Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King says he approves the legislation that seeks to weed out criminal activity and corruption because it will address the notion of two justice systems in Barbados.
The MP was speaking in the House of Assembly during the debate on the Proceeds and Instrumentalities of Crime Bill 2019 Bill. King said the new law was in place for all classes of people and could transform the justice system once executed properly.
“A calypsonian once sang about ‘justice’ and ‘just this’. A huge number of people in this country especially from the lower echelons in society believe that the law is ‘just this’. It is one Barbados for one set of people and another Barbados for a completely different social class. This bill cuts across everybody and whilst we talked about the businessman and the politician and the politically exposed people, this bill does not leave out anyone. The corrupt policeman, the corrupt officers that you would find in various places or even the people who go to work every day and are involved in these types of activities. It doesn’t pick out any particular class, color or creed…”
While praising his Government and especially the Attorney General for the new law, he lamented the fact that the introduction of the bill was telling. He warned Barbadians to use it as a wake-up call.
“Having to pass these laws at this time should tell our people one thing: that our country is out of ethics. The more and more a society has to pass more stringent laws, the more it speaks to the nature of the people who exist in the land space. It is a wake-up call for all of us that Barbados has changed. And it has not changed for the better. There was a time in this country that even if you brought home something from school that was not yours your family would first want to know: ‘how you bring this thing in my house? Where it come from? Who give it to you?’ Those were the things apart from our National Anthem, the motto and the pledge that made Barbados stand out not only in the Caribbean but in the rest of the world …”
The minister knocked those who come into politics and looked good on paper but “lacked ethics and character”.
“For a number of years persons within the political class were judged only on their academic achievement and not character. So therefore, you open the door for unethical people with great education and fantastic letters behind their names to come in and behave in a manner that puts the rest of the country at risk. That is why we are here today: to try to change and improve on the laws to deal with a problem that was systemic for a long time…”