Empty apology from Minister


One thing that politicians have in abundance is unmitigated gall. It is awe-inspiring to witness the amount on display when seeking to score political points, even when their duplicity cannot be disguised.

The most recent exhibition was when the Minister of National Security apologised for the failure of Parliament to pass the Anti-Gang Act, which, according to the Government, would have brought gang activity to a screeching halt. In his dreams!

No law prevents criminal activity anywhere in the world, and especially not in Trinidad and Tobago.

A law facilitates the apprehension of persons involved in illegal activities. In itself, it cannot do anything and there is no reason why existing law is not applied towards addressing the multitude of crimes committed by lawbreakers. Where is the evidence that the law is lacking in dealing with persons engaged in gang affairs?

What the police, supported by a government with no knowledge of how to deal with criminals, are seeking to achieve is a quasi-police state which would facilitate the arrest and detention of all persons considered suspicious while a case is developed against them. The police would then be able to take their own good time to investigate and present evidence to support the allegations, whether fabricated or otherwise, having no regard for the right of the individual to liberty.

The records are replete with cases of individuals incarcerated for years, in many cases decades, while awaiting trial. Thousands of our fellow citizens spend considerable periods of time on remand with no real expectation of timely resolution of their matters. As has been pointed out by several other contributors, many of these unfortunate persons become so inured to their circumstances that they establish linkages inside and outside prison walls to help them cope with the extended imprisonment.

What benefit was brought to the society from the previous application of the law, which the Minister so laments, which promises the quantum leap he envisages? The Minister is purely playing politics with his outrageous apology.

The Prime Minister needs to rein in his overzealous Minister of National Security before he loses the little credibility remaining to that ministry.

Karan Mahabirsingh