Mon | Jan 17, 2022

Letter of the Day | PM should lead security ministry

Published:Thursday | December 2, 2021 | 12:07 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Andrew Holness in Opposition said he wanted us to be able to sleep with our doors and windows open, when elected. The next general election big issue isn’t going to be about COVID-19, corruption or the economy, it’s going to be crime. Prime Minister Andrew Holness sounded like a security minister at his party’s 78th annual conference. He sounded more energetic and seem to have more passion for that portfolio than his deputy, Horace Chang.

When Holness was in Bruce Golding Cabinet, he was seen as the best Cabinet minister, followed by Chris Tufton. I’m a person who always think outside of the box, hence, what do we have to lose with the prime minister taking the security portfolio?

I’m on record for wanting Dr Christopher Tufton as Minister of National Security because the public view him as the best performing cabinet minister. However, what if he doesn’t want the job? We have no option but to try another new person. Stick with Horace Chang or Holness taking over that portfolio.

The finance portfolio is the most powerful one, and that was headed by Edward Seaga when he was prime minister. Jamaica was in an economic crisis and the late prime minister led the recovery by putting himself in charge of that ministry. The biggest threat to Jamaica for the past three decades is crime, and having a prime minister to lead that fight isn’t a bad idea. Holness is already the defence minister so adding security isn’t a bad idea. But if anyone takes this suggestion seriously, it can only work if the economic growth and job creation ministry is removed from the Office of the Prime Minister to facilitate the security portfolio. So the prime minister would only be in charge of defence and security and let Fayval Williams or Aubyn Hill be in charge of the economic growth and job creation ministry.

I know many accuse the prime minister of behaving like a dictator – the perception of being a police state. But my question is, what do we have to lose with having the most capable person to be in charge of the most challenging portfolio? Some will argue against it because it’s a political gamble by having your best player in charge of a problematic portfolio, but it’s a risk that should be made. Andrew Holness, if successful, could get another term as prime minister, and if not successful, he could retire from politics after being in for over 20 years. Having a prime minister leading the fight on crime isn’t a foolish idea.

TEDDYLEE GRAY

teddylee.gray@gmail.com