PM: I made enemies by interfering with people's 'meal'

A man takes a photo of the newly completed and lit Curepe interchange, Churchill Roosevelt Highway on Monday evening. - Angelo M. Marcelle
A man takes a photo of the newly completed and lit Curepe interchange, Churchill Roosevelt Highway on Monday evening. - Angelo M. Marcelle

THE PRIME Minister said he has made a lot of enemies because his Government has taken on “the establishment.”

He was speaking on Monday night at the commissioning of the Curepe interchange project.

"My grandson asked me one day, 'When (you) go to work, what do you do there?' And I told him I make friends and I make enemies."

He recalled reading a book on African corruption called Our Turn to Eat and he made enemies because of a commitment that this would not be this administration's motto.

He said in TT people take too much for granted and are afraid to offend the fortunate.

"Let it not be said that in my tenure, however long or however short, that the government that I led was afraid to take on the establishment in TT – and there is where I make the enemies."

He also said he made enemies because of the National Investment Fund.

"There were those who gave us instructions what to do. 'Gimme this, gimme that.' And we said, 'No, thank you. Not in this administration.’"

He added: "So when you hear them talking, ask them which interest is generating the furore and the froth at the corners of their mouths. Which interest is generating this weekly attack on the Government, weekly attack on the Prime Minister? Some of it makes no sense whatsoever. We have interfered with their meal because we didn't agree to continue TT's business the way it was going."

Dr Rowley said there is one particular radio announcer who hates him because he took away $15 billion from an entity where he featured. He said there is another man who spends his time on the radio, a former Cabinet colleague who spent nine years in the Prime Minister's office “getting a huge salary but (who) produced absolutely nothing,” who also has a right to hate him. He added that the media may engage these people but what about the people who only know there is something called a "government"?

"The Government is made up of people, and not all of them have the interest of this country at heart."

He said with the Curepe interchange costing $219.5 million, the country got away from spending an additional $200 million, but if citizens were told the lowest bid was $440 million no one would have a problem.

"The people of this country had been conditioned to paying those types of prices, conditioned to be being overcharged, to being ripped off. (They have been) conditioned to watch ministers come into government...with old used car and by the time they come out, they name change and they could loan money to the Treasury."

Rowley said he knows contractors have the ability to do more with less, and because of the price of Curepe interchange project it will influence the price of every other interchange going east. He pointed out with the $200 million saved, 400 homes or five schools could be built.

"If I have not earned my pay for the five years I have been in office, I earned it on this project alone."

BOUNCING UP: Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan (left) and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, knock elbows after unveiling the foundation stone for the new Curepe interchange at the Churchill Roosevelt Highway on Monday evening. PHOTO BY ANGELO M MARCELLE -


"PM: I made enemies by interfering with people’s ‘meal’"

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