Sinanan on knife-and-fork doubles: ‘I am cultured’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan. –

ROHAN SINANAN, Minister of Works and Transport, responded to prodding by St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen on his method of dining on doubles by saying he was “more cultured” than Opposition MPs.

MPs went into a small uproar at this light-hearted exchange on June 3 in a sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives when Ameen questioned Sinanan on line items in a $155 million supplementation to his ministry’s annual budget allocation.

Over the long weekend, which included Indian Arrival Day, Sinanan was photographed sitting at a table tucking into the local delicacy using a knife and fork, provoking a social media storm, but being defended by the hosting restaurant owner, citing a sense of occasion.

In the House, Ameen asked about a line item for drainage, then quipped that she would not ask Sinanan anything about doubles.

Sinanan replied, “Firstly, we all eat doubles the same way.

“It is just that I am a little cultured, and you all might be a little…” His words became somewhat inaudible.

Ameen, laughing, shouted back, “No! We don’t all eat doubles the same way.”

Sinanan said, “I had to respond.”

Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh directed his voice at Deputy Speaker Esmond Forde, who was in the chair: “Tell the member he is a visitor to this House.”

Sinanan and Ameen shouted at each other across the floor inaudibly in a mini-melee.

Forde urged quiet, saying, “Members! Members. Members.”

Indarsingh shouted that Sinanan must withdraw his remarks.

Forde ruled, “We know where it started. Proceed!”

Amid continued protests by Indarsingh, Forde said, “As the chair, I will determine accordingly.”