Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal says the lease of the Maltese vessel Jean De La Valette should be stopped and an independent inquiry should be conducted into procurement process for the proposed ferry.
Speaking at his Oropouche East Constituency office yesterday, Moonilal said he had noted Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s response to the issues surrounding the vessel and found he was negligent in the matter. Moonilal said the PM has taken the wrong approach to the concerns raised and it clearly indicates that T&T has another scandal on its hand as there were no procurement rules followed. He recalled there were also problems with the Cabo Star, Ocean Flower II and Galleons Passage which serviced the seabridge.
“Buying a ferry is not buying six apples on the junction. They’ve had a secret deal there. The entire matter is in camouflage, in secrecy and a lack of transparency. I call for an immediate cease to any agreement to buy this ferry and an independent inquiry into the circumstances that led to the Government’s secret deal to obtain a ferry from Malta,” Moonilal said.
“When you bear in mind the connections that the Prime Minister has in Malta with certain members of the business community in this country, I think this deal with the ferry is almost as stink as the fuel they are now selling to the public. I call for an immediate independent inquiry into the purchase of this ferry and they should desist now from pursuing any agreement or arrangements.”
With the Galleons Passage joining the seabridge in late 2018, Moonilal said there was no indication another ferry was needed. Notwithstanding some complaints, he said the Opposition thought the Galleons Passage was settling into the route. However, he said the new ferry just “dropped from the sky” and it shows a level of wrongdoing since not even officials of the Port Authority viewed the ferry and the local team that visited Malta did not comprise anyone with the required technical expertise to inspect the vessel.