A place for Mr Al-Rawi; Senator bites tongue over controversial lease

How would you spend $36 million in four years, if you were in a position of governance?

Mr Live Wire might:

Pay all The Mighty Sparrow’s hospital bills and airfare to and from Trinidad and Tobago and use the extra money to more aggressively take local cultural expressions into schools, give free advertising to cultural shows and/0r place a pastor and mirror at the VIP entrance for every cultural event to assure Minister Lincoln Douglas that he is not God;

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago calypso legend Slinger "the Mighty Sparrow" Francisco. (Courtesy Jayblessed)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago calypso legend Slinger “the Mighty Sparrow” Francisco.
(Courtesy Jayblessed)

Offer free education to NGOs in related fields for which they are qualified, sue all persons employed by the State for earnings pocketed on the basis of false qualifications, execute a search of Wade Mark’s premises for his Arthur Lok Jack EMBA and all accompanying graduation photos and/or pay comedian Rachel Price to accept the portfolio of “picong” in the Senate and have her drill Attorney General Anand Ramlogan in the artform for the remainder of his term in office;

Satisfy the terms of the 2006 World Cup players’ bonus agreement with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), begin work on a cricket academy to nurture competent administrators, open legal proceedings against ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner for possible misappropriation of football funds, sponsor airfare for Warner to travel to Port-au-Prince for community service to the tune of over US$690,000, tell the FBI and IRS when Warner will be flying.

Photo: Chaguanas West MP and ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner delivered water, but, allegedly, little else to Haiti. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Chaguanas West MP and ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner delivered water, but, allegedly, little else to Haiti.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

What the Trinidad and Tobago Government actually did with the money, according to the Trinidad Guardian:

Spent $8.2 million per year to rent an empty building and then a further $927,360 per year to guard the same unoccupied spot.

PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi’s wife, Mona Nahous-Al-Rawi, is allegedly listed as a director of the company that manages the controversial premises on 1 Alexandra Street, Port of Spain.

But, as a self-proclaimed man of impeccable character and over a dozen thesauruses, Al-Rawi promptly deterred any salacious endeavour to besmirch his good standing through the extrapolation that he too has realised pecuniary gain from State corruption or mismanagement.

“I personally have no interest in that entity,” Al-Rawi told the Guardian. “I am aware that the Government rented that building on or around 2010 and that it pays a market rental below the rate paid by the government to many entities…

“Any attempt to draw salacious references to me are futile… I am aware that there are many properties rented under this regime which are owned by family members of the UNC.”

Photo: PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi.
Photo: PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi.

For a man with no interest in “that entity”—and we assume he is not referring to Mona Nahous-Al-Rawi—the PNM Senator seems quite informed about its business over the years as well as its supposed market value. Naturally, he closed with the tribal response that the UNC does it too.

Of course, there is nothing illegal with renting property to government and certainly the landlord cannot be blamed for the tenant’s lack of vision. But Al-Rawi’s fumbling retreat from the scene of a fresh State scandal arguably told its own tale.

The current Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has already revealed himself to be a promising used car salesman. Perhaps the next one might be a real estate appraiser.

It only cost taxpayers $36 million to find that out.

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About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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  1. All AH we is ONE FAMILY.We lime together and we thief together.

  2. got away from the miami shooting a place he frequented

  3. Why is it always tit for tat? The former Govt failed to complete and occupy so many beautiful buildings downtown during their reign, so this Gov’t is returning the favour. A new Licensing Office in Chaguanas; a hospital in Couva, a Law Faculty in Penal and a Fire station in Mayaro. When will we overcome this pettiness?

    • Hospital in couva built without taking into account lack of staff. improper construction also led to collapse of road in compound. Law college built without staffing addressed and a feasibility study. (Do we need more lawyers?)

    • Derek, every time I drive along the highway I look at the hospital and hope that it does not go the way of the National Library, the Brian Lara stadium and the Government Campus. These exercises in pettiness represent a cost to each citizen, as well as to our future generations….

    • D road to d hospital in couva did not collapsed to poor work it ws because of d excavation work going on to d side of d hospital but d government making look like poor work conditions jus not to open it an saying it don’t have no equipment inside when it ws shown d hospital ws well equipped with everything to be open

  4. Same Shit different set of Clowns.

  5. Actually they were supposed to house the Ministry of Local Government there due to the condition of Kent House. Then PP won the election & the plan was scrapped but the lease was still pending. Same thing with the government campus.

  6. #sameshitalloveragain…..share the love…..

  7. Same shit. Different day….

  8. The fact that Faris wife was the director of one of these unoccupied buildings the government was renting speaks volumes.

  9. This is one of the reasons why I often wonder if this country will ever move forward . Another reason also why the unions want all their negotiations settled .

  10. This is tragic esp when we have much empty government owned spaces on the Waterfront. The Min. of Sport & SPORTT have been renting for years, spend billions on sport facilities, but still rent.

  11. If they had used the now San Fernando Teachings Hospital for its intended purpose we would not have to buss up we mouth today.

  12. All of them are the same damm ting.

  13. This is a deeply saddening thing with political parties and by extension the public service.
    Under the PNM regime they rented out this property probably on the brink of elections because it is was owned by a PNM financier/member to move the Ministry of Local Government to. However before the move was initiated elections were held and the PNM subsequently lost.
    Then the UNC minister comes into power does nothing for first couple years as they are busy reviewing and scrapping old pnm projects primarily because it is of benefit to the PNM and seeing how best they can leverage it for their friends and family/party members.
    Then coming down (presently) to the last year in office they will rush to start all sorts of projects with renewed vigor which will be poorly planned and have their deadlines compacted significantly at the cost of quality while being charged significantly for.

    Then elections are held, and the cycle continues replacing UNC with PNM and vice versa.
    While public servants/P.S.’s are mum and content to just nod and ensure that once they can point to a piece of paper why their decision is justified to do so they just continue to be puppets, if not face victimization and transferred around to other ministries.

  14. Does the Senator protest too much? Or is he unfairly tainted by the country’s growing suspicion in politicians and their business interests?

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