Faris Al-Rawi, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) said on national television on Monday that the cabinet proclaimed Section 34, which the Parliament later repealed.
“The Prime Minister has yet to speak to the issue of how the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago proclaimed Section 34 into law, because nobody else did that,” Al-Rawi told host Hema Ramkissoon on CNC3 television’s morning show.
It’s unfortunate that Ramkissoon allowed the PNM Senator to get away with the lies and misinformation.
Al-Rawi knows that the cabinet has no authority to proclaim any bill or part of a bill so when he keeps harping on that idea he is deliberately misleading the country. And if he sincerely believes that what he is saying is true then he is not fit to sit in the legislature and should be fired forthwith.
The former president of Trinidad and Tobago was the one who proclaimed Section 34 without asking a single question about it. So if anybody has to take responsibility for the Section 34 matter it is Max Richards.
When Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar discovered that the legislation was flawed she immediately took action by firing Justice Minister Herbert Volney for misleading the cabinet and recalled Parliament to repeal the legislation.
Richards signed the bill in August and it was proclaimed based on his signature. Up to the time when the controversy erupted with Keith Rowley and his allies like David Abdulah, Ancel Roget and Ramesh Maharaj it was clear that the “error” was at the doorstep of then President Richards.
In fact it was not until December, when Rowley bullied Richards, that the former president wrote to the PM asking questions about Section 34 and that letter was conveniently leaked to the media.
Al-Rawi is looking in the wrong direction for a scapegoat on Section 34. The hastily assembled round table led by Rowley and Abdulah quickly collapsed when the state won its case against Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson. The round table was all geared to pounce on the government on the fateful day that the court ruled in favour of the state.
In the aftermath of their disappointment, they continue to clutch at straws with people like Al-Rawi creating public mischief with his misinformation, aimed at distorting the truth and confusing citizens.
The PNM has missed the whole point of the role of an opposition, which is to keep checks and balances on the government, to hold them to account and to present truthful and factual information to citizens.
As a government in waiting it needs to act responsibly, not fabricate stories and mislead in order to try to score cheap political point through misinformation and deliberate lies.
However it seems that Al-Rawi is taking advice from his handlers who are telling him to use the Nazi technique to telling lies so often they become fact.
His boss Keith Rowley has been trying that forever. One of his classic lies was his bold statement that AG Anand Ramlogan went to the T&T mission in New York and complained about the ethnicity of staff there, when he knew that it never happened.
He kept up the lies even when the AG produced the proof that he was never in New York. Ambassador Rodney Charles confirmed that it never happened after consulting with staff yet Rowley held on to his story with support from Marlene McDonald who said she was there as a witness.
|Talking about New York – CLICK here to read the story|
These are the kind of people who want citizens to believe them and return them to government.
In three years they have brought four no confidence motions against the government with nothing substantial to present to the Parliament and the country.
They are at it again. Be warned that when the legislature meets on Monday you will continue to hear lies and more lies from an impotent opposition that has no vision for T&T except its parochial interests and its craving for power at all costs.
By: Jai Parasram