PALMISTE NATIONAL MEETING
Political Leader, the Honourable Basdeo Panday;
My fellow foot-soldiers and ground troops of the UNC;
My fellow activists; my fellow loyalists;
My brothers and sisters; my friends, my colleagues on the ground
Let us give our Political Leader a warm San Fernando
My friends, on Monday October 7th Mr. and Mrs. Panday will be voting
in San Fernando West. They will lead us to a double victory. Victory
in San Fernando West! And Victory in Trinidad and Tobago! Make no
mistake, this is a three-peat. Not a re-peat but a three-peat. From
Monday, Election Day, October 7th, San Fernando West will be a safe
My friends, every citizen who truly cares for San
Fernando West will celebrate our victory on Monday.
Every citizen who cares for our country will celebrate with us on
Every citizen who cares about safety will celebrate with us.
Every citizen who cares about security will join with us.
Every citizen who wants to get rid of crime will vote for us.
Every citizen who wants performance,
Every citizen who wants a government that has proven it can deliver,
Every citizen who feels the pain that that our country is now going
will vote for our party, the United National Congress.
Every citizen who wants better housing, better
accommodation, better living conditions and a better quality of
life will vote for the UNC on October 7th.
The PNM has made many promises. They promised to
build 3,000 houses in South Trinidad. Where are these houses? They
said you could get a house for a dollar down. Where are those houses?
My friends, in one year as Minister of Housing I delivered over
1,300 houses. What has the PNM done this year other than make grandiose
My friends, I continue to walk through my constituency and talk
to my people. I will continue until midnight on Sunday, October
6th. This is the sixth time that I am going to visit every constituent
in San Fernando West. Wherever I go, from Embacadere to Sunset Cove,
from Marabella to Sumadh Gardens, from Palmiste to Vistabella, from
Rambert Village to Duncan Village, people give me a warm and happy
welcome. They are glad to see me. They know how well I have represented
them and how much I care for them. Even the most fanatic PNM supporter
will say that I am for everybody, I represent all the people of
San Fernando West. We in the UNC do not discriminate against anybody.
We make life better for everybody regardless of race, colour or
creed. We are here to help not to hurt.
My friends, my job is to be part of the healing process. My job
is to be part of the helping process. My job is to help restore
the health of the nation and make the best use of the resources
that we have.
In San Fernando we have seen the greatest neglect
possible, not just this year, but all the years the PNM has been
in power. As I walk around my Constituency, there are many signs
of PNM neglect. The entrance to Sunset Cove has not started although
the contract was given out a long time ago. Coastal erosion is creating
problems in that whole area including Sunset Ridge, Gulf View and
Bel Air. We will fix that.
We will also make sure that criminals cannot come by boat and break
into your houses. We will improve the lighting and roads. We will
make sure you are protected. We will make sure there are patrols.
We will help you to set up neighbourhood watches. We will put the
criminals, the drug-pushers and the kidnappers out of business.
We will have joint patrols with the Defence Force and Police.
We will make sure that those who do the crime will do plenty time.
We will increase the penalty for crimes against the person, and
crimes against property.
We will also create more jobs. If we want to stop crime we must
change the conditions that give rise to crime. We will make sure
there are more jobs, and more training opportunities for young people.
But my friends, you cannot undo the damage of forty years in six
You cannot have a sustainable solution to the problem of crime and
unemployment in six years. We need more time. We need more time
to create a safe and secure environment. We need more time to provide
another 140,000 new jobs. When we add that to the 80,000 jobs we
provided in our first term in office, we are talking about 220,000
jobs. 220,000 families who will be better off because of our party,
the United National Congress.
We will continue the waterfront project to make
sure that people have more opportunities to earn a living. People
will have more options for transport. The wharf area will be a transit
hub. The new jetty will be able to accommodate ferry boats. The
Interchange and the Highway Extension to Cross Crossing are our
contribution to ending the traffic-jams. Show me what Patrick Manning’s
PNM has done. There is nothing to show.
My friends, this has been the worst year for business
in San Fernando. In fact, it is the worst year for business in the
whole of Trinidad and Tobago. Even the doubles vendors complaining.
If they think things bad now, it will be worse if the PNM wins.
Do you know that the PNM wants to move out the taxi-stands and put
a building in the Chancery Lane car-park? Do you know that they
want to cut down San Fernando Hill and put up apartments like the
ones in Pleasantville? If you know that and you don’t vote
for the UNC, you deserve the violence and racism that is part and
parcel of PNM power. You deserve Sanderson and Eddy Hart.
