FITZGERALD HINDS, Minister in the Attorney General’s Office, yesterday urged citizens to condemn the Opposition’s “failure to support” the Government’s anti-crime bills.
He was speaking at a briefing in light of news headlines demanding action against the current crime spike.
“The citizens have a role to play.” He said between elections, citizens have a duty to speak out to demand decency of their MPs, just as the Bankers Association had spoken out on the FATCA debate, to warn of risks to TT.
"It is the duty of citizens to speak up and speak out. Take off your party hat.
“If they (MPs) are not acting in your interest, the citizen must say so. When the next election comes don’t tell the Government about ‘crime, crime, crime’ but watch us on our record. See what we have done, see what we have attempted to do, and see who the obstruction is.”
Lamenting that some bills need Opposition votes to be passed by a special majority in Parliament, he hoped the PNM would pass this threshold by winning 28 seats in the next general election.
He alleged the Opposition’s record of rejecting the Government’s anti-crime bills was “mad, illogical and criminal.”
Saying draconian laws are sometimes needed to lock up criminals, he alleged the Opposition’s lack of support for some bills meant they do not care about citizens.
He complained the Opposition has allegedly vowed not to support laws from which the Government has deleted some provisions so as to reduce the need for passage by a special majority but instead need just a simple majority.
Hinds said the Government had voted for Gary Griffith as Police Commissioner in contrast to the Opposition doing nothing to firmly appoint Stephen Williams who acted for six years and supporting Deodath Dulalchan for CoP. He listed the Government bills the Opposition had failed to support as legislation on bail, evidence, gangs, FATCA, terrorism, whistle-blowers and explain your wealth. “Today, I expose the hypocrisy of those who don’t support those laws.”
In an aside, Hinds lamented the influence of violent video games and movies plus "filth" seen on smart phones, on the minds of TT’s youngsters.
“Children are becoming spoilt and corrupted,” he said. “Then it falls to the law enforcement to pick it up.” He urged parents, teachers and religious to play their role in properly guiding youngsters.