Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh MP.

What did some PNM and UNC politicians want – and wanted to give as gifts – today?

It was simple for Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh who’s been busier than a toy-making Santa all year and continues just as busy this morning visiting Couva Hospital, the epicentre of COVID-19 health care.

Deyalsingh and the ministry’s team have become T&T’s best-known faces this year, steering T&T’s ship between the COVID-19 shoals.

“One wish—for this country to be safe so we can face 2021 alive and healthy as we have more challenges in 2021 from ongoing COVID concerns – plus the new COVID strain coming from the UK.”

“Our numbers are very low. If the public behaves according to COVID protocols, we can all be safe. I greatly thank T&T’s public for co-operating with Government. Without your co-operation we couldn’t have achieved these excellent results. If we conduct ourselves responsibly, I’m fairly confident 2021 will gradually become a better year.”

Opposition presents? “My gift is to ask all to be very responsible in our statements.”

UNC MP Roodal Moonilal said “I wish all my parliamentary colleagues a blessed and safe season. Many gifts come to mind.”

“My gifts for government members, depending on their likes and challenges: for the Prime Minister, I understand he likes paintings. I’d get him a nice portrait of Patrick Manning to remind him of the statesman he replaced and could never be.”

“Colm Imbert—a painting of Winston Churchill to remind him that trying to tax the population into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

“Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi gets a pack of three neckties with matching towels for his pocket. For Stuart young – a picture of Pinocchio. For ‘WPC’ Camille Robinson Regis – promotion to Corporal after all these years.

“For Fitzgerald Ethelbert Hinds, a lovely raincoat with headcover and matching Wilkinson boots for those wet and discomforting visits to constituents. For the Honourable Speaker, a complimentary visit to Value Optical or Ferreira Optical for routine eye check-up and possibly strengthening left lenses of existing eyewear.”

Moonilal added, “As for me, I also like paintings—I’d like a painting of the rising sun, emerging beyond and above the valley of the shadow of death.”

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat, “My gift would be to see fulfilment of my hope for us to come out of COVID, my thoughts are with all families who’ve experienced loss, disruption or separation in 2020.”

“For my Opposition colleagues? Thanks for their services and support. I wish them and their families a Merry Christmas.”

UNC MP Dave Tancoo’s wish: “Mary said yes to God and because of her consent, Christ was born and all of humanity was saved. Today I wish that more people would say yes when asked to help and to honour God by giving selflessly and generously of their time, prayers and resources.”

“People in our neighbourhoods and all over the world are suffering right now. If ever there was a time to embody the spirit of the angelic anthem of peace on earth and goodwill to all people, it’s now.”

“Since the newborn baby Jesus and his parents had to flee to Egypt, one cannot help but reflect on fellow Trinbagonians trapped abroad. The thought of our citizens spending a lonely, miserable Christmas in foreign countries is heartbreaking and has put a dampener (sic) on my own Christmas cheer.”

My hope is that all our people, at home and abroad are safe and healthy, and those in exile would soon be able to come home to families. And I pray Government will commit transparency and equity in its expenditure of the people’s money.”