My friends, even though you never voted the PNM into office, you
have to vote them out. If you care for San Fernando, you have to
vote out the PNM for good!
We have to vote them out so we can restore San
Fernando to its former glory. We must make San Fernando the industrial,
energy, services and cultural capital of Trinidad and Tobago once
more. We have to make Skinner’s Park the Mecca for organised
sports in South. We have to restore Naparima Bowl as a unique cultural
centre for the performing arts.
We must breathe new life into the commercial centre of San Fernando,
stretching from High Street to Mucurapo Street. The UNC is good
for business. The PNM is bad for business. The PNM is bad business.
In fact, the PNM is just bad. Bad! Bad!
They are even victimising blind people! The UNC
made a commitment to the Blind Welfare Association to give them
a deed to the land they now occupy. The PNM has refused to give
them the land. You know why? I am sure a land developer, or real
estate agent, is eyeing that piece of property. They just waiting
to move out the blind people.
My friends, we have to help the blind. We have
to help the lame and the crippled. We have to heal the sick. We
have to house the homeless. The PNM will only help themselves and
house themselves and their supporters. They will help themselves
to the resources and riches of the country as they have done in
the past, and as they will do in the future.
WE, we of the UNC, we have to help our country.
We have to replace PNM confrontation with UNC communication. We
have to replace PNM dictatorship with UNC dialogue. We have to replace
PNM victimisation with UNC vision.
Marabella is a good example of the difference between
us and the PNM. My opponent said she only went to the train-line
because she was a candidate in the election. I have been visiting
that area and helping people there long before I became a candidate.
The people of Pakistan, Sea Lots and all the other
communities are not there by choice. They have shown that they want
better lives for themselves and their families. We have worked together
to improve their standard of living. Now, we will do more, through
better housing and better drainage. The PNM had a chance this year
and they did nothing. That is because the PNM is a scaring government
and not a caring government. They are still trying to fool people.
Instead of a campaign, they are running a scam-paign.
My friends, like the rest of you who live in Palmiste,
I put up my money to develop the sewerage facility. But citizens
by themselves cannot finance such a large project. I know that.
Tonight, you have my solemn commitment that the UNC government will
take over the plant and improve the facility. Two years ago, I promised
to fix the roads and you they were fixed. I promised you an Interchange
and you got it. I am now promising you adequate and well-maintained
sewerage facilities. Once we are in power, you will get them. You
will also have a park here that will be the envy of Trinidad and
Tobago. This park does not only serve Palmiste. It is already to
South and San Fernando what the Savannah is to Port of Spain. We
will make it safe and secure so that whether night or day you can
use it without fear.
My friends, this is a massive crowd here tonight.
I thank you and congratulate you for being here. I know what it
takes to come out in the night. It takes a lot of courage and commitment.
However, I also know that there are many other people at home tonight
who would have liked to be here, but they are afraid to travel at
night. They are afraid of PNM victimisation. They are afraid of
the crime that has escalated under the PNM. My friends, too many
people in our society are living behind bars, not prison bars, but
burglar bars in their own homes. We have entered a disturbing new
era, one where we have sentenced ourselves and our families to imprisonment.
That is no way to live. Our citizens deserve to live their lives
in peace and tranquillity, free from fear. Why should people in
Palmiste, in Sumadh Gardens, in Gulf View. in Bel Air, in Marabella,
in Sunset Cove, in Sunset Ridge, in Coconut Drive and Green Acres,
in Paradise, Rambert and La Romaine, and in every single street,
neighbourhood, community and village have to live in fear?
You work hard for your money. Nobody knows the sacrifices you have
made. Nobody knows the sacrifices you continue to make so that your
children will have the opportunities you did not have. That is why
you should vote for us. This is why we will create permanent jobs
instead of relying on ten-days. That is why our philosophy is the
right one. We have to use our oil wealth so that everyone in Trinidad
and Tobago, every creed and race will have an equal place.
My friends, nobody can accuse me of being racist.
Nobody can say that I do not care for the people of San Fernando,
and for the people of Trinidad and Tobago. I am colour blind. I
only see people in need through no fault of their own. I see children
who will have no future unless they are given every opportunity
to be the best they can be. I don’t care about the corridors
of power. I am concerned about the corridors of service.
Rain or shine, wet or dry, day or night, come hell
or high-water, I am here for you my people of San Fernando West.
This is our country and together we must take it back. Together
we will take it forward into a future that is peaceful and prosperous,
safe and secure, a haven and a hostel for all. That is my dream.
That is my vision.
Long live the Political Leader!
Long live the people of San Fernando!
Long live the UNC!
Long live Mother Trinidad and Tobago!