(Trinidad Guardian) National Security Minister Stuart Young accused the Opposition of being racists, sparking a shouting match and name calling in the Parliament on Friday night.
The incident occurred while Young was making his contribution to the debate on the Trespass (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lower House.
“I have also sat here and asked permission to enter this debate because I find it quite distasteful to suggest and reduce this piece of legislation in the most derogatory terms and manners I have heard from those on the other side today by suggesting it’s for HDC (Housing Development Corporation) and it’s for persons who live in HDC houses and to talk about Duncan Street, and to talk about East Port-of-Spain in the most derogatory of manners,” Young said.
“So as the Member for Port-of-Spain North/St Ann’s West and a representative for a large part of East Port-of-Spain, I rise for the people that I represent and point them out for being the racists that they are here today for being those who have come here to attack those who sit in HDC houses, I am not withdrawing it,” Young said.
The statement caused an uproar among the Opposition benches with the MPs for Naparima Rodney Charles, Oropouche East Dr Roodal Moonilal and Couva South Rudranath Indarsingh rising in objection.
“Sit down, sit down,” Young shouted in response.
House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George, who was speaking to Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Fitzgerald Hinds at the time of the incident, rose to her feet calling for order.
Moonilal could be heard accusing Young of having family who were “drug traffickers,” seemingly referencing the fact that Young’s former stepdaughter Krystiana Sankar is currently out on bail on drug-trafficking charges.
Young shot back, accusing Moonilal of being a “money launderer.”
Annisette-George sat back down as the shouting across the floor continued for a few seconds more.
When everyone settled down Annisette-George got back up. She admonished all that were involved and asked them to withdraw their statements.
“Okay, honourable member for Port-of-Spain North/St Ann’s West I would ask you to withdraw that statement you just made, member for Naparima there is a statement that you made that I would ask you to withdraw, Oropouche East there’s a statement you made which I would ask you to withdraw, Couva South two wrongs do not make a right, okay and from here forward tolerance needs to be a guiding principle,” Annisette-George said.
“I withdraw the reference to the term racist,” Young said
“I withdraw the reference to anything having to do with drugs,” Charles said.
“Madam Speaker, I withdraw anything I said about him and I’m withdrawing from this Chamber as well,” Moonilal said as he left the Parliament chamber.