OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said having filed a motion of no confidence in the Parliament against the late Energy Minister Franklin Khan, questioning his competence and performance, has left her a little sad.
However, she aimed daggers at the Prime Minister, accusing him of being heartless and with no conscience for not defending Khan when her party brought that motion in the Parliament, but was now singing his praises.
She said neither did he defend former National Security Minister Stuart Young, who assumed the energy portfolio on Monday, when a similar motion was brought against him.
“It is sad that Mr Khan passed without his Prime Minister coming to his defence.
“May God rest his soul. I send my condolences to his family,” she said at the United National Congress (UNC) Virtual Report on Monday night.
“It is very sad that the People’s National Movement (PNM) and Dr Rowley, all of them are praising Mr Khan now.
“Rowley did not find it in his heart or conscience to come to the Parliament and defend Franklin Khan as the Prime Minister of that Cabinet when Franklin had been his minister for such a long time and been part of his party for such a long time.
“He did not find it in his heart then to come and speak well of him or defend Franklin as a prime minister should defend his ministers."
She said he did not defend Young, but reminded her virtual audience that matter is still in Parliament.
She also chastised Dr Rowley's mini-Cabinet reshuffle, accusing him of being bankrupt of not only ideas and innovation but in terms of personnel to serve.
On Monday Rowley announced Young's appointment to succeed Khan, clearing the way for Fitzgerald Hinds to take up the National Security Ministry and La Horquetta/Talparo MP Foster Cummings to assume Hinds's portfolio as Youth Development and National Service Minister.
Persad-Bissessar said she did not know whether to laugh or cry at the changes
“If this thing wasn’t so serious, we would end up laughing. Can you imagine, Fitzgerald Hinds is your new Minister of National Security, in an area in which we see the crime surging? You have to be bankrupt of persons. Not only are you bankrupt of ideas and innovation in your government, you are totally bankrupt when it comes to personnel to serve.
“What can he possibly do, Dr Rowley, better than the one you had before, the Minister of Everything? He was Minister of National Insecurity himself.
“Look at the path we have come to in this country. Look at where we have reached all under this incompetent Government – bankrupt of people, bankrupt of ideas in terms of service to the country.”
Commenting on the murder of senior citizen Ultida Joseph over the weekend, Persad-Bissessar asked, “Where is the pepper-spray legislation today? Months later – they promised pepper spray. Where is it? A 96-year-old woman in Siparia abused and brutalised and murdered. Where is the pepper spray? What are we doing for women in this country?”
She said the Sexual Offences Bill carded for the Senate on Tuesday is fine, but advanced, “Give the women the wherewithal to protect themselves. Of course men can use it too, it’s not just for women. So where is the legislation for the pepper spray?”
She said the Opposition had been asking for it since 2017 and every time another woman is brutalised the Government commits to bringing the legislation but has failed to keep that promise to date.
She said Young promised and failed to bring the legislation and now this was a test to see if his replacement could do better.