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SPEECH    3rd. April 2002.
 
 
 

Speech by the Honourable Sadiq Baksh,
MP for San Fernando West
UNC MASS MEETING
San Fernando Technical
 

MR, CHAIRMAN

HONOURABLE POLITICAL LEADER MR BASDEO PANDAY AND MRS PANDAY,

FELLOW MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,

MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE OF THE UNITED NATIONAL CONGRESS

MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE OF SAN FERNANDO WEST

CONSTITUENTS OF SAN FERNANDO WEST AND SURROUNDING AREAS

INVITED GUESTS, FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERSW
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

People of the UNC
My constituents of San Fernando West

I am glad to see so many of you here tonight.  I am sure that you are even more glad to see me.  Some of you might even be surprised to see me, considering all the rumours you have been hearing.  There have been so many rumours, so much talk, and yet- Here I Am tonight and Here I will be, with you my people of San Fernando and my people of our glorious party, the United National Congress.

Your presence here tonight proves that you still have faith in your party and your leadership.  It is that faith that brought us in Government and that faith that will ensure that nobody could keep us out in future.  There will be no more selected Government after this brief interlude of our Opponents.  There will be an elected Government and it will be your party, the United National Congress.

The rumours, the character assassination, the attempts to discredit me and to discredit the Party, the witch-hunts will continue.   Don’t let it get to you.  I am here tonight with you.  That is not a rumour.  That is a fact.  So in future, stay with the facts.
Seeing is believing and you are seeing me right here, right now in spite of all the old talk that you heard.

What are the facts?

As far as San Fernando West is concerned, this is a UNC seat and we have to make sure that it continues to be a UNC seat.  We have to make sure that it is a safe UNC seat.  We cannot do that by talk.  We have to continue to walk our talk and to do all that we can to make life better for the people of this Constituency.  We have to restore San Fernando to its former glory as the industrial, cultural and services capital of Trinidad and Tobago.
We have to keep the pressure on the PNM controlled City Council to deliver, and when the Local Government Elections come, we have to make sure we control San Fernando East, West and City Council.

You know that the Mayor and his gang put Sabrina out of a meeting last week?  This should be the incentive we need to put all of them out of office in the next elections.

My friends, I am not sure you appreciate the suffering that has taken place since the PNM was given power, power that you the people did not give them.

I am particularly concerned about the unemployment they are creating.  While we focused on job creation they are intent on job destruction.  Right now I have made it my business to try to help those people who have been victimised, fired, replaced, demoted and displaced by the PNM.  There are thousands of people.  Not hundreds but thousands.

My friends, this cannot continue.  While we cannot change the past, and cannot undo what has already been done, we can make sure that we learn from the past.

You alone can do that.  You alone can give us the majority we need to take our rightful place in Government.  You alone can protect and preserve our democracy, and you can only do that by making sure that you work for, and you vote for, our party, the United National Congress when the next elections come.

It is in your power as well to make sure that the Elections come quickly.  It is in your power to make sure that the PNM does not hang on to office forever.  This is what they want to do.  This is what we must stop.
 

When someone of the stature of Brother Michael Samuel Retired Principal of Presentation College says “Time for New Elections” we must listen.  This is not idle talk.  This is someone who has committed himself to the betterment of our children and our country and when he talks we must listen.

We have to get the message out.  Elections Now!  That is the message.  Elections Now!
 
 

Right now, our opponents are trying to undo all the good things that the UNC has done during our term in office to make Trinidad and Tobago the best that we can be as a country and as a people.

If we allow them to continue, you will lose all that the UNC has gained for you over the past six years.

They are prepared to deny you the right to work, the right to choose your place of learning and the right to decide who will govern this country.

You have to say like Brother Michael.  Stop the old talk.  Elections Now.  Let me hear you say it.  Elections Now.
As Minister of Housing in the last Government, I regularised many squatters.  But we will not regularise this bunch of squatters in Parliament.  We have to put them out and the only way to do it is by having Elections Now.
 
My friends, our country is under siege, our democracy is under threat.

If we allow the situation to continue our living conditions may become similar to those very unfortunate people in places like Zimbabwe.
Those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it.  Look at what happened in Kenya under Kenyatta.  Look at what happened in Uganda under Idi Amin.  Look at what happened in Guyana under Forbes Burnham.  Look at what is happening now in Zimbabwe under the real Mugabe.  Then compare it to what is happening in Trinidad and Tobago.  You will see that the approach is similar.    Patrick Forbes Mugabe.  That is what we will experience if we allow this to continue.

How do we stop it?  Elections Now!
My friends they talk about justice.  They have set up Commissions of Enquiry.
Who brought to justice the chairman of the PNM, Francis Prevatt?  Nobody.
Who brought to justice, John D. O’Halloran?
Nobody.
If we want justice, what do we do?  Hold Elections Now.

You the people of San Fernando voted for me because of my performance and the performance of our party, the United National Congress.

I will continue to do all that is necessary, all that I can do to make life better for you.
This is my pledge.  This is my promise.  This is my vision and my goal.

But I cannot do it alone.  I need your help and support.  Not just for San Fernando West, because we cannot do it by ourselves.  We have to be part of a UNC government, one that delivers, one that performs, one that keeps its promises to the people of this country.  Manning said that nobody would have any cause to fear a PNM Government.  I can bring a thousand people, at least a thousand, who believed the propaganda and now have no jobs and no hope for work.

My friends, I am committed to you the people of San Fernando West, and to the ideals and guiding principles of our party the United National Congress.

I have a vision of a society founded on the core values of honesty and integrity, of a society committed to the principles

Of equity and social justice, of a people who live in racial harmony and who respect diversity

My vision is of a Trinidad and Tobago, in which merit is the primary criterion for mobility,
Where corruption and nepotism are kept in check by laws, by social pressure and moral values,

Where all the people of our country benefit from the natural resources god has bestowed upon us,

where all our people have access to appropriate employment, to infrastructure services and utilities,

where all our people are adequately housed fed and educated
 

and where my daughter and yours can aspire to be prime minister and would have no barrier in the way but ability, not sex, not gender but the ability to do the job well.

I have a vision of a society in which the UNC regains and retakes political power and continues the transformation of this country into the jewel of the Americas.

That is my vision.  Join me.  Join the UNC.  Let us use our power to demand that they hold Elections Now!  That is what we must do.
 

If you want good government, if you want equity and equality of treatment and opportunity, the only way is to make sure your party, the UNC, is back in office.  Let them know what we want.  And what we want is Elections Now!

Long live the UNC!
Long live democracy!
Long live Mother Trinidad and Tobago!