect on the real issue at hand, namely, the future ownership of our nation’s patrimony.
The Rowley Government’s reaction and accusations against the Opposition are not only dishonest but also clearly reflects an administration with a guilty conscience of betraying the will, trust, and the hopes of our citizens with respect to Petrotrin.
The viral spread of the “Paria has been sold” image was not linked with nor was it an act of the United National Congress. The Government has absolutely no evidence on which to base their claims. This was simply an act by a member of an anxious society of concerned citizens who believe that Government’s secrecy on the future ownership of their national resources is unbecoming and unacceptable.
The Rowley Government, burdened by its own incompetence, continues to ignore the fact that that our citizens are distraught by their moves to sell off an industry which our forefathers united and worked hand in hand to build. They continue to ignore the pain and devastation that this decision has caused many families and communities.
The Government believes that if they continue to wrongfully blame the Opposition for “mischief” they would distract our citizens from the “give away to friends, family and financiers ” which is about to take place with regards to Petrotrin Assets.
It is time this Rowley Government ends its secrecy on the state of affairs of Trinidad Petroleum Holding Company. It is time this Government places all transactions relating to these assets in the public domain for national scrutiny to ensure they are done in accordance with transparency and proper procurement/disposal of public property practices.
This Government must account and operate in a manner acceptable to the real owners of Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Limited – the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
From the very start the Government operated in a mode of pure deception towards our national population in the manner it handled the Petrotrin situation. During the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on September 2nd 2018 entitled “reinventing Petrotrin” Prime Minister Rowley never mentioned the closure of the state company but instead committed that it was “the government’s vision is for Petrotrin to be profitable and internationally competitive and a leader in the local energy sector; an employer of choice and a source of national pride. The board is developing a model for Petrotrin that is designed specifically to manage its assets to yield the most value for TT.”
Six months later, this is not the case. They have destroyed Petrotrin’s operations and, the assets which they promised to manage in a manner that yields the most for our country, are now at risk of being sold off without proper checks and balances.
Any sale of Petrotrin assets must be decided by the People of our country who are the real owners. Any decision to sell the assets of our citizens must be decided by our citizens. Consequently, this administration must stop the sale of all assets until the elections have been decided and more so, after the people via these elections have decided if they want the assets sold.
The Opposition will never support the spread of misinformation as is often peddled by this Government. We will continue to demand accountability and transparency on behalf of our citizens given the hardship and dishonesty that is being dished out to them on a daily basis by this Keith Rowley Regime.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition