It is with great regret that I have to pen this letter in response to a letter in your July 12 edition, captioned ‘Region Eight Chairman was not heckled,’ written by Minister Norman Whittaker.
My letter was not about Minister Manickchand’s remarks as Mr Whittaker is trying to make out, but about where and when she made those remarks. My contention is that remarks on those occasions should be in keeping with the norms of etiquette. Those occasions are not for personal remarks or ‘cuss down.’
Concerning the school dorms the Minister was indeed heckling which is what caused me to give the microphone to her. What Mr Whittaker is claiming concerning the visit to the dorms is totally untrue. I received a call at about 8.30 pm that there was a student at the dorms with a sick foot; I told the caller to call the doctor and then I left home and went to the dorms to see what assistance I could give based on the report I received. When I reached the dorms I decided to take the child on my ATV to the hospital. As I was about to ride off I saw a vehicle coming so I waited on it. It was the doctor, and if the doctor is honest he will tell you that he met the child sitting on my ATV.
My visit was not at 2am but 9pm after receiving a call about a medical emergency. The persons whom I asked to accompany me, however, were two female members of parliament, namely Ms June Marcello and Ms Valerie Garrido-Lowe.
Even if what the Minister was claiming was true, a workshop was not the forum to discuss those issues. Unfortunately these guys don’t seem to get it.
If the Minister had issues with the AFC she should have had an audience with the leadership of the AFC to discuss her concerns. To date for some strange reason she has never raised the issues with our members of parliament, so if what they are claiming is true why wait only now to highlight it. Of course anybody with a modicum of common sense can see what they are up to.
I was not surprised at Minister Whittaker claiming she was not heckling; at the Independence flag-raising ceremony this year he was sitting next to the REO who was continuing to heckle while I was making my remarks and he did not caution him. Apparently the Minister did not see anything wrong with him behaving in such an unethical manner.
The Minister is also asking me apologize to Minister Manickchand. I would like Minister Whittaker to know that I will not apologize to the Minister; as a matter of fact she should apologize to me over her behaviour at the workshop.
In conclusion I would like to advise the Minister that instead of allowing himself to be used to give lame excuses and try to divert from the truth in defence of the Education Minister, he should ask his government to provide funds to the Region Eight RDC to repair the inner Mahdia roads and ensure that a proper ambulance is sent to Mahdia.