THE EDITOR: On January 24, the Red House was officially reopened to once again serve as the official home of the Parliament and to accommodate offices for public servants. This is an extremely proud moment for the people of TT as they endured this process while the People’s National Movement delivered our promise.
The last government failed to get that job done for the Red House and all the other recently restored heritage buildings in its five years and three months in office, even though it had the largest budget in this country’s history. Therefore, I am baffled by the statement of Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar that Basdeo Panday was the prime minister in 1993 when this project started.
For the record, the late Patrick Manning was the prime minister during that period until 1995 and then again from 2001 to 2010. However, it is quite interesting to note that after Manning’s tenure, a government led by Persad-Bissessar was set to continue the project.
It was during her stewardship that Wade Mark was in charge of the restoration of the Red House. For five years and three months he only conducted meetings with no works to the building. The only thing that government settled on for this project was one contractor who proposed to complete the restoration for $800 million.
In 2015, when the PNM-led government, under Dr Keith Rowley, returned to office, the restoration project was revisited. Firstly, the PNM retendered the project but offered 17 packages instead of just one.
Another notable change was the budget from $800 million to $441 million. The new cost of this restoration project saved the country close to $400 million. That is what it takes to get the job done.
I urge Persad-Bissessar to answer this question: What did her government do to restore the Red House? The naysayers such as Phillip Alexander need to stop the rubbish talk about the cost of the project because if the UNC was allowed to carry out the contract, the people of TT would have lost $400 million.
According to author George Orwell, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
Therefore, the PNM will not permit Persad-Bissessar to rewrite or even omit relevant parts of this country’s history. The facts are clear and this letter’s purpose is to enlighten the people of TT.
mayor of Arima