Many have asked me over the last two years why I left the opposition ranks.
The main reason, I answer, is their lack of new ideas, initiatives and their presenting obstacles to progress. APNU got fewer votes in the 2011 elections than Hoyte got in 2001. They continue to lose their own constituencies because of their incompetence. At almost every juncture of major issues for the nation, they ”block” because they are named “Opposition” On Saturday at the State Visit of the Venezuelan President, I ran into a colleague of mine from my PNC REFORM days. The gist of our conversation was although many times we were opposed to certain policies of the government, we always presented alternatives. I have tackled some of these issues in the past but I feel they must be kept at the forefront as they are key ingredients of our economic modernization plan as presented by the PPP/C which I have endorsed and support.
1. Amaila Falls: There have been significant claims of analysis by so called experts, in addition to the Opposition Parliamentarians who then repeat these analyses. At no time did any of these experts, the Opposition Leader or his team present any other solutions or alternatives to the energy issue our nation faces. Guyana needs to be an energy driven economy and that requires major solutions to our current approach including the Hydro. Where is their plan for alternative Hydro, Solar or Wind approach? We know many prototypes of these alternatives are being tested around our country.
Also, why not allow each Opposition Parliamentarian to vote their conscience. I am sure many of them I have talked to will support the initiative to allow the Hydro to remain a capital investment for our country while looking at other short term solutions to solve our energy issues. In the past, I have suggested we have to look at an integrated approach to our energy crisis. This solution is needed as we attempt to move aggressively in the manufacturing sector. Energy is the key to our future economic success. Every year we pull this nonsense, our nation is left behind our neighbours.
2. A New Airport:
I serve as an Advisor and Board Member on Guyana’s Tourism Board. In addition I am a frequent traveller. I have had many opportunities to interact with both incoming visitors, returning residents and investors during my travels. When one arrives at our Airport, it is very obvious that it is outdated and needs to be replaced as a priority, since this is the first entrance into our beautiful nation.
Why on earth would an Opposition MP block this initiative? It demonstrates their lack of understanding of basic economic principles of ensuring the nation’s economic posture presents an image of “a place to invest”. This is one of those ingredients.
Again I challenge the Opposition Leader to call for conscience votes and let MPs speak for themselves.
3. Specialty Hospital
This last week I spent a few days visiting the coconut plantations and the famous boutique hotel, Adel’s Resort in the Pomeroon, at the mouth of the Akawini Creek. One of my close friends has returned from Great Britain to invest and manage the estate. I applaud him for his commitment to our country. We will need cheaper energy to move into the manufacturing sector of the coconut industry.
One of his major issues was health care that he said many in the diaspora have raised. We need our specialty hospital to provide comprehensive care to our people. This week I visited a niece in the paediatric section of the Georgetown Hospital and noticed next to her a tiny infant suffering from heart complications. She will need to be evacuated all the way to India if she is to have any chance to live. My heart went out to the young mother as she sat there and caressed her baby’s toes. What if we had our own Specialty Hospital here where the poor and less fortunate can have access to specialized healthcare? It’s inhumane for the politicians who may have access to funds to travel to the US or Trinidad for care when they need it yet this young beautiful infant might die right next to us.
I can continue a long list of failures of the current Opposition Leader and his team. These are the hot and pressing issues that make it to the papers daily.
The economic impact on all of us is significant. As you evaluate each for yourself – consider what cheaper energy will do for me and you, how access to improved healthcare can potentially save our children, our parents, ourselves. What about the many who return, our relatives, investors, we ourselves, why not have them arrive in an airport where they will not get wet, more efficient and present an image of our nation opposite to the one of our newspapers’ front pages which present our nation every day as the worst nation that exists in the World. We have to be proud, we have to part of our own transformation, yes we must ensure full accountability as we make our nation better for us and our children – our future.
Peter R Ramsaroop