Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Patterson warns Cabinet keep hands clean
The Gleaner
Monday March 25, 2002


Prime Minister and President of the People's National Party (PNP), P.J. Patterson raises four fingers signalling his commitment to a fourth term in office, while addressing a huge crowd at the James Bond Beach, St. Mary, Saturday night. - Rudolph Brown/Staff Photographer

PRIME MINISTER P.J. Patterson says he will not tolerate corrupt practices by members of his Cabinet and has warned them to keep their hands clean or face the consequences.

"Anytime I find any one of you putting your finger in the cookie jar, a gone you gone," he warned from the platform in St. Mary Saturday night.

His comments come against the background of several scandals now rocking the People's National Party (PNP) led Government, including those involving the NetServ/Intec Fund and Operation PRIDE projects and charges by the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) that the system was riddled with corruption.

Mr. Patterson, addressing a large crowd of supporters at the James Bond Beach, at a "bashment" celebrating his 10th anniversary as leader of the party, admitted that the Government had made mistakes.

"Yes, we made some mistakes, but we were in hurry to get things done," the Prime Minister said.

He also argued that when anything goes wrong, his party exposes it and calls in investigators to probe the matter, an apparent reference to another scandal involving fraud at the Ntional Land Agency.

"The worst thing they can do is call a PNP man a thief. This Government has never brought a convicted felon and asked the people to vote for him. So if you live in glass house, don't throw stones," said Mr. Patterson.

Mr. Patterson will celebrate his 10th anniversary as Prime Minister on March 30. He was responding to statements made by the JLP, that the PNP were like a 'puss' family supporting each other's actions.

"They call me all sort of names. They call me black scandal bag and describe me as all sort of things, but is my business they want to know," said Mr. Patterson.

Turning to issues of governance, he promised to provide more jobs and keep inflation down while defending the Jamaican dollar, to continue educational reform and deliver quality services across the various communities.

He said that come April 10 he will be breaking ground for Highway 2000, Jamaica's first toll road.