Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Holness’

The Hon. Andrew Holness of Jamaica

Art by Tina Sebàs

For centuries, even before its independence, Jamaica has been tormented by two consistent plagues; one of nature and the other of acumen.

As a child, growing up on this renowned island was not always sunshine and white sand beaches, for me, I was not there for Spring breaks nor Summer vacations; I was there every day, every month and every year, benefiting first-hand experiences of day to day activities and the people, which eventually summed up to being a Jamaican.

Therefore, tropical storms and hurricanes are no surprise to me. Jamaica has long accepted Mother Nature’s annual visits, and in anticipation of her yearly presence, architects have done their best in designing and redesigning structures; sometimes to great successes and other times not.

If there is anything to know about Mother Nature, it would be that she is unpredictable; a fact proven in May of 2017 when two-thirds of Jamaica was submerged under water.

Heavy rains and floods amounting to as much as ten feet of water, in some areas, damaged almost everything in their paths, but most disheartening, left many people homeless.

And although I did not acquire the information first-hand nor by being in close proximity, news and footage posted on social media’s live feeds, pretty much gave me a vivid overview from a secondary seating perspective.

I watched in horror as vehicles occupied with people were besieged by water, causing narrow escapes and near death frights. Informative commentaries echoed as narratives of the unfolding events, varying in tune, at times, and it was not long before I was forced to watch in criticism as oblivious attitudes blended in with important information of a national emergency.

Overwhelmed with disgust, I witnessed mockeries and laughter, coming from onlookers, as chosen reactions to one driver’s reckless decision which almost took the lives of his passengers.

Another post was in transparency of Jamaica’s second plaque, ignorance, as many Jamaicans blamed local politicians for the floods and held them responsible for their losses.

While, in an effort to educate, one politician explained that it was merely an act of nature. He further clarified that gutters, gullies and waterways were fully maintained and it was an inadequate infrastructure, made for a lesser anticipated flow of water, which caused the slow reduction.

Tragedies, as usual, created an opportunity and opportunities have never failed to show the meagre moral standards of men, so it was no surprise that amidst the crisis of a national emergency, the opposition party saw it as a prospect to discredit the ruling government; an act which continues to influence the lesser educated to mimic.

Intelligence is a valuable commodity as much as ignorance is. Shared intelligence offers benefits to a whole country and equal opportunities to gain wealth, while the distribution of ignorance does not benefit a whole country, but only allow wealth to be accumulated by its distributors.

There are a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong with Jamaica, and although no country will ever get it all right, there is always room for growth and improvements

It is being encouraged, by me, that the Jamaican government stresses the importance of Adult Education, in Jamaica, and put in place another system similarly to that of JAMAL which seeks to educate the old as equal as the young, because illiteracy is an obvious crippling factor against Jamaica’s growth.

In addition, integrate swimming and make it a mandatory academic activity; shamefully, most Jamaicans are non-swimmers.

Jamaicans must realize that a government system is not to be considered similarly to the expectancy of their parents; government is merely a management department of a country and similarly to managements of companies, their purposes are to provide certain operations of interest, while each citizen, like employees, must pull their own weight.

Politicians are assumed to be among the brightest minds of Jamaica, and in order to maintain that supposed perspective, it is being advised that they must know when to put their personal interest aside and put the interest of the Jamaican people first.

In such a state of emergency, the real opportunity was for the non-ruling party to band together with the ruling party and show the Jamaican people that whenever their country is threatened, by any force, it is relevant to retire all made-up divides and demonstrate, to the world, that we are not JLP nor PNP, neither high class or low class, but that we are Jamaicans.

© Ian T. Sebàs 2017

© Ian T. Sebàs

Jamaica is one of the world’s most beautiful countries which has been staggered for years by poverty and tainted with corruption as a part of its reputation of sun-kissed greenery and white sand beaches. And like any struggling society, a saviour would be appreciated; someone who will promise and deliver positive changes, where the citizens of the island could then exercise a new pride which spawns from the comfort they receive.

If I was Prime Minister of Jamaica, my governing methods would appear unconventional in comparison to what the Jamaican citizens have grown accustomed to.

My precedent would show care for the welfare of the citizens more than my pride for the island; the land is already beautiful, as a gift of nature, but it is people who are unhappy and need my assistance.
My first action as Prime Minister would be to provide every single household, schools, libraries and other institutions with a free copy of the full constitution which governs Jamaica and the rights of its citizens; this way, I am sure that all citizens have been given the opportunity to equally participate in its democracy.

Secondly, I would double the current wages of all government security and judicial members, including Judges, Police, Army, Coast Guard and Correctional Officers; the wages of politicians would also be increased.

Thirdly, I would refurbish and expand all adult correctional facilities.

Fourthly, I would create a shadow ministry to watch over these members, for the sole purpose of making sure that each individual carries out his/her duty and responsibility in the fullest respect of the law; also there would be a second shadow ministry which watches over the first shadow ministry for the same purpose.

Upon receiving review reports, any member of the government security, judicial body or Member of Parliament who has strayed from respecting the law, even in the most minute way, would lose his or her position and sent to prison; this way it will be clear to the Jamaican citizens that corruption will not be tolerated and no man will be above the law.
All people shall be treated equally the same despite their, sex, colour, profession or wealth status, but individuals who are given responsibilities which benefit from the trust of the citizens, and violates that trust, shall be penalized harsher than the common citizen; Judges, Police Commissioners, Correctional Officers and field constables would be reviewed intensively.

The Governor General and his purpose would be declared more transparently to the citizens, giving them the power to vote on whether or not his purpose is relevant.

The implementation of a more substantial welfare system, for the poor, would be put in place.

Marijuana would be legalized, with license farmers, and become a part of Jamaica’s export to generate funds and create employment.
Weed jamaicas
A new tax tier would be introduced, where the rich would pay twice as much tax as the poor and businesses which earns from tourism would pay more tax than any other non-tourism businesses.

Small business loans, by the government, would be more feasible to attain with fair interest rates and an agreement of imprisonment, if not paid back.

Every business, from small to major corporations, would have to pay a recorded tax; this way the country will independently maintain its welfare system.

Public hospitals and schools would be upgraded while doctors, nurses and teachers receive new incentives.

Low income neighbourhoods would be given basic replacements homes consisting of the necessary facilities and utilities, at low cost rent to the government.
Finally, I would present a written proposition to the general public, explaining our option of borrowing money from wealthier countries, and forever be in debt, or selling a tiny percentage of the island, to the highest bidder, and have an independent power of financial reserve for decades to come.

Ian T. Sebàs © 2016