Things that bother me What the People Say about:
By Edlyn Benfield
Stabroek News
April 8, 2002

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In this week's edition of `What the people say', the man/woman in the street was asked to express his/her view on things bothering them.

Marcelle Embrack - private sector employee: 'I think that the government should raise the tax ceiling. You see $18,000 is too small. If the tax ceiling is raised then private companies can increase salaries. I am tired of receiving my salary today and by tomorrow, it's finished and I didn't do anything stupid.'

Winston Beresford - consultant and former chairman of the National Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Safety: 'I am deeply concerned about ongoing noise nuisances in communities. People have to understand that noise can affect a person's health and as such they need to be considerate whenever they play music. Moreover, a lot of the times when people blare their sets loudly, the content of their music is vulgar and nonsensical. In other countries like Barbados, people demonstrate respect for others with regard to this type of thing. I think that every neighbourhood should set up an office to deal with such complaints because the police force is often unable to assist due to the unavailability of manpower, or for other reasons. Additionally, I believe that a public awareness campaign on noise pollution should be initiated.'

Mohammed Nasrudeen - businessman: 'I would like to encourage everyone to support the West Indies in the upcoming tour with India. I am one of their biggest fans and I am backing them 100 per cent. Right now, the batting line-up that we have is great and we also have bowlers like Mervyn Dillon and Pedro Collins, who have very good potential. I think that the entire Caribbean should be supportive towards them.'

Andre Gilkes - self-employed: 'I am very frustrated with the justice system in Guyana. I had a problem recently and when I attempted to seek the help of the police, I was given the royal `push around'. We definitely need a better structure so that citizens can receive the help they need as is appropriate. I hope that something is done to improve this situation very soon.'

Adriana Bacchus - sales assistant: `I have known Senior Superintendent Leon Fraser for four years and he was a very caring and generous person. Like everyone else, he had his faults but I am of the view that his untimely death has left a void in the country's law enforcement squad. While there are persons who weren't fond of him, several will still remember him as a hero. I sympathise with his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace.'

Alexis Marks - Public Servant: `The employment freeze which was instituted by government two years ago is stifling. I have found that it is difficult to gain on-the-job promotion even though one may be overqualified for the position he/she is currently holding. It is very frustrating. Is this freeze indefinite? How can I plan for the future? I hope that this situation can be resolved very soon.'

Rudy Grant - Musical Artiste: `I have a problem with two television advertisements. First, there is the ad promoting the West Indies versus India series with Corey Collymore. In my view, the content of that ad typecasts Black people in the role that Westerners see them. I am referring to the part where Collymore demonstrates his bowling skill which he uses to apprehend a black man acting as a thief. I think that the ad could have portrayed Collymore performing a heroic act in a different scenario. For instance, Denzel Washington played several serious starring roles during his career and was only able to win an Oscar as Best Supporting actor in `Glory' but the minute he acts as a corrupt cop in `Training Day', he wins an Oscar for Best actor. Similarly, Halle Berry and several other Black actresses have played positive starring roles in numerous movies and were never awarded Oscars. But the minute she plays a nude scene in `Monster's Ball', wham - she carts off the Oscar.

The other ad that concerns me is the one which advertises the sale of firearms on radio and on television. There are no such ads on British and American TV. Recently, guns have become a grave problem in our country, so promoting firearms is bad. I believe that the government should ban all guns even those owned by licenced firearm holders. The British have a system where only special policemen using squad vehicles have guns and I believe that Guyana should adopt this strategy and increase police presence in the streets. In these crucial times, the image of the police is critical and needs to be improved. The salaries of force members must be augmented so that they can be compensated for the dangers they face while on duty. Guyanese need to support the force 100 per cent.'