I’ve noted with great concern a meeting held between the Minister of Home Affairs and the minibus associations, where the associations are calling for the government to amend the laws so as to allow them to continue to play their music moderately in their buses, among other things. I wish to remind the parties involved that the decision to ban music on public transportation was taken by members of Parliament in the National Assembly on behalf of the people of Guyana and this decision must stand. There must be no double standards; the laws of Guyana must be obeyed by all citizens. The operators of minibuses do not know what is moderate, and what is moderate for them may not be moderate for most people.
One evening while going home from work in a minibus, the driver turned up the music putting on the bass loudly. In the bus was a young woman with a baby a few weeks old. The young lady pleaded with the driver to turn down his music, but he refused, and she was brought to the verge of tears. She felt it for her baby, but these ruthless people were bent on playing the music with no regard for anyone.
On another occasion one Sunday, some persons came out of church and joined a bus I was travelling in. At the time they joined the bus the driver was playing the music moderately, but when he pulled off he turned it up. They pleaded with him to turn it down, but he refused. Now here people had just finished worshipping and had to travel in a minibus which was playing loud, vulgar music. The worshippers then asked to be let off the bus and the conductor demanded his fare; how cruel can they be? Thousands of passengers are affected each day by the playing of loud music on buses, so the police must intensify their campaign to stamp out this menace.
I wish to thank the Guyana Police Force for enforcing the traffic laws. Much more is needed to be done, and with the support of the public I know we can stamp out lawlessness in our society.
As we reported in our edition of March 17, according to an officer of the Traffic Department, minibus operators are allowed to have the vehicle’s original tape-deck and speakers. Devices such as power amplifiers and juke-boxes, however, have to be removed.