Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and others must reflect deeply. One morning early, I called Joe Harmon, now Minister of State. He said that I must call back, he was praying. That is a good sign of contemplation. Mr Harmon is changing to take up the big challenges ahead. Prime Minister Nagamootoo had said that Mr Harmon was doing too much; he is right. What he did not say was that he (Nagamootoo) does too little.
Ministers must take their work seriously. A leader must be a highly disciplined person if he wants to be respected and honoured. Minister Jordan had to remark at a recent conference that he had to wait 30 minutes for senior public servants to arrive. The meeting was to start at 9 am. The President is always on time. Never late, as far I know. He sets the example. Others must follow or they should be sacked.
The AFC believes that signing a legal document ‒ the Cummingsburg Accord ‒ means that you can do what you like. For a man and woman to respect law and order, that discipline must prevail in his or her own daily life. They must set the examples.
Young Minister, Jaipaul Sharma, does not drink a drop of alcohol since he took up the position of a member of the National Assembly in 2011. I have publicly commended him for his self-discipline and sincerity to serve citizens without financial gain. He set an example to all his relatives and fellow citizens. He is able to service the citizens with honour and distinction, gaining results for them on an individual or collective basis, depending on the issues.
The Jagdeo government created certain problems, which this government has to deal with. They must take quick action to resolve issues affecting the communities. People voted for major changes. That was what the AFC was promoting throughout the whole general elections period and now people expect those important changes that will have an impact on their lives and living conditions.
Security is a top priority in any country and Guyana is no different. With a population of less than a million people, we should be our neighbour’s keeper, but the opposite is taking place, where it is your best friends who inform the thieves and bandits about your whereabouts and your wealth.
There has to be a major cultural shift in our thinking and our living environment. Government has a vital role to play. Law and order must prevail if real changes are to take place. Enforcement must take place. A man is arrested for an alleged plot to kill the President of the Republic ‒ a serious crime ‒ but the top law enforcement official releases him without any good reason.
People are fed up with the talking and talking; they want real results. They want to feel the changes, never mind how small those changes maybe. They also want to be actively involved in the framing of policies and programmes at the local, regional and national levels. That is not happening. Why?