The events of the past week involving the charges laid against Dr. Ashni Singh and Mr. Winston Brassington should remove all doubts from anyone who still had doubts as to where the country is heading. The charges and handcuffing, fingerprinting and the ridiculous bail that they have been placed on, suggest that we are going down a very slippery slope to social and economic ruination.
This regime, as the earlier PNC regime, seems unable to grasp the fact that there is a direct link between the base (economics of the country) and the infrastructure (the legal system, the various institutions). They constantly interact and affect each other.
It is clear that Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington are victims of a vindictive regime that seems intent on subverting all our institutions to persecute those perceived as being unsupportive of the Granger regime.
Much has already been said about the case. Singh and Brassington did absolutely nothing illegal or corrupt.
In fact, in one case they sold a plot of land way above the market value. This was in the case of Rusal sale. The market value of that plot of land was obtained by an open tender. It was sixteen million dollars. It was sold for some thirty million dollars per acre.
The regime spoke about the valuation by a Valuator. However, the most important determination of the market value is the market itself. That is best obtained from public bids.
Indeed, many people feel that the charges are frivolous. That is why the lawyers for those two gentlemen have taken the matter to the High Court to rule on.
The fact that the Magistrate refused to await the hearing of that case before proceeding with the charges against these gentlemen is most unfortunate and in the view of a large cross-section of our population, unreasonable.
If the regime and its investigators felt that any corrupt action took place, how come none of the purchasers were questioned about the transaction?
Moreover, if they are talking about market value then they are saying that almost all of the more than one hundred thousand house lots that were sold during the PPP/C in office below market value. Are they going to charge all those who obtained those lots which were below the market value?
Clearly, the regime’s intention is to harass people whom they felt made a major contribution to the glaring successes of successive PPP/C administrations.
The negative attitude of the APNU+AFC to important projects of the PPP/C government was seen from the time they obtained the one-seat majority in Parliament.
They killed the Amaila Hydro project; they halted the Specialty Hospital project; they have drastically reduced the scope of the airport project; and we recall their determined efforts to damage the financial sector of our economy by voting against the Anti-Money Laundering Bill.
Now, the persecution of the people who worked hard to push these projects has begun.
These actions will lead us to disaster.
In the first place it would lead to greater brain drain. Many professionals will seek their fortunes elsewhere. They must know that today it is the PPP/C that is targeted and tomorrow it will be others.
Business people would refrain from investing and taking risks. Our economy would flounder.
As the bureaucracy grows bigger, as it is bound to do under such governance, revenues will decline, jobs would be lost, education; health and housing would be sacrificed to feed the bureaucracy and to satisfy the huge appetite of the corrupt.
Already we see the growing deficits, the depletion of our foreign currency and gold reserves. At the same time the debt is rising.
We have been on this road before and we know where it is taking us.
That is why I am extremely disappointed at the deafening silence of the Private Sector. If they feel that by staying silent they would be spared the wrath of the regime they are sadly mistaken. Life has thought us time and again that is only a matter of time when they will be consumed.
No one should remain silent at these unjust and vindictive acts.
Anyone who thinks he/she is safe must remember Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington.