New Berbice MP to take representation to higher level
By Leon Suseran
February 7, 2012 | By KNews | Filed Under News
Source - Kaieteur News
Faizal Jaffarally, MP
New Berbice Parliamentarian, Faizal M. Jaffarally, moved up the ranks of the People’s Progressive Party over the past 30 years.
Born at Number 50 Village on the Corentyne, Jaffarally, one of 13 children for his parents, attended Leeds Primary School after which he went on to the Line Path Secondary. He was involved in politics from a very early age having joined the Progressive Youth Organization and then the PPP. He attended the New Amsterdam Technical Institute where he did a course in City and Guilds Welding.
He attended the Islamabad University in Pakistan where he did a programme in Social Work and returned to Guyana where he became involved in the Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG) as Coordinator. He formed the Muslim Youth Organization (MYO) and was involved in community activities. He was a one time member of the Berbice Cricket Board and Berbice Boxing Board.
Jaffarally now has a voice in the National Assembly where he said he would continue to represent the issues of Berbicians. Representing issues is nothing new, he told Kaieteur News. The Community Relations Officer (CRO) attached to the Office of the President (OP) said that he has been representing the issues for quite some time now under his portfolio which he has been holding for a number of years.
“Look at agriculture—15, 20 years ago— farmers were forced to leave and abandon their lands, but due to the massive investment in drainage and irrigation… to date we have more than 60,000 acres of rice under cultivation and that is history to Region Six and we are actually competing with Region Five. More farmers are returning to the lands. Cash crops have seen an upward swing.”
He believes that education and education delivery have improved “considerably” and Region Six is in par with the national average, a strong “indication of the government’s commitment to education where the resources are being distributed evenly.”
Today, he said, all of the main thoroughfares in the Region, with the exception of the East Bank Berbice road, have been rehabilitated. The East Bank Road, he noted, is kind of a touchy issue since a number of funding agencies are reluctant to fund the project given the meager population of persons living in the mostly farming communities along the Eastern Bank of the Berbice River. The deplorable state of the road has been a contentious issue for years now. “The population will not compare with the amount of money to be spent on the road, however government is committed to rehabilitate the roadway early this year, as soon as the budget passes.”
Jaffarally feels “very humbled to be given the opportunity to serve Region Six. Most residents of Region 6 know my proactiveness…we have gone to these communities and based on their representation, we have been able to bring a number of resolutions to various issues raised by people.”
He particularly mentioned when the residents of Greenfield, Port Mourant, raised the issue of a broken bridge in the area and how it was quickly looked at and rehabilitated. At Mara, on the East Bank of Berbice “we were able to empolder the entire area for the benefit of the farmers there based on their representation.”
In Parliament, Jafarally will place “emphasis on agriculture since this is an agricultural area. He stated that if the young people see the “possibilities and opportunities in agriculture…we will be able to have more of them turning to agriculture.”
The environment and youth empowerment are also other areas he plans to focus on. “I want to see more programmes coming on stream to empower them. We can make them entrepreneurs, self employed.”
He is working with a number of sports clubs in Berbice helping them to spruce up their grounds in places like Fyrish, No 55, Sand Reef and New Amsterdam.
He is planning Open Days with various communities, “and these days will be published so Berbicians can know when their Member of Parliament will be able to meet and interact with them.”
Touching on the new political culture in parliament, where for the first time since returning to power in 1992, the PPP does not have a majority, Jaffarally noted that the political opposition “has lost a unique opportunity to let the government have the Speaker of the National Assembly.” He noted that conventionally in other countries, the largest party has the speaker.
He feels that the Alliance for Change (AFC) has “gotten shafted” and “with due respect to Moses Nagamootoo, he is the biggest loser in this whole scenario”.
“He was promised the Vice- Presidency and never got it as well as the Speaker, but the PNC, APNU and Raphael Trotman maneuvered behind the scenes and he [Moses[ was left in the wilderness.”
Speaking about the budget, he added, “No country in the world—yes you can have consultation and input—will call the opposition and say, ‘hey you prepare the budget for us”, that is government’s responsibility.”
He noted that the government has been consulting several organizations and stakeholders “having ideas and what they would like to see in the budget but we won’t give the budget to the opposition”.
“I am happy the President has made it very clear, it is the responsibility of this government to prepare the budget.”
He urged the parties to put aside all that happened in the campaign and “let us move forward to build Guyana”.