Thursday, June 6, 2013

Letter: Al-Rawi's indiscipline sets poor example for youth

Faris Al-Rawi
I remain hopeful that this letter would make it into the pages of the free and fair media since the issues raised should resonate with our citizens who have an interest in our politics and in particular, the youth of the nation.

The issues raised in this piece can be easily verified by viewing a rerun of the Parliament Channel or upon review of the reports of Hansard into the debate Customs Amendment Bill in the Senate on Tuesday June 4th.
Towards the end of the debate when the Senate went into Committee stage, which is the point where specific modifications are made to the legislation, I was appalled, shocked and quite honestly revolted by the behaviour and statements of Senator Faris al Rawi, who postulates as a leading figure of the PNM.

The first highly horrendous display by Senator Al Rawi had to do with the open use of his cell phone during committee stage which was a major transgression and in contravention of the Standing Orders of the House. I appreciate that the use of cell phones for the purpose of making or receiving phone calls is strictly prohibited during debates which includes Committee stage.

However cameras clearly show Senator Al Rawi with his phone in hand held to ear whilst speaking to someone on the other end. This in itself was in breach of the rules governing the House. What made this episode extremely terrible was the fact that when the President of the Senate stepped in to ensure discipline in the Chamber,
Senator Al Rawi bluntly denied that he was ever using his phone. If ever there was an open act of dishonesty by any parliamentarian, this was it. And the whole thing was caught on camera. Never before, had I witnessed such a disgraceful showing from a sitting member of Parliament.

But the horrific tale does not end there. During the committee stage Senator al Rawi spoke of the imposition of a prison term for an offence created by the proposed Act. Attorney General Anand Ramlogan intervened and indicated that during the deliberations in the Lower House and at the request of the PNM Opposition, the said clause had been removed. 

At this stage Senator al Rawi accused the attorney General of lying. He insisted that the AG had not agreed to remove the penal clause in the Lower House. But the records of the deliberations in the Lower House show otherwise. It is clearly documented that what the AG was saying was right.

In one debate Senator Al Rawi was caught in what can only be described as open dishonesty in the nation's Parliament. Our youth should look at the re runs on television and make their own judgment.
There are two pictures that come to mind here. The small picture is whether Senator Al Rawi so conducted himself that he too, like Dr Keith Rowley should be brought before the Privileges Committee, or whether he should face some disciplinary sanction for his open and flagrant defiance of the Senate President.

The bigger picture is perhaps more important. In one sitting the entire nation has seen the nature of the Senator Al Rawi, who sits in a leadership position of the PNM. This is an individual who no doubt seeks high political office. This is a man who speaks continuously in the media about ethics, political morality and integrity.

It is a frightening prospect that he aspires to lead a party and country, frightening indeed.

Nigel Salick | Penal

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai