Pathetic and frustrating.
This is how retired Senior Counsel Kenneth Lalla yesterday described the country’s failure to appoint a substantive police commissioner and deputy police commissioner, some seven years after the process began.
“Where are we really with this?” he asked. “We can’t even appoint a police commissioner. It is pathetic and frustrating, a very sad day for us.”
His comments came one day after the Government appointed a special select committee to review the process by which Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations) Deodath Dulalchan and Acting Deputy Commissioner Harold Phillip were nominated for the top posts.
Lalla, a former chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), lamented that after 56 years as an independent State, the country had not progressed in this regard.
“We abolished the system that was there and replaced it with another system which has proven to be totally irrelevant and frustrating. “There is no wisdom in whatever they seemed to have done. So, we remain in the doldrums of despair and hopelessness. I give up. I put my hands up in the air.”
Lalla told Sunday Newsday he had written a book years ago, titled, The Public Service and Service Commissions, which can serve as a blueprint for minimising the hiccups that have tainted the nomination process
“But nobody reads in this country. The book says everything that they (PSC members) should know but they don’t read. Even the parliamentarians, with all due respect to them. “I could not go to court and go before a judge unless I did my homework. I would be a failure.”
He added: “So, that is our problem here. Everybody running up and down. Politicians seem to have a philosophy that the more you confuse the people, the better it is. That is the state of the nation today.”
Lalla, who also condemned the worsening crime situation, called for urgent strategies to combat the menace.
“Crime is destroying the entire structure of the society. But unless we address the social structure of the society, no amount of policemen will be able to do anything. The social structure of the society has to change.”
He suggested the Government explore the Singapore model in seeking to enhance the country’s social structure.
“They have 5.5 million people and we only have 1.3 million. What is it they are doing that we are not?”