At this juncture of the government’s time in office questions are being asked as to whether they understand their role in the development process of the country or whether they are fumbling in the dark? In analyzing that question, it is important to look at the different points of view, based on what the opposition thinks and what the supporters of the government think.
One of the first things I learnt in politics is that in a democracy good opposition makes good government. From that standpoint I would be quick to say that if some feel that the government is not on the right track then it stands to reason that the opposition is weak or futile.
Therefore, my simple question would be who is fumbling in the dark, is it the government or the lack luster opposition? At the last sitting of the House of Assembly the behavior of the opposition leader was simply appalling and nonsensical in displaying his contempt for the House by packing up and leaving because he could not have his way. This is unacceptable. In my view he should have stayed to argue his point and not think merely of himself but his constituency and being the leader of the opposition.
Therefore, all we see is an opposition taking on the government through misinformation and disinformation. All we see is tomfoolery.
At present many are asking why, after one year and four months in office, we have not seen any sign of the special prosecutor as promised. There was also talk about joining the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)? Are these pie in the sky promises? Where is the Broadcasting Act that was promised by some because I was told personally that this would be before the House by October. Well, is that wishful thinking?
Let no one misconstrue what I am asking. Always remember this government came into office at a period when the past prime minister told us that the country was broke or it did not have any money. Yet, this government has been able to survive.
However, I say to the government that our education system is still in a time warp and portrays everything that the colonialist left behind as its focus is still on the academic and not the skills that we urgently need in a globalize world if Foreign Direct Investors are to invest. We seem hell-bent on thinking primarily on providing for a service industry, i.e. tourism. This cannot take us anywhere in the long term, more so in the global world we now live in.
The Prime Minister was in Taiwan this week. We hoped that he asked the Taiwanese government not to give us a bowl of rice because we will only be fed for a day, but to teach us how to grow our own rice so that we will feed ourselves for a lifetime and thereby save lives, especially those to come.
He must look to see why Taiwan is number one in the world for micro-chips and semi conductor manufacturing. I advise him to take a trip to my Alma Mata Academia Sinica where he will meet some of the top scientists and professors in Taiwan dealing in agricultural science, which is greatly in need here.
I know for a fact that in 2016 six food Processing firms wanted to come to Saint Lucia. The prime minister must explore that avenue because we need to create employment as our unemployment rate is rising dramatically.
The prime minister needs to ask the Taiwanese government to help us in New Technology, Engineering and Agricultural Science skills. I know that they are prepared to help. Sir Arthur Lewis institution must change its mode of operating as far as its curriculum is concerned and to make every effort to expand.
I plead not on my behalf but for the younger generation to come. I have to think of tomorrow because the past cannot be mended or changed.
Before ending this article, I want to touch on crime as murders are rising and some in the opposition are quick to point out that it is due to the poor governance of the country.
I want to ask the individuals who are quick to lay blame at this government’s door a simple question. Who was in power when “Operation Restore Confidence” came into force? Why was it necessary to bring into being that act? What I therefore say to the opposition and those concerned with crime is to come together to fight the scourge of crime as the PM puts it.
We all must be in this fight because it affects all our lives, one way or another, whether at home or in the global world because any escalation will diminish our tourism product which we depend so much on. Therefore, no party is best equipped to deal with the rising tide of crime, but a joint effort.
We must come to the realization that crime in Saint Lucia is unlikely to be substantially reduced through police action alone. There is a need for cooperation between the public and police in conjunction with other agencies. I am sure this will help contribute to crime reduction in Saint Lucia. All institutions must now come together to put a plan in place in that fight.
Further to that the police must be equipped with police motorcycles, not only to fight crime, but to bring about some discipline on our crowded roads. The aggressive driving we are seeing even with government vehicles cannot be accepted if we are to develop a discipline society.