In Guyana, at the start of a new year, it is customary for us to look back, review and assess what took place in the previous year. Those who are poor resent their plight and wonder if there is any hope that their lives will improve in the New Year.
Those who are wealthy are counting their bottom-line transactions and plan how to continue to become wealthier.
From wherever or however one assesses the situation, the last 12 months have been a year full of events, good and bad, presenting our society with dangers as well as opportunities. However, the year 2018 most certainly cannot be described as usual, dull, unremarkable or uninteresting. Those with a crystal ball could not have foreseen what transpired in Parliament on Friday December 21, 2018. They did not see that a Member of Parliament on the government side would have voted with the PPP in support of the no-confident motion to topple his own government.
Looking back, 2018 was an eventful year, despite all the gloom and doom and the defeat of the government which stunned Government supporters and left many wondering about the future of the country.
But no matter how one slices it, 2018 will go down as another peaceful, dramatic and challenging year for Guyana, its people and mostly the government. Apart from the end of year drama that unfolded in Parliament, the country had to grapple with problems of the economy, high unemployment, health care and education etc. However, there was a decline in road fatality; homicides, serious crimes and unsolved murders.
While the passage of the no-confidence motion was a major set-back for the government, the greatest news of all was the large quantity of oil found offshore Guyana and its impending production in early 2020.
As we start 2019, we have a lot of work to do. We have a nation to build, a land to reform, and a people, especially youth to inspire. Our seniors need the assurance that their labour was not in vain. They need good healthcare, adequate water supply and protection from the criminals.
Our youths need to know that their hard work in school was not in vain; their talent and skills must be utilized in the rebuilding of the country. We must say NO to those who want only to see their party in power, regardless of how much that desire divides and destroys the nation.
We must also say NO to comments that disparage the people and the country, especially since those comments are now circulated worldwide by social media. Say no to the criminals with ill intentions who seek to destroy our peace and transform our communities into zones of violence and crime.
Many are hoping that in 2019, the police will get an even better grip on the lawlessness that pervaded our society in 2018 and in previous years, and that schools, religious institutions, organizations, families and the government will come together and address the underlying factors that are pushing our youths towards crime. Putting youths in prison is not the answer.
However, on the brighter side of things, Guyanese all over the world are hoping for a peaceful and prosperous 2019, especially with the impending production of oil.
But for us to achieve significant progress in the economic, political, social, cultural, environmental and international spheres, we must put our differences aside and work assiduously for the better of the country. 2018 might have been an eventful year, but we hope 2019 will be much better.
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