President says ministers not ‘thin-skinned’ as he promises to stay connected to citizens
President Dr Irfaan Ali says citizens can expect enormous and energetic government outreaches across the country in the coming weeks now that the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been removed in Guyana.
Those outreaches will be led not only by the President but by members of his Cabinet in collaboration with elected regional officials. Dr. Ali assured citizens that the outreaches are to ensure that government policies are informed by the realities of ordinary people.
“When we came into office, I promised the Guyanese people that they will have a government that will stay committed and connects to the people.”
“We don’t want people to come to the government, we will come to people and we are not afraid of doing this because we know our policies are oriented around the development and advancement of every Guyanese,” Dr. Ali told reporters on Saturday following his tour of the Leonora Market on the West Coast of Demerara.
He said too that people can be truthful about situations in their communities because his team of ministers is not sensitive to criticism or insults.
“You will see a lot of this,” the President said.
“I am very proud of my Cabinet. As President, I could not have asked for a better team. They are hardworking people; they are out there every day and they are not thin-skinned…they take criticisms and it’s hard but we are committed to making a difference,” Dr. Ali added.
President Ali said plans to go out into communities were stalled by the COVID – 19 pandemic but already, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has kicked started these outreaches with one to Region Two and another to Region Ten just over a week ago.
“The region has been doing a good job connecting to people and reaching out but the administration and the public service have to come along and change the attitude.”
“…We cannot be lawmakers in a chair anymore. Society requires something that is different. They want to feel a part of it, they want to see these officials on the ground, connect with them and be part of what is happening.
“That’s why we can face the public, that is why we want to face the public…we want to be a government that is connected to the real issues and real problems,” President Ali contended.
The Head of State believes that keeping in touch with citizens, regardless of their political persuasions, and ensuring that there was a bottom-up approach to government policies would ensure buy-in.
“Many times, the government has brilliant initiatives but unless we are able to connect people with those initiatives and bring people along an understand from their interpretation then you will not get the full benefit of good policies,” the President posited.