LETTER OF THE DAY - Majoring in minors?

Published: Monday | March 9, 2009

The Editor, Sir:

The continuing debate with regard to dual citizenship as it relates to the Constitution, fades into insignificance when placed against the real problems plaguing the Jamaican society. If measured by a scale of priorities, dual citizenship would be rated as insignificant when the real issues of a deficit economy, uncontrollable crime and the derogation of decency, order and civility are factored in.

It must be noted that this is a minor issue that has taken a major place for political ends, to the detriment of Jamaica as a whole. Public service is most often a sacrifice that should be entered into with altruistic intent. To serve one's country without thoughts of self-aggrandisement is to desire the greater good for your fellow citizens and for your country.

One has to agree that there are many aspirants but few who have the wherewithal, the qualifications and the attitude of service. There are many in the country and in the diaspora who were forced to leave Jamaica for a myriad of reasons and have sworn allegiance to other countries because it was expedient and did not affect their Jamaican citizenship and are now desirous of serving or returning to serve.

Many of them bring experience and unselfish commitment that would help build Jamaica and move it away from the corruption that lies as a veil over the country. The constitutional provision was not meant to eliminate those who were born there, but is a visage of our colonial past and the protectionism that accrued from the hierarchical oversight that our oppressors tried to perpetuate as we approached independence. I find it interesting that Edward Seaga was born in Boston, Massachusetts, yet he served honourably, to my knowledge, and his foreign birth status did not affect his allegiance, as far as I know.

Selfishness and envy

I am strongly inclined to believe that there is selfishness and envy among some who hate the fact that others could leave and live abroad and they could not. The fact that I was born there negates any new status I might have acquired in the conducting of my life, except it was criminal or in aggression directed to the country or its citizens. We should cease and desist from majoring in minors for the good of the country. There are qualified, service-minded people who have much to offer to the political landscape but are eliminated by a piece of paper which I find irrelevant.

I am, etc.,