I SUPPOSE it should be no surprise that UNC MP Rodney Charles is accusing National Security Minister Stuart Young of presiding over “two consecutive years of murders exceeding 516”, identifying those two years as 2018 and 2019.
In his recent statement Mr Charles says: “Data shows that Young, unlike any National Security Minister in our history, has had two consecutive years of murders exceeding 516 with an upwards trajectory. It was 516 in 2018. It was 538 last year.”
One does not know what warped data Mr Charles is privy to, but the true record will show that Minister Young assumed the portfolio of Minister of National Security in August 2018—for four months of that year.
Seeking to hold him responsible for the increase in murders in 2018 is simply a kind of roguishness that has absolutely no objective toward making the unrelenting recourse to violence that is pursued by criminal elements in the society any less the problem it is for everyone.
The fact is, whether it is the UNC or the PNM in office, no single individual in government can be justifiably blamed for the long seasons of mindless blood-letting that have beset Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr Charles is therefore simply following the backward and unproductive lead of his party in exploiting the country’s murder rate in a bid to score political points.
Nowhere in his statement does Rodney Charles forward one iota of wisdom aimed at making the endeavours of the police and others involved in law enforcement any more productive. Instead, he simply upholds the UNC policy of making those endeavours as difficult as possible so that the frustrations encountered in dealing with the murders and lawlessness in general could be cited as a PNM Government failure.
Mr Charles says Minister Young would have been summarily dismissed were he a government minister in Singapore.
What I wish to remind Mr Charles is that if the UNC, in both its government incarnations, had been in Singapore, he, Rodney Charles, would not have had this opportunity to even consider releasing his statement.
You see, Mr Charles, in Singapore they have been successful in institutionalising a robust, comprehensive anti-corruption framework that spans laws, enforcement, the public service and public outreach that would not have tolerated UNC corruption.
And similar to the steps taken by the Rowley Government, Singapore has enacted a Prevention of Corruption Act, which puts the burden of proof on the accused to show that he acquired his wealth legally.
Any unexplained wealth disproportionate to known sources of income is presumed to be from graft and can be confiscated.
Contrary to what obtained in that iniquitous UNC government to which Mr Charles was betrothed, corruption is a scourge that is not tolerated in Singapore.