«197 Leave of Absence Friday, July 23, 1999 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Friday, July 23, 1999 The House met at 1.30 p.m. PRAYERS [MR. SPEAKER in the ...»
"My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life, My vouch against you and my place i' the state, Will so your accusation overweigh, that you shall stifle in your own report And smell of calumny."
Angelo said that in the book, Measure for Measure.
The Duke went away and left Angelo, a trusted and loyal servant, to run the state and he tried to seduce this little girl whose brother he had condemned to death. The charming, little girl came in to plead for the brother's life and the Duke got infatuated; his mortal and carnal nature overwhelmed him. When the girl understood what was going on she said, "If you rape me, if you try to make any exchanges with me for my life, I will tell people." The Duke told her, "Nobody is going to believe you, I am the respectable man, everybody understands me; who are you to go against me, who knows you?" This is the point of this great man and this good man: you must have law, institutions, regulations. The People's National Movement neglected—they do not even understand it.
If you get up in Parliament and say that Mr. Chambers was a good man, and he stopped the racing complex, and that what you need on this side is a good Prime Minister who is going to stop corruption, you are crazy. It is either you are crazy or you are indulging in public mischief. [Interruption] 234 State Agencies Friday, July 23, 1999 Mr. Speaker: The speaking time of the Member for Tobago East has expired.
Motion made, that the hon. Member’s speaking time be extended by 30 minutes. [Hon. R. L. Maharaj] Question put and agreed to.
Dr. The Hon. M. Job: Thank you. Mr. Speaker, "if dey tief dey tief" sounds like a calypso, maybe next year we will see some other people in the tents; Lord Baldhead, perhaps. I am not given to calling people’s name. "Their own misconduct, shame and misbehaviour in office." [Crosstalk] "Siphoning off the state’s resources in their private pockets." We have Venezuela next door as an example of what happens in a country. I am going back to where I started when I said that I agreed with the Member for Diego Martin West that no efforts must be spared, no time is too precious, no opportunity ought to be neglected, for us to do what we must do to deal with corruption in this country. I am saying in this that— because Dr. Williams recognized it—every decent citizen in this country—.
Mr. Speaker, this Government has done such yeoman service to the citizens of this country; look at the Ramdhanie enquiry. What is that telling us about corruption? That enquiry is still going on so I cannot give any details because I do not want to vitiate the legal process. What that enquiry is telling us is that we have this monstrous problem which did not start three years ago. He is talking about three years ago. These policemen who were recommended to be fired, censored and locked up, by one of the members of the commission, did not get into the police service three years ago! Dole Chadee did not start a monstrous apparatus of murder three years ago, he was incarcerated five years ago. This Government was not in power then!
I understand that the Member for San Fernando East came in here and boasted—I heard him myself—that it was under his regime that Dole Chadee was locked up. I do not know if he was the Prime Minister now whether Dole Chadee would be where he is today, that is a matter of conjecture. It is a metaphysical question, but I do not think it is a metaphysical question devoid of merit.
[Laughter] Therefore, everywhere you look, everywhere you turn, you are seeing the consequences of the abandonment of executive responsibility, the lack and delayed consequences of PNM mischief, the mephistophilian damage they did to institutions and of the culture they created that supported, nurtured and nourished corruption in this country! The facts are there, abundant and clear!
235 State Agencies Friday, July 23, 1999 When he said, "if dey build the airport, good, build the airport, that will be a monument to UNC corruption". Imagine that! When you go through the Hansard you can see the admissions of the monuments to PNM corruption that exist all over this country. Mr. Speaker, if you go to the jails in this country most of the people there are monuments to PNM corruption, abandonment, delinquency and neglect, if not in deed, of egregious ignorance; that is what you see!
They do not even understand what they mean by "symbol". A symbol is a word, a picture or a thing. Man is a symbol-making creature. A gesture could be a symbol. If you do that [gesture of passing the hand under the neck] somebody might interpret it to mean that you are going to kill somebody. Do you understand that, Mr. Speaker? A symbol, a gesture. So when you are using these words so capriciously and carelessly—you know the old parable which says that when you point a finger four will turn at you; think about that. Think carefully about how you use language, because very often you are condemning your own self by your own words.
Do not say, "Mr. Speaker, when I tell you that the Prime Minister is leading a band of thugs in and out of Government, they are raiding the Treasury and removing the protection of the people to facilitate corruption, these are the facts as recorded in the documents of Trinidad and Tobago." Apparently, the implication is that the documents of Trinidad and Tobago started three years ago, because that is his Motion here, "within the last three years." So we have documents here going back into the 19th Century, there are the National Archives and all places like that.
There are all kinds of corruption: Caura corruption, Caura Dam corruption, Gene Miles and the gas station racket, and he himself admitted to O'Halloran. We have to be informed by the facts. We cannot be informed by the facts about corruption and start looking at the facts from three years ago! What kind of narrow-minded, insufficient allegation is that? What of kind of spurious construction can that be, when the focus of this Parliament ought to be on doing those things, constructing those laws, those institutions, attitudes, and patterns of behaviour that would serve the public good, that will serve as an instruction to the youth, as a guide to those who are not already old perhaps, in years, in months, in corruption; we have to do that.
We have to use the law as a task master, a railroad, a guide, a map to moral behaviour, that is why you have Leviticus and Manu. That is why the ancient Greeks invented law. If you go to Nigeria, the Congo or ancient Egypt, there are 236 State Agencies Friday, July 23, 1999 [DR. THE HON. M. JOB] books of laws. Failing in understanding, they come in here and say, "What we need is a good Prime Minister!" Do they want a good Prime Minister who will go to Hong Kong and say he fire a fella so that he will promote him? That is the kind of person they want to stop corruption! Why did he fire the man? "Well, I wanted to give him a bigger job." He has not gotten the bigger job as yet. He wanted to lock up a lady so he closed down the whole country! If you were outside you could not get back on your estate; that was my fate. That is the good man to stop corruption!
