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Jamaica at 50: Business Leaders Speak

Published:Friday | June 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM

We have been asking some of Jamaica's leading corporate personalities
to weigh in on what they think Jamaica has failed to achieve since
Independence, and to say what they hope to see achieved during the next
50 years.


Justice and true respect for all do not cost a penny, said the retired businessman. Sameer Younis said respect for family life and family values are missing in Jamaica, and we are feeling the results today, as nothing else can survive for long without these ingredients. "Children do not ask to be born, so adults should give them the love and guidance they need ," Younis said.

He noted that proper infrastructure, access to education and more employment opportunities have also been in short supply over the 50 years. "We have no discipline, many young people are unemployable, work ethic is low and many children do not have proper guidance in the home."

"For the next 50 years, I would love to see all of the above achieved in a positive way so that we can build on a good foundation and move forward as a stronger and more successful country," Younis said.


Ivan Green, chief executive officer of the Christiana Pharmacy and Book Centre, and assistant district governor for Rotary District 7020, said Jamaica is celebrating a milestone as the country observes its 50th anniversary.

"We need to look back on what has been achieved, and if those things planned for were not achieved, how well we will be able to adjust and make the changes going forward," Green said.

Green stated that one of the things that needs urgent attention in the Jamaican society is the current state of the nation's values and attitudes. He said Jamaicans need to redirect themselves and focus on things that are uplifting and can make a positive difference.

"We have become extremely selfish and intolerant towards each other. We must try and appreciate and understand each other's way of thinking, and become more compassionate as a people, as a nation," Green said.

Green said if, as a people, we continue to concentrate on the problems in the country, it will only continue to get bigger. He said instead, we should look at solutions that will alleviate the problems.

"Things have changed because of the survival syndrome. Everyone has to survive at any cost, regardless of who else is involved. They have taken on this attitude and do not think of how they hurt each other.

The survival syndrome, he said, is coming from the state of the economy, the political culture and generations that have changed.

"People look at things differently now. They do not want to wait for things to happen, and many are not prepared to work for what they want. They want everything now," Green said.


Head of the Capital and Credit Financial Group, Ryland Campbell said Jamaica has lost its sense of proper values and respect for each other.

"I would like to see these return to our country during the next 50 years. We have to learn to respect each other, develop a sense of togetherness, so that we can become great and be viewed as a place that the rest of the world respects and wants to come to."