MONTEGO BAY, St James — DEPUTY Speaker of the House of Representatives Lloyd B Smith has articulated the need for more young intellectuals in Parliament.
"Although I am now a politician myself, I do not hesitate to say that we need to see more young, educated, sensible people in the House of Parliament," said Smith, who is also the Member of Parliament for Central St James. "I am 65 -years- old and I am soon in the departure lounge and I worry where are we going as Jamaicans."
Noting that talent abounds in Jamaica, Smith also bemoaned the migration of university students from the island.
"There are tremendous talents out there and so many of our young people are doing very well, but, what is one of the harsh realities even as we approach our 50th year of political Independence is that some 80 per cent of our university graduates, after they have graduated, migrate," he said.
"And so one of the things that is affecting us in a very real, terrible way is the brain drain in this country. It is right across the board; we even see it in our politics, tremendous brain drain," Smith added.
However, the MP, who was speaking at the installation ceremony of the Rotaract Club of Montego Bay, held at the Wexford Hotel on Sunday, said he was heartened by the display of leadership and commitment from members of that group.
"As I sat there and saw these young men and women carrying out their various tasks as Rotaractors, I said to myself, all is not lost in Jamaica. We have quality young men and women in this country who will, I am sure, ensure that Jamaica does not go under," he said.
"The tragedy, of course, is that we are still in an environment which is good to be bad... and so we find that on the surface it would appear that all is lost. But underlining the Jamaican psyche, underlining the Jamaican socio-economic landscape are these young men and women who will make a difference," Smith added.
Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30 years old and which can be either community or university based.