|Abdul-Hamid: Kamla is no Indira Gandhi |
By SEAN DOUGLAS Monday, April 19 2010
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Public Utilities Minister Mustapha Abdul-Hamid....
MINISTER of Public Utilities, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, on Saturday questioned the character of the leaders of the UNC and whether they could stick together as a party.
“The UNC is a monumental, dysfunctional mess,” he said.
As he addressed a PNM rally at Chin Chin Road, Cunupia, on Saturday night, he derided UNC posters that are depicting UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar as “Our local Indira Gandhi”.
Abdul-Hamid scoffed, “Well, if Kamla is our local Indira Gandhi, I am sure Morgan Job thinks he is Denzil Washington.”
The crowd hooted with laughter.
He said the UNC has nothing to say.
Again referring to the UNC’s St Augustine rally on Friday night, Abdul-Hamid said Persad-Bissessar spoke for only ten minutes, while a Celine Dion song was played for 40 minutes.
“At the time I thought Celine Dion was the (UNC) political leader,” he quipped.
“And all I see is Kamla waving,” he said.
Abdul-Hamid said UNC/COP unity talks would fail because of rivalries between persons associated with the process.
He said any UNC/COP integration faces the challenge of personality clashes. “As soon as Kamla loses the next election, all man jack are coming to contest for leadership.”
Abdul-Hamid also claimed there was division among the UNC top-brass.
Abdul-Hamid also scoffed at the UNC’s plan for a Ministry of the People.
“Nonsense, absolute nonsense. Every single ministry that has been established has been established to manage some aspect of the needs of the people.”
He named the ministries of National Security, Public Utilities and Tertiary Education as examples.
“The Ministry of the People is essentially the functions of the Ombudsman.”
Abdul-Hamid recalled the UNC in opposition wanting to limit the GATE scheme to exclude persons who could afford to pay tuition fees.
He added that the former NAR government had not simply reduced the On the Job Training (OJT) scheme but had shut it down completely.
“So we understand what they stand for,” he said.
Abdul-Hamid seemed to justify the Government’s construction of towers in Port-of-Spain, saying six out of eight such buildings had been built to house public servants, in line with trade union demands for good accommodation for workers. “Trinidad and Tobago is the only country in the world where you could go to primary school, and then become a doctor or a lawyer and never pay a cent in tuition. That is the PNM!”
Abdul-Hamid then repeated several allegations about the business dealings of UNC chairman Jack Warner as an official of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and FIFA.