MONDAY'S reopening of the scrap metal trade was marred by the early-morning theft of several pieces of iron furniture from the Red Hills, St Andrew, home of Opposition Member of Parliament Pearnel Charles. The incident has re-ignited the debate about whether Jamaica stands to lose more than it will gain from the trade, which was shut down by the previous Jamaica Labour Party Government amidst widespread theft of metals from individuals and businesses and damage to the country's infrastructure. Below are reaction from Jamaica Observer online readers to yesterday's lead story, which was published under the headline Return to anarchy.
Anthony Hylton should be held personally responsible for the replacement of persons gates, grilles, metallic furniture, etc, that will be stolen by these criminals. What does this man and his cohorts have for brains, old iron?
This scrap metal trade should not continue, it is another nail in our country's casket. Mr Charles is right; there is more to lose than to be gained. With the level of indiscipline in this country, the scrap metal industry will ruin other functional sectors... and this has been evident... roadways, manhole covers, drainage grills, bridge rails, copper cables (telecoms sector) , and not to mention the manufacturing sector. Let's face it, these thieves care about nothing but personal gains. At the end of the day every one suffers. I say prime minister, reverse this decision to rekindle the industry now. How can you be for nation building when you license its destruction? Very soon people will start defending their property and livelihood from thieves. This will be another fiasco on your hands. The seeds for a rebellion is unconsciously being sown. Thread carefully. I personally do not condone anarchy.
And this is just the beginning.
Jamaica does not produce enough industrial waste to be able to sustain the metal trade. This is an opportunity for criminals to wreak havoc on the country's infrastructure, whatever is in tact. Why the JLP/PNP can never have a consensus? Why one has to find a reason to defy the other? So the JLP banned the trade, and the PNP says, we can restore the trade with better enforcement. And here we are, back to square one. New day, same old problems.
You know it is bad when in a cemetery in MoBay these guys are digging up coffins and removing the metal ornamentation.
I must agree with Mr Charles: There is no trade in scrap metal in Jamaica, but will be at the expense of people's property. It's only a matter of time the various cast iron monuments around the island start disappearing.
We hate to admit it, but Jamaica is on its way to becoming a failed state. We are not far now; bad politics and bad policy are killing this country.
Run wid it Hylton, run wid it! "Eat a food" time again. ...Run wid it until all Jamaica ends up at one of the scrap yards. Then we will be that much closer to Haiti as comrade Peter Phillips predicted.
The strict guidelines will turn off some persons. That's Jamaica's number one problem -- nobody respect rules and regulations.
Why don't Mr Charles install surveillance cameras, so that we can capture the scumbags? How long has he been around to know that people have to protect their homes? It is time to wake up!