Moonilal: A Snake in Balisier House

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By Prior Beharry

THE unanswered question as to how the new headquarters of the People’s National Movement is being funded is a snake in Balisier House.

This according to Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal in a response to an exclusive comment Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley gave to AZP News.

Dr Rowley told AZP News that Dr Moonilal and Naparima MP Rodney Charles were trying to tarnish the accomplishment of the construction of a headquarters at Tranquility Street in Port of Spain.

He said, “As usual Roodal Moonilal is lying. He hopes that by this lie he, like Rodney Charles, is hoping to tarnish our phenomenal accomplishment of building a new Head Office after 67 years of existence.”

Balisier House under construction in April 2023.

Dr Rowley added, “We have had this project going actively for 13 years as we systematically built up the resources before we started (on land that was purchased decades ago by our visionary founders. Have you asked Moonilal for his EVIDENCE to support his jealous slander?

But in response, Dr Moonilal said, “This is the latest disgrace from a political party whose John O’Halloran built massive monuments in downtown Toronto, Canada, with taxpayers’ funds and whose Minister Desmond Cartey casually confessed that ‘all ah we thief.’

“The funding scandal is a snake in Balisier House and a shameful legacy of Rowley’s leadership of PNM.”

Speaking at a Monday Night Forum of the United National Congress on April 3, Dr Moonilal alleged that the reason why the Central Block of the Port of Spain General Hospital cannot be completed is because money is being pumped into the construction of Balisier House. Universal Structurers won the tender to complete the Central Block after Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) withdrew from the project earlier last year.

In his statement on Saturday, Dr Moonilal once again asked Dr Rowley if there was a link between three stalled project – The POS Central Block, the Red House and Balliser House.

Dr Moonilal said, “Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley still has to tell the country how the PNM rose from $4 million in the red to construct a $100 million super-structure within a decade.

“Rowley must also advise the nation why the procurement legislation was proclaimed only after the construction of Balisier House.

“Further, the Prime Minister must say whether a prime builder of Balisier House got a sweetheart contract on the Central Block of Port of Spain General Hospital, which it has been unable to complete within the stipulated time.

“I ask the prime minister to identify the company and personnel linkage between three stalled and cost overrun projects in Port of Spain – the delayed phase one of the POS Central Block, the Red House perennial leak and Balliser House? A public inquiry must be held on the Central Block project and the cost overruns and inability to fix both chambers at the Red House.”

The opposition MP said, “For the benefit of aspiring entrepreneurs, Rowley must also detail how the PNM soared from an inability to honour $4 million in debts in 2015 to fund its costly high-rise tower.

“To all those who have held bar-b-ques and raffles to finance lifesaving surgeries, the prime minister must enlighten on how the PNM was able to raise $100 million from such activities.”


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