Things I would like the president to have dealt with in his New Year message
Stabroek News
January 10, 2002

Dear Editor,

As the first year of the twenty-first century ended in a disappointing manner, I was anticipating that with the ushering in of the New Year 2002 the President would have allayed my fears for the new year by setting the tone and direction this country would follow in the ensuing year.

But I was disappointed after listening to his New Year message in which he asked questions rather than gave directives to correct some of the maladies that have plagued this nation and which have become entrenched as a way of life with a severe effect on development.

My disappointment became more intense after listening to the Leader of the Opposition's New Year message. By my analysis this message was better crafted and touched on those issues that need urgent addressing.

It leaves me to ponder on who is writing these speeches for our President. An overview of some, if not all of the President's speeches depicts the lack of appropriate statements lifting the occasions. A President to my mind should use words befitting a head of state and when that is matched by body language and intonation the speech would definitely create an impact and elicit the desired response.For my part I would have liked the President to address the following:-

(a) A contraction of the number of ministries and consequently ministers in a small country like ours. We have to put alternative measures in place to jump-start the economy and we do not need so many ministries and ministers whose functions are overlapping.

(b) The immediate return and approach to the drilling for oil in the Horseshoe basin. That is the "silver lining" behind the dark cloud which would change the lives of Guyanese for the better. The then Foreign Minister handled the situation very badly and now we are suffering.

(c) For too long taxpayers money has been wasted on sustaining prisoners on death row, long drawn out trials, failed projects, poor quality of contractual work.

(d) Sustained cleansing of the garbage in the city, regular weeding of parapets, removal of strays, insane persons and beggars from the streets of Georgetown to make it tourist friendly. The city constabulary has the responsibilities of policing the city.

(e) The urgent need to construct a wider road or another road to ease the daily confusion on the east bank especially from the Demerara Harbour Bridge.

(f) The traffic arrangements in the city need re-organising, e.g. there are certain streets that were made one way which can easily be converted to two-way traffic e.g. Robb street, Charlotte street, Alexander street and Wellington street. All that is required is the regulation of parking. Horse drawn carts and donkey carts are a nuisance and hazard on the streets. The use of animal drawn carts is both inhuman and outdated. The stench emitted from the faeces and urine is unbecoming in the city. Animal drawn vehicles are not subjected to the requirements of other vehicles but they nevertheless use the roads like other vehicles. There are too many under aged persons driving these carts.

In conclusion, I would like to pose this question to the Mayor. Your worship, how about encouraging the planting of certain types of flowers on the parapets to add to the beauty of the city since we want to attract tourists?

Yours faithfully,

Dayal Singh