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Happy New Year from MP Rambachan

The year is 2020. A new decade has arrived. The latest decade, ten years of our existence have also gone by, and on looking back gone rather quickly. Our life span has been reduced by ten years. Funny though, we do not really know how many years more we have and whether we will survive this new decade. What does this reality mean for any or all of us, or do the next ten years matter at all to us.

 
It’s interesting the term 20/20 vision. Technically it means normal vision, the ability to see rather clearly. Using this symbolism in relation to the year 2020 what is our vision for the next ten years. Firstly as an individual and then for the nation of Trinidad and Tobago. In other words what and where will we like to be as a person and a nation in December 31 2029!
 
My considered conclusion is that most of us are not paying sufficient attention to our future. We are plodding along hoping things will get better. Too many of us are living day to day not taking the decisions and doing the things necessary to create the future we truly desire.
 
We employ people to govern the country by way of how we vote. We are not holding them responsible and accountable. The goal of good governance is the happiness of the people. It appears that for many a leader the goal of good governance is political survival and victory over your opponents even when this means an abandonment of focus on the affairs of the people. Is not this what we have been experiencing in the last decade and especially so in the last four years. Bent on revenge the current government has seemingly forgotten how to govern. The criminals are seeing this and are taking advantage of the situation.
 
Look at what happened in Port of Spain yesterday. Indiscriminate shooting at citizens and yet there is no uproar in the nation by citizens. Is it that we have resigned ourselves to a fate which we believe we have no control over. Or is it that we have a culture of apathy and abject indifference to what is happening nationally. Do we recognize that the criminals have no fear of the Police.
In 1990 our intelligence failed us and we suffered as a nation. In 2020 our intelligence is not yet telling us where all the guns are coming from. Our intelligence is not telling us that Venezuelans are still coming into the country through illegal Ports on the south coast and also leaving through such ports. Where is the intelligence.
 
The authorities speak of the need for information from the people. What mechanisms have been put in place to create this relationship. What has happened to the cases emanating from the several Raids that have taken place of women being rescued. Who has been charged. Who has been convicted.
 
The Law Association and prominent lawyers are arguing a case with respect to bail. This is democracy at work but equally the Law Association must present what it thinks should be the alternative legislation with justification. Witnessing this public sparring the criminals continue to have a field day. Sense should dictate a face to face meeting between the Law Association, the AG, the CoP and the Opposition to hammer out the differences and not wait for Parliament. This matter of guns and their use and possession is more than a debate for Parliament. It is a national security problem and Parliament in my view cannot solve it. If we function as a democracy then the parties must meet and come up with a feasible solution for confirmation by Parliament. The nation burns while the squabble continues in the full glare of the criminals. Blaming and name calling is detrimental to our safety.
 
At the same time the population cannot continue to be as apathetic as they are now. The voices of revolt against the quality of government and governance are too few. The abyss is getting deeper and darker unless a collective light begins to be lit sooner rather than later.
 
Frankly nothing has changed between December 31 st 2019’and January 1st 2020 to make any of us celebrate anything.
Nevertheless happy new year!
 
Surujrattan Rambachan MP
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