I WRITE to offer a brief response to Mr. Sase Singh’s letter published in the Guyana Chronicle on Saturday, December 3, 2016, under the caption, “Sase Singh’s take on the budget.” When I read Mr. Singh’s opening paragraph, which said, “This 2017 Budget has caused me to reflect on a question I have always toyed with all my adult life: Why can truth and politics not go together?” and his claim of the positive influence on him from a writer on India, I became excited at the thought that my mind was about to be exposed to an enlightening discussion by him on what is required to take this country forward.
Given the moral concern expressed by Mr. Singh, on the need for truth in politics, I expected an objective analysis from him on the budget and not the usual politically partisan interpretations that have now become the norm. In his review of the budget, Singh sees nothing positive. More importantly, he shamelessly repeats the PPP’s propaganda line of “doomsday” for the economy and country. His remarks could have been construed as fair comment, only if he had not stated his lifelong concern that truth and politics should go together.
I am not interested here with Singh’s forecast on the budgetary measures, since that is not the focus of this letter, and he is entitled to his opinions, neither am I concerned here with the fact that his letter was nasty and low and not becoming of a civilized public debate. However, I am not prepared to ignore Singh’s profound dishonesty in dealing with the budget, bearing in mind that he is not a layman when it comes to economic matters. How could he in good faith claim that VAT on electricity and water will put serious burdens on the working poor/”small man,” ignoring the fact that the measures will affect only households with light bills above $10,000 and in relation to water, only households whose bills are in excess of $1.500. In both cases, the majority of the poor and working-people households will not be affected by the VAT.
I chose this simple fact to expose Sase Singh’s dishonesty. This simple truth in relation to the budget Mr. Singh finds it difficult to concede. His intent is not objective analysis. Instead, in his resolve to ridicule and cuss out the coalition, he abandoned his stated concern for truth in politics. I conclude by saying that Mr. Singh in his letter has indeed demonstrated how elusive truth can be in relation to politics. Even with the inspiration of his motherland (India), he fell far short of this noble ideal.