THE Prime Minister revealed a close friendship to Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh, but teased him for having “turn beast” upon joining the United National Congress (UNC). This light hearted moment prompted giggles among MPs on both sides of the House of Representatives, as it debated the Petrotrin vesting bill on Wednesday night.
Rowley was refuting Opposition remarks including those of Gopeesingh.
“Today I heard my friend from Caroni East, who is my friend, eh Madam Speaker, in case you all don’t know,” Rowley told MPs.
“We went to the same university in the same hall. Bosom buddies. Many a night we had dinner in his home. He was very good.
“But from the day he set foot in the UNC he turn beast.”
MPs erupted into laughter.
“My first child was born at seven months. He deliver her! My friend.”
Rowley said when another doctor had once left a needle in his mother, Gopeesingh had helped save her. However shrugging his shoulders in mock exasperation, Rowley then quipped, “But I don’t know what happened to him since.” MPs laughed. “Today he came here and had to be accused of intellectual laziness. I do not believe for one minute that the Member for Caroni East is intellectually incompetent. Not for one minute. But what I do believe is that trying to score political points, he has sold himself short.” Rowley refuted any idea the Government is hiding details of Petrotrin by saying he has addressed the nation three times on that issue.
For his part, Gopeesingh earlier revealed another twist of fate by recalling his friendship with the father of former prime minister, the late Patrick Manning.
Gopeesingh said, “I had the privilege of working in Petrotrin, Texaco in those days, 1968, 1969. I used to climb tanks. Go and sample the big tanks. Go on a ship and sample the tanks on a ship. Come back to the refinery lab and do spectrophotometric analyses to check...”. Opposition MPs ‘ooed and aahed’ in admiration. “To check whether they had benzene, toluene and xylene,” he continued, prompting more outpourings of admiration.
“I worked with Mr Manning’s father, when he was head of the refinery. My present Prime Minister knows that, because we have been associated over forty something years. We know where we have all worked and so on.”