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Time will be the test

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Government has reason to celebrate today after the controversial Anti-Terrorism (amendment) bill 2018 was passed in the Senate on Thursday night with the same rousing support it had in the lower House.

It was another refreshing moment that both the Government and Opposition saw eye to eye on a piece of legislation aimed at protecting citizens and MPs and Senators alike did not take John Public on a roundabout process to come to the only valid conclusion in the debate over protecting this country from the threat of terrorism, now a headache for governments worldwide.

More importantly, the passage of this bill, coming soon after the passage of the recent Anti-Gang Bill, now gives the Government and national security forces more an edge on finally being able to put the necessary mechanisms in place to get a handle on the spiralling crime rate—since both gang activity and terrorism can become intertwined given their propensity to attract members of the criminal element.

Having fervently debated the bill from opening stages to the end, it will be interesting to see what Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, alongside beleaguered National Security Minister Edmund Dillon and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, as head of the National Security Council, plan going forward with the legislation associated with these two bills.

However, this newspaper is also certain that John Public is now hoping the Government and Opposition can also put their heads together on the debate over a full-time Commissioner of Police to bring closure to this issue as well as the country seeks relief from the current crime onslaught.

Better call Minister Sinanan

Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan’s decision to implement a five-month moratorium on the inspection of vehicles seems to have been the best possible call to make at this point in time.

This is because contrary to what both Sinanan and Licensing Commissioner claimed, there were indeed various issues with the process which led to massive inconvenience for the public.

The most glaring of the issues was the fact that T vehicles can only be inspected at the Port-of-Spain and San Fernando offices, meaning all of the 132,000 T vehicle owners who did not have inspection stickers would have had to flock to these two stations to do so.

Sinanan’s decision, therefore, to allow private inspection garages to also undertake this activity will certainly bring relief, but he must also ensure all the other anomalies are sorted out to ensure a smooth process over the next five months and beyond.

Windies’ good run

Congrats to the West Indies team on their emphatic victory over Bangladesh in the first of their two-match test series in Antigua.

The team seems to be rounding into some good in recent times with the fastbowlers, in particular Shannon Gabriel and now Kemar Roach, leading the way.

We wish them continued success.


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