I never called anyone lazy—Rowley

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing heavy crit­i­cism for his com­ments that some pub­lic ser­vants have been col­lect­ing a salary even though they “pro­duce noth­ing when the day comes,” Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has now is­sued a state­ment deny­ing that he ever ac­cused the Pub­lic Ser­vice work­ers of be­ing lazy.

In a state­ment is­sued on his Face­book page, Row­ley said, “I nev­er used the word lazy nor did I ac­cuse all pub­lic ser­vants nor did I ac­cuse the Pub­lic Ser­vice of be­ing lazy.”

PM off to Barbados

Prime minister Dr Keith Rowley left the country this morning to go to Barbados where he will participate in the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

According to a statement from the office of the prime minister, the agreement, which will be signed tomorrow, is related to cooperation in energy development for hydrocarbons that extend across the maritime boundary of both territories.

Siparia Corp ‘saves’ jobs of 120 workers

The jobs of 120 ca­su­al and tem­po­rary work­ers at the Siparia Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion jobs were saved on Mon­day af­ter mon­ey was sourced from an­oth­er ac­count to pay them in a last-ditch ef­fort.

But PNM coun­cil­lors claimed it was a ploy by the UNC to milk po­lit­i­cal mileage from a sit­u­a­tion which could have been avoid­ed.

Faaiq: Central not selling raffle tickets, no chance for PNM

Deputy May­or of the Bor­ough of Ch­agua­nas Coun­cil­lor Faaiq Mo­hammed has re­spond­ed to the Prime Min­is­ter’s call for the re­gion to “give PNM a chance”.

In a state­ment, Mo­hammed said that Cen­tral Trinidad “isn’t sell­ing raf­fle tick­ets and they are not giv­ing any chances.”

Kamla questions contracts to Govt Senator

Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress (UNC) Po­lit­i­cal Leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar has raised ques­tions about re­cent­ly re­in­stat­ed Gov­ern­ment Sen­a­tor Fos­ter Cum­mings’ con­nec­tion to re­cent­ly award­ed state con­tracts.

The Siparia MP, while ad­dress­ing the UNC’s Na­tion­al Con­gress at the Cou­va South Mul­ti­pur­pose Com­plex, Cou­va, ques­tioned the award of state con­tracts to three com­pa­nies: Cum­mings and As­so­ciates Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed; PI­CAL Ser­vices Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed; and Kly­don En­ter­pris­es Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed.

Rowley: Background checks necessary

Prime Min­is­ter Row­ley has said it may be time to make a for­mal back­ground check by the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice’s Spe­cial Branch unit a manda­to­ry part of the vet­ting process for prospec­tive of­fice­hold­ers.

“It has not been part of our sys­tem and it may very well be that the time has come for us to look at that,” Row­ley said yes­ter­day.

PM: I acted on information I had at the time

Prime Min­is­ter Kei­th Row­ley says he first heard that Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald was in po­lice cus­tody via Face­book or What­sApp last Thurs­day and was on­ly told of­fi­cial­ly that she was be­ing charged around 10.30 pm last Sun­day.

"As Prime Min­is­ter and Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty chair­man, where a Min­is­ter is in cus­tody, the sys­tems in T&T are so se­cure that no­body in of­fi­cial­dom com­mu­ni­cat­ed to me there was sub­stance to what was go­ing on be­fore or dur­ing, or that a Min­is­ter was in cus­tody for a rea­son," he added yes­ter­day.

PM: Media trying to pin Marlene's 'misdeeds' on me

Even as he fumed at the me­dia for “try­ing to pin” Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald’s cor­rup­tion scan­dal on him, Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley on Thursday ad­mit­ted that he ex­er­cised flawed judg­ment by re­in­stat­ing her as a Cab­i­net min­is­ter de­spite the trail of al­le­ga­tions that dogged her.

Row­ley faced the me­dia yes­ter­day for the first time since Mc­Don­ald was ar­rest­ed at her Mara­cas, St Joseph home last Thurs­day. She has been charged with sev­en of­fences of cor­rup­tion, fraud and mis­be­hav­iour in pub­lic of­fice and is now home on $2 mil­lion bail.