Suruj laments 'decay' of Judiciary and TTPS ahead of 2018
As 2018 approaches, Tabaquite MP and former Works and Transport Minister Surjrattan Rambachan expressed fear and lack of faith in this country's judicial system and the police service.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Opposition MP stressed that 2017 has been a year of unrelenting crime, yet the statistics from the TTPS says otherwise. He questioned whether there has been tampering with T&T's crime statistics or whether members of the public have opted against reporting crimes.
"How can we be happy with the way crime is exploding. The Police are reporting that serious crimes are down. How can this be true when in every nook and cranny the people are speaking about their experiences and those of persons they know. Is there a deliberate suppression of the crime statistics or is it that people have stopped reporting crime because they feel that nothing will be done by the police and the Ministry of National Security. The reality is that as a people we have been fed a lot of what the people have seen through as theoretical crap not backed up by operational interventions."
The Opposition MP said, however, that he was hopeful that recent discoveries of significant amounts of guns and ammunition would begin to inspire confidence in both the public and the Police.
Meanwhile, Rambachan criticized Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi whom he said put his ego before country in relation to the Anti-Gang and Bail Bill.
He said the AG should listen to the views of the Opposition in an effort to create laws that will ensure that criminal elements remain behind bars.
"I am still disappointed that bail appears to be so accessible for what are serious crimes. Bandits in my view are actually being freed to continue their banditry."
"As lawmakers in Parliament, we must decide on laws which can send a strong message that the nation is fed up. This will require an AG who is less confrontational and ego-driven and more concessional and collaborative. It is my view that the current AG has been dismissive of the views of the Opposition which views have not been proven to be without merit."
The Tabaquite MP said the political scoring points mentality must be replaced by the parliament scoring points for the people politicians represent.
Rambachan also chastised the PNM regime for labelling the UNC "unpatriotic".
He said the label was worse than purporting racism which he believes the Government should be mindful of.
"I ask in sincerity. Are over 300,000 persons/supporters of the UNC unpatriotic. Are only PNM people patriots?
The divisions being created by this narrative will be detrimental to the unity of this country. It is a narrative whose impact is going far beyond the walls of parliament and is creating a we/they syndrome. To accuse a person of being unpatriotic is a serious matter. To have that accusation transferred in a subtle manner to the belief system of a group is dangerous. The PNM may have found it cute to promote this label but have ignored the unintended consequences."
He made the comment as he said the collective energies of the citizenry is required to beat the recession, resuscitate the economy and put a dent in the crime situation.
Rambachan went on to slam the Government for its failure to deal with major issues and make hope alive for the people.
He ended by wishing members of the public peace and prosperity for the new year and for a leadership that inspires hope.