‘Tis the season to be nice to your parliamentary colleagues!
Santa may not be over his Christmas deliveries by now, since he had a very heavy mixed bag of requests to fulfill for local politicians. Here’s what some who spoke to the T&T Guardian said they’re (really) doing today and what they’re (really) hoping to get.
UNC MP Dr Fuad Khan
“Between distributing food to folks in Woodford and Tamarind Squares in Port- of- Spain, I’m hoping people listen to the message of Christmas— peace, goodwill and unity— and I’m hoping Santa brings wisdom for people to put their money where their mouth is so unity will occur. Moreso for my good friends in the Opposition.”
“For my friends in the Government, I wish they don’t worry so much whether among them, there’s a Charandass Persaud (the Guyanese politician whose recent vote against his Government caused it to collapse). I’m getting ready to attend my Opposition Leader’s dinner with MPs and Senators at 8 pm tonight— so I don’t think she has to worry whether there’s a Charandass Persaud on her side.”
Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein
“Christmas day, you’ll always find me home in San Fernando. But I’m still plugging my wish for municipal corporation workers to give better service next year....of course it’s bad, you have to wait, people on the phone - I could find 100 reasons for improvement. Next year is Local Government polls and we’re coming with LG reform legislation very early in 2019. Under that law, corporations will report to Finance Minister Colm Imbert for finances. It’s still being worked out if I’ll play a role in some Local Government aspects, but mainly my ministry will be rural develoment solely.”
UNC MP Barry Padarath
“Tonight, I’ll be at the Opposition Leader’s dinner at her home—you’ll have to ask if she’s inviting Basdeo Panday (who lives nearby) .
But my wish is truly for the Government. Hopefully Santa will bring them a brain and a heart for them to try to run T&T properly and be compassionate to people. If he’s out of stock, he’ll just have to bring a general election in 2019 . And for the Prime Minister, perhaps he may start working on decriminalising weed by sampling some— he looks like he needs it.”
Works Minister Rohan Sinanan
“I work every day. I feel if you eat every day, you should work every day. So today I’m out in my Santa suit opening a road (once staff’s available) and distributing toys. I’m wishing for T&T we all live up to our responsibilties . If we don’t T&T won’t be the best it can be - and it can be the best.”
UNC Senator Saddam Hosein
Thankfully we’re over our flood clean-up at (Cunupia) and hope everyone is . I really wish I could afford to give Tobagonians a boat that doesn’t take them almost half day to get to Tobago. I also wish our colleague Attorney General Faris Al Rawi a great day, happiness and lots of rest. He’ll need it next year - I didn’t get any gloves under the tree this morning.”
Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis.
“Family of today.... we’re at my sister’s for breakfast, they’re at my home for dinner, my daughter, an attorney is coming from the British Virgin Islands. I just wish T&T continued success, focus, peace plus success, satisfaction and contentment to the people. We have a lot to be thankful for in T&T.”
UNC MP Roodal Moonilal
“I am depressed. I was promised a lawsuit by the Prime Minister. It was never delivered despite me waiting in the courthouse many days. Not even a claim form! He tricked me into spending money on lawyers, so I’m organising with Santa for a counter suit (minus Balisier tie).
More importantly when Guyanese politician Charrandass Persaud passed thorough T&T recently en route to Canada, I’d wanted to arrange a meeting with him and Government Ministers Rohan Sinanan and Terrence Deyalsnigh - I sure I could get it done on Persaud’s way back home.”
Former PP Minister Jack Warner
“ Christmas day, I’m meeting old Central friends to review the year. No, I won’t be at any UNC December 30 gathering— you can’t talk unity at a rum party.
People suffering in T&T. So I have only two requests for Santa: bring a big load of common sense for the politicians and take all their egos and dump it in some *@%$% glacier in the North Pole.”
Reporter: Gail Alexander