|PM Kamla Persad-Bissessasr with new National Security Minister Emmanuel George|
Speaking as both PM and Leader of the United National Congress, the told a political meeting at Penal Junction that the only reason the PNM has voted against the defence legislation is because it suits their selfish agenda.
"Why do they not want to make us safer?" she asked. "I said it before and I will say it again. The PNM is depending on the politics of fear hoping that if they keep you in fear you would vote them back...
"They have only one plan and one goal. They want power! And they are willing to see blood on the street in order to get it," she declared.
Persad-Bissessar said the PNM doesn't want to fix the country's problems and is using fear as a weapon, which she said would not work. "I refuse to allow fear to continue to be a part of the Trinidad and Tobago political landscape," she said.
"How can KEITH ROWLEY honestly tell you he cares about YOU and our country when he refuses to act against CRIME AND CRIMINALS?"She also attacked Rowley and the PNM for their criticism of the government for consulting with members of the Senate on the defence bill, which will be debated in Parliament on Tuesday.
"They even went so far as to say that we should not have a meeting with independent Senators to discuss the legislation in some detail and to hear their concerns.
"This is a normal practice in all democracies. Leadership is not about calling a press conference to condemn without offering solution."She noted that leaders all over the world have meetings with Representatives and Senators on all sides to discuss legislation that is under consideration.
"BUT for ROWLEY we must not use this standard practice as we continue to build our democracy. His actions – the actions of his PNM leadership – demonstrate an ignorance of how a democracy works.
"We are trying to find a way to use the protective forces in your interest, in as broad a manner as possible. And they are determined to prevent it.
"You know why? They like it so. They don't want to end crime and see peace and stability...It is the old school style of politics, which is to divide and conquer."
Persad-Bissessar said there is nothing to fear about the legislation, which has a sunset clause, meaning it would be in force for just two years.
She said the bill before the senate will protect citizens. "Everyone is this country knows someone who has been a victim of crime. Ask any one of the thousands of parents who have lost a child and they will tell you the pain they experienced will never go away.
"For God’s sake, Let us stop dealing in politics and let us pass these bills for our children and the children of everyone in the country," she said. She also assured her audience that all the propaganda about using soldiers to create a dictatorship is just idle talk and part of the fear mongering.
"There will be no dictatorship in this country because you the people will never let it happen. As long as I live and breathe I will never let it happen," she stated.
She said one other reason why there is no need to fear is because her PP government calls elections when they are due.
And she called on everyone in the country to unite and work for the common good."I want to tell you now is the time for all us to rally to the defence of our country, to write a new chapter of unity.
"We are all individuals; we come from different backgrounds; we do things differently. But we are all one. so let us celebrate our unity in our diversity. Let us come together as the one family that we are and put aside our differences, especially the old partisan way of doing politics.
"Tonight i close with a message that i want you to carry everywhere… i want you to take this simple message to your newspapers and your talk shows … to your parlours and the gym … wherever you gather and meet...
"Your country needs you more than ever. Your country needs you to be positive and to work together to build a better Trinidad and Tobago for everyone.
"Your people’s partnership government stands with you; we will work with you, not rule you. So long as we remain partners … everything is gonna be all right!"