Letter of the Day | Stop bad-mouthing Heroes Park Parliament
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Exactly when are we going to cut the crap? Why is there a furore over building a new parliamentary building in Jamaica? Have we seen the current small, crammed, poorly situated, handicap-inaccessible Gordon House?
A new Parliament represents the aspirations of the Jamaican people and would be a representation of our steps towards modernisation. Are we satisfied to remain stagnant for the next 10 years, with few signs of development? It is embarrassing that we are seriously debating whether we should build a new Parliament given the condition and years' worth of criticism about the current one.
To enumerate, the capacity of the current Parliament is extremely limited. It has insufficient restroom facilities. It is not friendly to the disabled, and it is certainly not demonstrative of the importance of the work that takes place within its walls.
There seems to be an all-round attack on the very prospect of a new Parliament. Some of the arguments have been downright ridiculous and unhelpful.
When we talk about cost, do we forget to juxtapose benefit? How about a cost-benefit analysis? Based on my understanding, the Parliament is one in a series of planned buildings in what is to be called Government Oval. The contiguity of ministries will facilitate easy commutes for persons using multiple government services.
For the Government, it also means an initial upfront investment in a building to be owned and maintained by the State as opposed to numerous exorbitant rentals scattered across the city.
It is so very unfortunate that even those who are supposed to have vision, who are supposed to be armed with facts, and who are supposed to help the wider Jamaican population embrace and adapt to change are among the most fearmongering, small-minded, and short-sighted.
Ultimately, a new parliamentary building carries with it more benefit to every single Jamaican. It is a sign of development, an opportunity for local talent to participate in the crafting of an important asset in our history, and, indeed, a place that will engender national pride.
We need all Jamaicans to feel a sense of ownership and to feel like they have a stake in their country and where it's headed.