We have a school system turning out illiterates by the tens of thousands, everybody knows that, but the good man tells us that we are 98 per cent literate and Morgan Job goes on the radio and says, "If we are, indeed, 98 per cent literate, then the other two per cent has to be in the Cabinet!" Everybody knows that the most fatally flawed institution in this country, was the Ministry of Education under the PNM; that is what we are burdened by now and suffering from. Wendell Mottley knows that. It is a pity that he did not know it when he was close to the Member for San Fernando East in his Cabinet. If he had known it then and had listened to me then, as Paul did at the feet of Gamaliel, he would have heard me crying as John in the wilderness, pleading with them, "Please, please, refocus your mind, reorder your priorities, so that you will treat with the pain, the anguish, and hurt of the little black boys and girls who have been put in jeopardy, to great disadvantage and their prospects ruined by the PNM!" That is what we have to deal with in this country.
There is nothing wrong with anybody in Laventille, except for the corruption that cost them resources which were misallocated. When they thought they were doing them good, they harmed them by setting up systems and signals that canalized the mind, attitude and behaviour in certain perverse directions, that lead us to understand the full meaning of the Greek word, "pyrric" as in "pyrric victory".
We saw them in the oil-boom days "gallerying" with ineffable hubris! Where are they now, Mr. Speaker? How are the mighty fallen! Where are they now? Yet they come here "gallerying", as if we must forget these instruments of destruction that they have manufactured; the people who they claim to care for, those they claim to love! Corruption, Mr. Speaker! [Interruption] I gave you the Latin origin, do you want to hear it again? [Crosstalk] Do you understand, Mr. Speaker? They do not seem to appreciate that when you come into Parliament and talk these things: “How many nurses will $100 237 State Agencies Friday, July 23, 1999 million pay? The average annual budget for medicine in this country for all the hospitals is approximately $50 million. If this was a singular event we could have said that it was a full moon fantasy approved of by my friend from St. Augustine, but it is not that. It is the permanent pattern of behaviour of the UNC Government.
Nobody is saying that the tendering process is perfect, but it is the protection against wanton corruption. It is the avenue by which we get the best price and value for Government money”.
Mr. Speaker, we have this absolutely, amazing statement by the hon. Member for Diego Martin West that "the purpose of government is to spend money". Have you ever heard anything more preposterous, ludicrous, absurd, otiose and out of place? The purpose of government is to spend money well! No, no, no!
Government was instituted among men. We have a Constitution in order to direct the relationship between citizen and citizens, in matters that have to do with property, morals, and how you arrange your family; all the multifarious aspects of life in our sphere of existence; that is what you have government for. The Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago did not originate merely because the people and citizens of this country knew that they had to spend money. Where from comes this crazy doctrine that I read in this contribution, that one of the most important things any government can do is to handle public money?
I quote from the Member for Diego Martin West:
"I thank him most sincerely for the clarification which he has provided on the matter before us, which has to do with the Motion calling on this House to voice its objection to the way this Government has gone about handling the public moneys...the most important function for which people elect members of a government, is largely to manage money."
They are only thinking about money! Man shall not live by bread alone, Mr.
Speaker! That is the problem here: too many little children believe that this life, this existence, is about money, and when they hear it from Members of Parliament that the reason you have government is to spend money, many of them go around saying, "You did not give me a 10-days, so I must sell marijuana." "I did not get a 10-days so I must sell cocaine." "What do you want me to do?" "Do you want me to stay hungry and dead, I have no money so I must go and be a drug mule!"
That is because they are being instructed by these kinds of rubbish, Mr.
Speaker. Nonsense! They did not have a Constitution here—we did not put Mr.
238 State Agencies Friday, July 23, 1999 [DR. THE HON. M. JOB] Ellis Clarke and all these wise men who walked up and down this country with a Constitution Commission—so that we might spend money and spend it well.
What kind of madness is this, Mr. Speaker?
This is the presentation I am quoting from here:
“…the most important function for which people elect…” Which people? PNM people. It cannot be the people from Tobago East. My mother did not tell me that. My father did not tell me that. I did not read that in the Bible, Mr. Speaker. I was reading it since I was a little boy and I did not read that there. In Leviticus, the book of laws you read it there. Deuteronomy talks about how to run a government. The Book of Kings says all of that.
“Man shall not live…”
“All these things will I give thee…” when Jesus was taken up into the mountain and shown the kingdoms of the world
and all the riches and all the wealth and he said:
“All these things”
“will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Mr. Valley: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. Member will give way— Dr. The Hon. M. Job: I will not. I do not have much time left. I will not give way. Money, Mr. Speaker; it is of profound importance that we understand— [Interruption]. You did not wait until I finished my sentence. Mr. Speaker, it is of profound importance that we understand—listen to the clause—that the purpose of government has more to do with ethics and morals, living according to law, than merely to manage money. You cannot go and tell children that because what you do is to create a race of monsters—as indeed we have people who will kill you for a pair of sneakers. You have these little primary school children robbing each other and taking away pocket money because money, money, money—again listening to the Member for Diego Martin West; the most important thing is money. You understand?
Mr. Speaker, this presentation, as I said, is suffused with contradictions, it is replete with ideas that deflect from the substance of its principal argument. It is 239 State Agencies Friday, July 23, 1999 internally contradictory. It is indeed oxymoronic. [Interruption] Wait until I am dead, “nah”, and then say, you know, this is a “Jobism”. I know it will come, you know, with your help. The argument, the topic, the subject matter I am in agreement with because this is the purpose of Parliament.