PM joins property-tax debate despite being ‘ill’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley – File photo by Roger Jacob

Despite appearing to lack his usual vigour, the Prime Minister contributed to debate on the Property Tax Amendment Bill 2024 in the House of Representatives on Monday.

After Princes Town MP Barry Padarath concluded his contribution, Dr. Rowley rose to speak.

He told Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George, in a slightly hoarse voice, “I crave your indulgence and apologise for my physical condition which might restrict me in taking part in this debate.”

Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis and Finance Minister Colm Imbert each activated two microphones on either side of Rowley to allow him to be heard clearly.

Rowley did not give any indication of what was the physical condition that he alluded to. But he said felt it necessary to make his contribution to the debate.

He subsequently made his full contribution without any difficulty.

Government officials were unaware that Rowley had any serious illness.

One said, “His voice sounds a little under the weather.”

At a news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on February 2, Rowley said he would be leaving the country in April for a vacation.

He added that this trip would be for ten days and during that time he would have his medical assessments done.

On January 10, 2022, Rowley, 74, was discharged from the West

Shore Private Hospital in Cocorite, days after undergoing surgery to clear blocked arteries. In 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic, he tested positive twice and made a full recovery.