“I am ready and prepared to appear.”
These were the words of Minister of National Security Stuart Young in response to a call from Oropouche MP Dr Roodal Moonilal to have Minister Young face a Joint Select Committee to explain his recent statements concerning the individuals benefiting from criminal activity.
In a statement yesterday evening, Young said, “I have been provided with a recording from Dr Roodal Moonilal, member of parliament for Oropouche East, calling for me to appear before a meeting of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on matters of national security. I am ready and prepared to appear before the said Parliamentary Committee and I will provide the committee with the information that has been provided to me by, amongst others, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) in support of my very carefully spoken words.”
Moonilal in the audio clip said, “I’ve called upon the chairman of the Joint Select Committee on National Security, Mr Fitzgerald Hinds to convene an emergency meeting of the JSC on Security so that Minister Young can come before a Parliamentary team and explain himself.”
During the post-cabinet Press Briefing last Thursday, Minister Young said there were people in society who wanted to create “a sense of fear and panic in Trinidad and Tobago with what they call the runaway rate of crime. Who is it in our society that stands to gain of pushing this narrative of a homicide rate going upwards…. and why are there instances all of a sudden of certain sporadic shootings of person who are not involved in gang or criminal activity?”
Moonilal said the suggestion created “insecurity” across the country.
“Making such a far-reaching statement without any evidence is proof that the Minister of National Security is attacking all political and civic organizations such as the business chamber, political parties, trade unions, NGOs and religious organizations,” said Moonilal, “Stuart Young is now the Minister of Insecurity. The Minister is trying to create an atmosphere where everyone us a suspect and people feel as if you can’t trust anyone.”