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Editorial

Jamaica Says Goodbye to the Great Hon. Edward Seaga

Alaina Hull

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced today, May 28, 2019, that the former Prime Minister took his last breath surrounded by friends and family in the hospital in Miami, Florida where he was being treated. In an address from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister stated;

“It is with great sadness that I inform the nation of the passing of the Most Honourable Edward Phillip George Seaga, the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica. The family of Mr. Seaga has asked me to express gratitude on their behalf for the many prayers and messages of comfort and support offered by the people of Jamaica.”

What can one truly say about a pioneer, a leader, a husband, a father, a friend; a man that dedicated his entire life to the amelioration of his country? In the words of B. R. Ambedkar

“A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society.”

The Most Hon. Edward Phillip George Seaga, ON, P.C., LL.D., was just that, a servant of the Jamaican society.

Born on May 28, 1930 to Phillip George Seaga and Erna Seaga, Edward showed great promise from very early. As a teen, he attended the Wolmer’s Boys’ School and later Harvard University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in the Social Sciences. Seaga begun his political career in 1959 and has never looked back since then. Nominated by the founding father of the Jamaican Labour Party (JLP), Sir Alexander Bustamante, to serve as part of the Upper House of the Jamaica Legislature in the Legislative Council, Mr. Seaga became the youngest member, at 29, of the Legislative Council.

He went on to become the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica and served a term of nine (9) years (1980-1989) and opposition leader from 1989 to 2006. In his many years, the former JLP leader has amounted a great number of accolades such as member of her Majesty’s Privy Council, Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award and honourary degrees from several US universities.

The family here at Jamaican Medium would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family of our fallen leader, a great Jamaican, Most Hon. Edward Seaga.

 

The commitment to deliver knowledge and information to the world is a duty that one should not take lightly; it is one that I do not take lightly. Equipped with 10 years of professional writing experience, and even more so of "scribbling in a journal", I aim to provide in-depth, accurate and expeditious news and information. "Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air."- Henry Anatole Grunwald [email protected]

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Editorial

Jamaica Says Goodbye to the Great Hon. Edward Seaga

Alaina Hull

Published

on

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced today, May 28, 2019, that the former Prime Minister took his last breath surrounded by friends and family in the hospital in Miami, Florida where he was being treated. In an address from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister stated;

“It is with great sadness that I inform the nation of the passing of the Most Honourable Edward Phillip George Seaga, the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica. The family of Mr. Seaga has asked me to express gratitude on their behalf for the many prayers and messages of comfort and support offered by the people of Jamaica.”

What can one truly say about a pioneer, a leader, a husband, a father, a friend; a man that dedicated his entire life to the amelioration of his country? In the words of B. R. Ambedkar

“A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society.”

The Most Hon. Edward Phillip George Seaga, ON, P.C., LL.D., was just that, a servant of the Jamaican society.

Born on May 28, 1930 to Phillip George Seaga and Erna Seaga, Edward showed great promise from very early. As a teen, he attended the Wolmer’s Boys’ School and later Harvard University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in the Social Sciences. Seaga begun his political career in 1959 and has never looked back since then. Nominated by the founding father of the Jamaican Labour Party (JLP), Sir Alexander Bustamante, to serve as part of the Upper House of the Jamaica Legislature in the Legislative Council, Mr. Seaga became the youngest member, at 29, of the Legislative Council.

He went on to become the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica and served a term of nine (9) years (1980-1989) and opposition leader from 1989 to 2006. In his many years, the former JLP leader has amounted a great number of accolades such as member of her Majesty’s Privy Council, Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award and honourary degrees from several US universities.

The family here at Jamaican Medium would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family of our fallen leader, a great Jamaican, Most Hon. Edward Seaga.

 

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Editorial

Jamaicans Need to Get More “National” – EGC Chief

Alaina Hull

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EGC Chief

With the Jamaican economy poised for growth, more and more foreign investors may swoop in and buy assets here. That may not augur well for the future of the country in general and the Jamaican public in particular. Major Jamaican assets must be owned by the locals and for this, the people here have to start saving. This was the important message conveyed by Michael Lee-Chin, the Chairman of the Economic Growth Council (EGC). He felt there has to be a paradigm shift in the way Jamaicans handled their finances.

Make a Habit of Saving from Earnings

The tendency among the general public is to practically spend all that they earn, leaving no savings in their banks. This is not a healthy situation for any economy.  According to Lee-Chin, people must put away at least 10% of what they earn in some form of savings or investments that can be tapped into later. Ideally, such savings must be used to buy assets like property. He gave the example of Asia, where the savings rate is high which enables some of those economies to do very well. Foreign businesses and investors can come here, setup their businesses, provide employment to Jamaicans and so on. That can help the country and the people very much. However, if the foreigners end up buying land and buildings here, that does not help the Jamaican economy. They will repatriate the profits they make here, to their respective homelands. In the long run, this can result in the prices going up and the economy suffering.

The ‘National’ Spirit Must Prevail

What the EGC Chairman is advocating, is a mass movement in Jamaica that needs to be encouraged on a large scale. Besides saving money in their bank accounts, the public must find ways to invest in stocks and other instruments which will indirectly boost the economy. If an aspiring Jamaican entrepreneur knows that people are inclined towards making investments in businesses, he or she will make some bold moves and begin a startup venture. That is how the local economy will get a boost and over time, Jamaicans will be owning and managing Jamaican assets and properties. Mr. Lee-Chin, in his speech, referred to the Harlem locality in the US which has been practically taken over by foreigners. He said there is a lesson to be learnt from that as far as Jamaicans are concerned. In terms of location significance, Jamaica is no different from Harlem, he mentioned.

Jamaicans are therefore encouraged to start saving!

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Editorial

Bank Fraud – Is the Legal System Too Weak to Punish the Guilty?

Alaina Hull

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When crimes go unpunished in any system, the criminals get emboldened to commit more offences. The banking infrastructure in Jamaica has reportedly suffered a loss of $750 million in the past year, as a result of bank frauds. However, the number of convictions for such financial frauds is unacceptably low at best. Where is the deficiency in the system? Lack of adequate staff in the investigative arm? Weak laws that let the criminals get away easily? Inadequately trained manpower to establish and convince the court of the frauds? It could be a combination of all these factors. The solution might also lie with all the stakeholders within the system.

The Investigative Team Must be Strengthened

Within the policing system worldwide, a quick and effective investigation, filing the legal charge sheet with the evidence gathered, result in getting convictions. When there is a decent rate of conviction, that is, the number of cases where the courts agree with the prosecution and reign down due punishment, compared to the total number of cases filed in the courts, the crime rate can come down. Criminals will know they will be caught and punished and will hesitate before they indulge in their next crime. The current state of affairs in Jamaica is the exact opposite of this.

To begin with, the Fraud Squad within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is reportedly short-staffed. Even if one assumes there is adequate manpower, there is no clarity on their levels of competence in investigating these financial frauds. The criminals use advanced technology and software and the investigators need to be well informed and always a couple steps ahead to catch them, get them before a judge and ultimately locked away.

Courts Too Lenient?

There is the general sense that the courts too, do not consider the cases brought to them to be of a serious nature. They may feel the banks, in any case, cover the losses due to frauds through insurance and there is really no single, individual, victim. This may result in the cases being pushed to the background and justice delayed. The general allegation is that complaints to the Fraud Squad made back in 2018 are yet to be acted upon by the Police. The worst part of this is that the average Jamaican loses confidence in the system. There are cases of those who have lost money through bank frauds, but have not even gone to the Fraud Squad and registered a complaint.

That does not speak well about the police-legal system of a modern nation.

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