The hallmark of this PNM government over the past six years has been trying to pass Public Relations stunts off as policy.
Today, with much fanfare, Keith Rowley greeted the new Austal vessels to our shores and proceeded to act as if they were his personal gifts to the nation. It is worth reminding Keith Rowley that it is the people of Trinidad and Tobago whose $US80 Million of tax monies were spent purchasing these vessels.
I would also like to point out a stubborn fact to the PNM. Under the Government, I led, orders were placed to facilitate six (50 metre) Large Vessels, six interceptors and one Operational Patrol Vessel for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.
This act transformed the T&T Coast Guard into the largest and most modern Coast Guard in the Caribbean.
Under Keith Rowley, either by malice or incompetence, these prized acquisitions have been sitting idle at Staubles Bay while our borders remain unguarded. I fear these new Austal vessels will soon go the same way, serving as decorations for the PNM rather than being used to secure our borders and protect our people.
T&T’s border crisis is not due to scarcity of vessels, or the hardworking men and women of our Coast guard. Rather it is down to a PNM government which for reasons best known to them sank our national border security apparatus.
The crisis at our borders is reflective of a Prime Minister drowning in his own incompetence when it comes to managing our nation’s affairs. Sadly these new vessels will do little to change that.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition