Tue | Nov 12, 2019

Letter of the day | Controversy looms large

Published:Tuesday | November 5, 2019 | 12:33 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Being advised by the US Embassy that one’s visa has been revoked is never a good thing and, truth be told, is quite embarrassing, even when the specific reason for the revocation is shrouded in mystery. One thing that’s known is that the US Embassy and US State Department do not take such a drastic action without what they deem to be a good/justifiable reason.

Controversy and/or scandals seem to follow, like their shadows, some public servants. Unfortunately, controversy has followed Daryl Vaz, who has a reputation for being a hard-working member of parliament and Cabinet minister, a man who gets things done, and a man who has been dedicated to his country, for many decades. The recent laws banning single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and styrofoam lunch containers will form part of Vaz’s public service legacy in the future.

However, from a certain highly publicised and highly controversial incident in the ‘80s to certain issues in relation to the Dudus extradition, to the sale of Rooms on the Beach – whether he’s innocent of the allegations associated with each of those incidents or not – controversy has been Vaz’s constant companion.

In the case of PNP member of parliament, former Cabinet minister and a former recipient of The Gleaner’s prestigious Man of the Year award, Phillip Paulwell – who opened Jamaica to cell phone technology and has contributed significantly to the local IT industry – despite his laudable past work, a dark cloud of controversy has plagued him for many years. From the NetServ “My hands are clean” to his handling of the licensing phase of the 381-megawatt project, to the Cuban light-bulb scandal to the cement fiasco, a ‘stinking toe’ tree of controversy looms large over him.

Lesson: If you want to ensure that your US visa is not revoked and that your reputation remains intact, stay as far away as possible from any action on your part that could, at some future point, come back to haunt you and permanently align your name with controversy/scandals, both in your private and public lives.

PATRICK GALLIMORE

pagalley@protonmail.com