Based on the recently passed Miscellaneous Provisions (Law Enforcement Officers) Bill, a report headlined “Don’t bribe law enforcement officers” appeared in the Express on Tuesday.

The report indicated the Government is giving consideration to “putting up signs in the necessary places warning people that if they bribe or obstruct law enforcement officers in the conduct of their duties, new and stiffer penalties will apply”.

Signs that embolden national pride and encourage national camaraderie should not be overlooked. Imagine the following: panyards, eg, Exodus, Skiffle Bunch, All Stars, Buccooneers, etc, in Trinidad and Tobago being outfitted with a locally designed sign—uniform in character—boldly embossed with the date and name of the parliamentary act that recognised pan as being our national musical instrument.

The positive societal benefits of pan and its impact on the latent musical talents of our youth are immeasurable. It should be recognised as our preferred instrument for musical education, entertainment and relaxation. The instrument has found its way into many universities in North America, thanks to those pan pioneers who recognised its intrinsic musical value. China is its new frontier!

It is the only definite-pitch acoustic percussion instrument invented in the 20th century! It can be played in a solo capacity, as an accompanying instrument or as a body of instruments that can interpret all genres of music.

By branding pan as our legally recognised national musical instrument, the appellation Trinidad and Tobago will be universally recognised as its birthplace.

The possibility of earning royalties through WIPO would be greatly increased. Very recently, Port of Spain was designated a UNESCO Music City, thanks to the efforts of Carla Foderingham, and opportunities will present themselves to market our tremendous musical inventiveness and talents.

Signs in panyards identifying pan as being our national musical instrument will usher another phase in the overall development, appreciation and respect for this national treasure which must be identified as such.

Call it a Christmas 2019 or a Carnival 2020 gift! Now is the time to elevate pan to the same legal status—via an act of Parliament—as the National Steel Orchestra, Pan Trinbago, the National Flag and the National Anthem, all of which were preceded by pan!

Henry Harper

Petit Valley


When asked by reporters on January 23 about the length of time required for the replacement of a passport, the Minister of National Security said he was “not comfortable” with it and indicated his intention to do something about it. He made good on that intention after taking a walk-through at immigration offices on Monday, as the situation persisted. The minister owned up to having “instructed” that the waiting time be reduced from five months to one month. Just like that.

The sea-stage fiasco is a textbook case exemplifying the difficulty of doing business in Trinidad and Tobago.

There are news reports that former United National Congress leader and prime minister Basdeo Panday is hopeful of cobbling together an amalgam of disparate political elements to form a viable third party as the upcoming general election looms large on the horizon.

I was looking forward to the OWTU doing something really big for this country apart from boastful words.

THE Government allowed pressure groups to sway them to bring legislation to Parliament for which the country was ill prepared, as one is only allowed by the framers of the law to smoke marijuana within the confines of one’s home, but with Carnival approaching the herb will be smoked on the streets, in Carnival bands etc, and the police will have their hands full to enforce the law.

I don’t presume to know the criteria for judging Calypso Fiesta, how the finalists for the Calypso Monarch competition are selected. But after looking at most of the semi-finalists on TTT’s live broadcast of the event, one performer catapulted me from the frequent tedium of looking at some 40 performers—many with similar and repetitive themes.