Last update: 04-Dec-2013 10:40 pm
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Lee Sing: Focus on can-do
Outgoing Port-of-Spain mayor alderman Louis Lee Sing wants Afro-Trinidadians in society to look to businessman William Munro as a beacon of hope with a view to reversing the negatives that now plague them. Speaking at Friday’s launch of Munro’s Red Edge Wholesale and Retail Store on the Western Main Road, St James, Lee Sing advanced this position. At a time when the entrepreneurs of this ethnic composition were quickly shrinking, he said, and when any news related to the Afro-Trinidadian segment of society was quickly followed by “bloodshed, mayhem and gunplay,” Lee Sing hoped that Munro's continued success will positively re-energise this lagging group. He said, “It is a rare occasion that I see people of African descent ascending in a difficult arena such as business. Over the long period I have known Mr Munro, I have looked upon him, always as a person that is serious about his future and serious about his people’s future. Mr Munro, I have long felt, is not an African, but a Jew, because those of us who have any history of the Jews know that the Jew strives in the most heroic and difficult situation and William Munro has been able to achieve, despite all odds.
I believe William Munro is one of a rare breed in the African elements of our society, who appreciates the words ‘can-do.’” During his stewardship as mayor of Port-of-Spain, Lee Sing said he has been listening to people all day telling him why things cannot be done. In his view, the words were western in origin, citing that the citizens from the Asian continent always took positive approaches to anything they did. “But in T&T and I guess in parts of the USA people tell you it can’t be done. William Munro is one who tells you, ‘it must be done,’” Lee Sing said. Lee Sing was convinced that the opening of the new enterprise marks the rejuvenation of the business climate and aesthetic in St James. He then lashed out at Earl Crosby, chairman of the St James Improvement Community Improvement Committee and Opposition chief whip and MP for Port-of-Spain South Marlene Mc Donald for challenging and ultimately quashing his traffic plan, which he believed would have brought greater financial rewards to St James. Under the controversial plan rolled out by the Port-of-Spain City Corporation, the Western Main Road and Tragarete Road catered for one-way vehicular traffic heading east, while Ariapita Avenue, also one-way directed traffic, in a westerly direction. “If we had that traffic plan, you would see how business would boom in this place. We might have lost some sales in the initial stages, but once people got to grips with the process and the routes you would have seen the traffic passing, people would have known where to go and park and it would have become a paradise,” he said.
While he expressed optimism that Red Edge would surely not be the only venture Munro will explore in the area, he said the veteran businessman’s classy approach would force wayward entrepreneurs in the area to enhance the aesthetics of their properties. Lee Sing said, “St James deserves more than it is giving itself. We cannot have a situation where at every corner somebody selling aloo-pie and doubles. It is being done under the most unsanitary conditions and the people who patronise it, more than any, are just as guilty as the people who sell it on the pavement.
“You can’t accept as a people, a lady laying down a table and selling roti in the midst of all this carbon monoxide and dust. It cannot be acceptable and you encourage it when you cue up there to buy roti.” He added, “I have said to vendors throughout the city, that vending is not something that must be permanent for an entrepreneur, but there are people in this city who have made vending a permanent way of doing business and that is wrong. I have no objections to the State and the city providing facilities for people to get going. You start off as a vendor, but I want you to end up like William Munro and it requires planning and dedication and commitment.” He said it was a fallacy for vendors to believe that setting up a well-constituted enterprise meant that they would not attract the usually high sales they enjoy when compared to bringing delicacies to the people. Expressing hope that the management of Red Edge would discourage vending on its spanking new property, be it day or night, Lee Sing called on other businessmen in the area to do the same.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.