Opposition MP hits media for glossing over PM's breach admission

Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein.  -
Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein. -

BARATARIA/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein has hit the media for glossing over comments by the Prime Minister, who at his press conference on Saturday, alluded to what Hosein said were clear breaches of the covid19 public health regulations.

Speaking at the Opposition UNC's weekly Sunday press conference, he also claimed Rowley has steadfastly ignored allegations against Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi in relation to an ongoing police investigation into the hosting of a Boxing Day event on the MV Ocean Pelican.

Hosein criticised the media for glossing over Rowley's comments at the Diplomatic Centre about having to be cautioned by someone in Tobago recently about having a beer in public.

Rowley said on Saturday, "I was in Castara last week, in a vehicle. I went into a place that sold beers and I had a beer." He added, "On my way (back) to the vehicle, I had this beer in a container, in a plastic bag."

Recalling the day was hot and beautiful, Rowley also remembered being approached by someone on his way towards his vehicle. That person, he continued, told him, "You, consumption of alcohol in a public place is against the law."

Rowley told reporters, "So you missed the opportunity of seeing me behind bars for breaching the...it happened so easily. But it was a breach of the regulations."

"Dictators all over the world, they boast about breaching the law. And I leave that there," Hosein said on Sunday.

Hosein said there are three separate offences related to alcohol under the public health regulations.

"So what does that say? It shows that the Government's policy is to prevent people from drinking alcohol, especially in public places, as the Prime Minister said, so that there not be any unnecessary socialisation or gathering."

People are not allowed to consume alcohol on beaches, which were reopened on December 18.

Hosein said business owners are to ensure there is no alcohol consumption on their premises "unless permitted by the minister."

He added that regulations up to this month state that no one can consume alcohol in a public place "unless it is done in the premises of a (covid19) safe zone and the consumer has permission from the minister."

Hosein said public health regulations are approved by Cabinet and not the Parliament.

He added, "What this shows the population is that there is one law for the PNM, and one law for the rest of Trinidad and Tobago." Rowley, Hosein insisted, is subject to the law like every other citizen.

He reminded about UNC allegations of PNM financiers hosting large weddings in breach of public health regulations, to support his statement on one law for the PNM and another for the rest of the country.

Hosein also criticised Rowley for not commenting on the Ocean Pelican matter during his press conference on Saturday and instead choosing to make a blanket statement on being concerned about the conduct of every member of his Cabinet.

Rowley, in a statement on Sunday, said his comments on that matter were inaccurately reported by the Sunday Express newspaper.

The PM indicated his actual comment was, "I am concerned about the conduct of every member of the Cabinet, so if there’s conduct by a member of the Cabinet that is inimical to public interest and I am satisfied that that is so, then you wouldn’t have to ask me that.”

Rowley, in the Sunday statement, called on the Express to publish an immediate online correction and publish the same correction on Monday.


"Opposition MP hits media for glossing over PM’s breach admission"

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