Letters to the Editor

Obamacare was rushed, don't rush NIDS

Friday, November 17, 2017

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Dear Editor,

When I see my party going over a cliff I'm going try my best to stop it. I'm not going to be a 'yes man' and follow blindly over that cliff. History will show that at least I was one of the lonely voices out there issuing the warning.

The Jamaica Labour Party talks about consultation and yet is not seen to be doing so, especially not with its base.

I can bet my last dollar if the party commissioned the Trinidad and Tobago pollster, Derek Ramsamooj, to test the atmosphere, the party would have to think twice about this national identification system (NIDS).

Former US President Barack Obama is always compared to Andrew Holness in a positive way, yet many people are not looking at the fact that Obama's signature Bill, Obamacare, was rushed through. We all know what happened afterwards; the Republicans undermined it and won elections off the flawed Obamacare.

Even the Pentagon has been hacked. If our NIDS gets hacked the Opposition will have a field day.

We elect politicians, not technocrats, therefore politicians should know that they answer to the public and technocrats answer to them, not the other way around.

I recommend the following changes:

1. The CEO of the system should be selected by the Lower House by a simple majority or two-third majority.

2. Making biometrics mandatory only after being arrested, when travelling, and for high-level security employment positions, eg security forces, airport Customs, etc.

3. NIDS ought not to be mandatory for using some essential services.

4. A waiver could be signed by a person/a relative requesting not to be registered for religious beliefs and/or confidential reasons.

5. Repeal offences and penalties for NIDS.

If these recommendations are adopted, I know the Church, civil society, and the Opposition will accept it.

Teddylee Gray

Ocho Rios, St Ann

teddylee.gray@gmail.com

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