OCHO RIOS, St Ann — President of the St Ann Chamber of Commerce Leopold Williams says Jamaica will continue to experience serious problems unless the country undergoes a moral awakening.
Speaking at the 22nd installation luncheon of the Optimist Club of Ocho Rios on Sunday at the Almond Tree Restaurant in Ocho Rios, Williams said that Jamaica could have done better in the last 50 years and needs to ensure that it improves for the future.
"As a people, we have succeeded to some level, but we could have done far better than what we did. We need to ensure that in the next 50 years we do better than we did in the past 50," Williams said.
"Too many dishonest people are in our country, running our country, and that is the problem," he added.
Williams said many of the problems faced by the country are not due to financial needs, but a lack of morals.
"We have a moral issue in this country. People we have put to manage our funds have ripped it off... unless we have a moral awakening in Jamaica we have a serious problem on our hands," he said, making reference to reports done by the auditor general which cited irregularities in a number of government agencies.
Williams encouraged Optimists to not be afraid to speak out against immorality in Jamaica.
He also called for politicians to encourage entrepreneurship as a way forward.
"Our politicians in Jamaica — both sides of the fence — we tell the people that we can provide jobs and that's a lie. No Government in this country will ever be able to provide jobs for everybody. They must tell the people that they need to help themselves," Williams said.
Citing that the educating of young people is also important to the development of the country, Williams said the youth should also be guided in making better decisions for themselves.
He said that he was in the process of setting up a foundation as he wants young people to be able to accomplish their dreams through scholarships and other ways possible as there are many young persons who want to be educated, but lack the resources.
On Sunday, the Optimist Club installed Denis Richards as its new president. He takes over from Donald Rowe and will be serving in the capacity for the second time.