Harmon’s talk of ‘ready to act, ready to engage’ is an insult to Guyanese – Dr. Singh
Wrapping up five days of debate on the 2021 National Budget, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh has poured cold water on talks by Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon that he is ready to engage and cooperate with the Irfaan Ali-led government.
Dr. Singh said the words of the Opposition Leader, who made the final presentation for the APNU+AFC Coalition on Monday, were in stark contrast to the action of the other Members of Parliament of the Coalition Opposition.
“He assumed a statesmanlike posture and said he is ready to work together for national development… well that must be a joke,” Dr. Singh said.
Dr. Singh, in making his point that Harmon’s words do not match the action of himself and members of the Coalition, recalled the invitation extended to former President David Granger to attend a forum of former presidents with President, Dr. Irfaan Ali.
Mr. Granger had turned down that invitation.
“Despite the public pronouncement of being ready to engage and be consulted… that meeting and invitation were spurned at by former President Granger,” Dr. Singh recalled.
Dr. Singh, who spoke after Harmon, said the Opposition Leader spoke in a famed tone of magnanimity of his willingness to engage and attempted to convey the impression of civility but his own actions are in contrast to this.
The Finance Minister recalled President Ali’s inaugural address to the Parliament on February 11, 2021.
During that address, the opposition not only absented themselves but engaged in “ruckus and vulgar behavior outside of the Chamber and in the compound,” Dr. Singh said.
“The reality Sir indicates a very different truth. But you know Sir what it discloses in fact Sir, is that the APNU/AFC has no respect for the intelligence of the Guyanese people. They believe , and some of them said it….the Honourable Mr. Ramjattan spoke about somebody speaking to their gullible supporters.. The Guyanese people are not gullible Sir …the Guyanese people are, in fact, far more sophisticated and far more intelligent than you might believe.” he added.
To further point out the APNU+AFC double standard on issues, Dr. Singh called out Coalition MPSs on claims that it represented the working class and the public sector.
He recalled the arrest of a longstanding public servant and top-ranking PPP/C official Roger Luncheon and his own arrest on trumped-up charges that later had to be dismissed for lack of evidence.
Dr. Singh said the last five days of budget debates were enlightening because it reminded the Guyanese public of the true and deceptive nature of the APNU+AFC “assortment.”
He contended that the APNU+AFC doesn’t have the moral authority to serve as representatives for the public in the House.
“The Truth is that the 49% of Guyanese they claim to represent really deserve better.”