(Trinidad Express) He may not have paid a price at the polls for his now infamous “Calcutta ship coming” statement, but Hilton Sandy, according to sources, will be relieved of the portfolio of Deputy Chief Secretary at the inauguration of the Tobago House of Assembly.
Notwithstanding Sandy’s unacceptable statement, the Tobago electorate gave the People’s National Movement a ringing 12-0 electoral endorsement.
However, sources said the party, sensitive to the diverse composition of the society and its own founding principles of interracial solidarity, is expected to take action against the Belle Garden/Roxborough/Delaford representative.
PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley and returning Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Orville London had both dissociated themselves from Sandy’s statement.
However, party sources are aware the statement may haunt it in the coming Local Government elections, and that it would be exploited by the People’s Partnership in future elections, especially in Trinidad.
Sources speculated that Claudia Groome-Duke, the Black Rock/ Whim/Spring Garden representative, and one of the two women in the THA, would be selected as Deputy Chief Secretary.
Sources said the party is also expected to appoint Denise Tsoi-a-Fatt-Angus as a councillor and Secretary of Health. This appointment, sources said, would underscore the “baselessness” of the Prime Minister’s personal attack on the party’s public relations officer.
It would mean Tsoi-a-Fatt-Angus, a doctor, would have to give up her position as adviser to the Secretary of Health. This would mean a significant salary cut.
During the campaign, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had claimed that not only the Rahael family benefitted from the Milshirv contract, but also Tsoi-a-Fatt-Angus and her family.
As she called on the Integrity Commission to investigate the issue, the Prime Minister said the Milshirv deal involved three parcels of land at Shirvan, two of which were owned by the Tsoi-a-Fatt family.
Tsoi-a-Fatt-Angus had stated, in response, she planned to take legal action against the Prime Minister.
She said the lands at Shirvan were sold in 1999, at a time when the Democratic Action Congress was in control of the THA, under Hochoy Charles.
She also pointed out that the deed to the lands bore the names of her mother, Marjorie, uncle-in-law, Herbert C Phillips, and her uncle, George Young, who would have sold the land. Her name was not on the deed, she said.
Sources also noted that Tsoi-a-Fatt-Angus had originally been groomed for one of the seats in the THA, but was not selected. She, however, reaffirmed her commitment to the party, and this was reflected this in her contribution to the party’s election campaign.
Sources said Joel Jack, the Bacolet/Mt St George representative, was tipped to become Secretary of Finance, replacing Anselm London.
Sources were speculating that Sheldon Cunningham, who defeated former minority leader Ashworth Jack for the Mason Hall/ Providence/Moriah seat, would be given a portfolio.