Eyewitness: Transformation…


…in Dubai

Well, you could’ve knocked your Eyewitness over with a feather – and he ain’t no featherweight! – when he saw Guyana on display in Dubai over the last few days. He’s an inveterate consumer of all the dailies…but, somehow, he missed any announcement (if there was one) of the size and breadth of the delegation and its engagements. He remembers a discreet little piece on the swearing in of PM Mark Phillips as acting President while President Ali was going to be visiting the Dubai Expo 2020, along with Min of Culture, Charles Ramson.

But they definitely took along an entourage!! We saw some of them in the cultural extravaganza that showcased our culture. Most of the costumes – especially the females’ – evoked a sort of Latin American ambience of Carmen Miranda!! But your Eyewitness guesses the times are a changin’ and we have a continental destiny!! Guantanamera forever!! Anyhow, a whole lot was done by our delegation – led by the President, as he worked the town to get businesses to move down to our dear mudland.

There was a delegation from the Private Sector, and this was positive in more ways than fishing for foreign business opportunities. By just having the top politicians and businessmen together in spectacular, super modern and booming Dubai has to pay off. Hopefully, they’ll learn that when we got independence, Dubai was still a backwater desperately trying to pull itself up by the strength of sheer will power. Unless what some might think, Dubai only struck oil in the same year – 1966 – but it was never of the size of its neighbouring UAE states.

The leader, however, had already transformed his small Emirate – smaller than west Demerara! – from the sleepy village it was into a trading destination, because, like Lee Kwan Yew, he had a vision that transcended his country’s physical size and lack of natural resources. He was determined to make Dubai into a West Asian trading hub. He wheedled and hustled, and today the world can admire his transformation of a sand covered piece of real estate into the hottest tourist destination on the planet. They have the tallest skyscraper in the world, with more five-star hotels than you can throw a stick at!!
But it all started with the Sheik building a harbour and port and an airport. You can’t be a hub If you can’t get traders to trade!! Well, Jagdeo signed off on an airport here…and we urge Pres Ali to get that Berbice Deep Water Harbour completed and connected to the Highway to Brazil.
Most astounding, however, is that the native Dubai population is just 15% of the 3.3 million residents.
Do Guyanese realise we might soon be outnumbered?

…of Police

We all know our Police are challenged: it would be foolhardy to even try counting the ways in a single newspaper article! But he notes that the authorities – the MoHA and the AG – are reviving an innovation that was tried by the PPP Government during their last iteration – Community Policing Groups. Hopefully, this doesn’t signal that they’re giving up on trying to straighten the GPF – even though he knows it’s more crooked than barbed wire!! That task, however, will take leadership of the calibre of Hercules – and frankly, he was the son of the god Zeus!!

So, did the CPGs do so well the last time that they’re worth a return engagement? Frankly, your Eyewitness doesn’t think so. The problem was they were neither fish nor fowl – while most of the recruits were quite foul! Instead of fulfilling their missions to deal with the challenges in their community, they simply threw their weight around.
And tooled around in their 4-wheel pick-ups as another power-drunk layer.

…of roads

With the number of fatalities on our roads rising exponentially, it would appear we’re literally taking our lives into our hands when we place those hands on a steering wheel.
Will a drivers’ continuing education programme help?