Activist Wayne Kublalsingh paid a courtesy call at the Sunshine Today offices in Arouca last week and held discussions with Jack Warner, Editor of Sunshine Today. The discussions centred on the contract for the building of the San Fernando to Point Fortin highway, the declining economy and the heightened crime.
Kublalsingh enquired whether the highway contract awarded in 2010 had its genesis under the PNM and, in particular, Colm Imbert who was the PNM’s Minister of Works & Transport at the time. Warner assured Kublalsingh that on assuming office as the Minister of Works & Transport on May 24, 2010, as the Minister of Works & Transport under the PP government he met all the documents relative to OAS and the highway as a done deal.
Three contractors had been shortlisted and, from the PNM’s review, OAS was the best. Warner advised that all he did was merely to continue what Imbert had concluded mere days before the General Election, of May 10, 2010. Kublalsingh stated that he is aware of Imbert’s role in the matter but that he wanted to “make assurance doubly sure.”
Warner further stated that he is prepared to confirm whatever statement Kublalsingh chooses to make publicly consistent with the role Imbert played in the matter. Warner and Kublalsingh at one time were at war over the construction of the very highway but all seems to have been forgotten and forgiven now. Kublalsingh in his fight over the construction of the highway had been very vocal and critical of its construction over swamplands and warned that if this were done Debe, Penal and environs would experience severe flooding. Regrettably, today this has come to pass much to the discomfort of residents and businesses in the area.
The flagging economy of the country was then briefly discussed including the parlous state of the nation’s purse. It was felt that the present government is at sea in how to manage the economy.
High unemployment especially among the young, worrisome under-employment, non-payment of bills some as far back as six years ago, the decline in consumables especially food and drink and the closure of several companies, the latest being Unilever, are some of the economic issues bedevilling the nation. Kublalsingh advised that Warner should not sit idly by and watch the country go down the chute but that he should return to active politics and play a role to save the country otherwise by the end of 2020 “we will have no country.” Warner assured Kublalsingh that “in politics everything is timing” and that in the fullness of time, he will publicly state his position as well as his future role.
Crime is a matter of grave concern and regardless of Griffith’s efforts, there seems to be no end in sight. This is affecting every aspect of business in the country and Kublalsingh believes that the time has come when all good persons have to come together to save the country and advised Warner that he still has a role to play, regardless.
Warner and Kublalsingh shook hands and promised to meet again very early in the new year.
On Kublalsingh’s request, Warner has consented to Kublalsingh writing a weekly column in Sunshine Today.