Police Investigating as Trinidad PM Gets Abusive Calls after Opposition MP Gives Out Telephone Number on Social Media

Opposition MP Devant Maharaj is being blasted for sharing the Prime Minister’s number on social media.


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday December 10, 2018
– Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley was forced to change his phone number after an Opposition Member of Parliament circulated it on social media.

United National Congress (UNC) MP Devant Maharaj posted the number on Twitter last Friday, urging members of the public to call and register their complaints about the sea bridge between Trinidad and Tobago and the performance of the Galleon’s Passage vessel which services the sea bridge.

And in a statement issued over the weekend, Rowley revealed that he had since been the subject of “abuse and threatening behaviour” that warranted the involvement of the Commissioner of Police.

“For very many years, I have maintained the same telephone number. Upon assuming office I continued to keep that same number and used it effectively for private and public business. Very many of you members of the public have used that number, appropriately, in your moments of need or simply to wish me well on a daily basis.

“As of Friday, December 7, 2018, Mr Devant Maharaj of the UNC, obtained my telephone number and has maliciously published it in the widest possible way on social media and further he has encouraged and incited persons to harass and threaten me,” the PM said.

Rowley said that as a result of Maharaj’s “act of gross misconduct and in my desire to serve you in a sane and sober manner, I regret that I will be discontinuing the use of the number that you might have known and used at some time in the past.

“I am saddened by this because I always felt connected to you just as an ordinary citizen whose phone number was widely known and available to the responsible public but this being the times in which we live and the technology available to the lowlifes like Mr Maharaj I have no choice but to access and use another number which you will become familiar with in the normal decent way,” he added.

Meantime, National Security Minister Stuart Young said Maharaj’s actions warranted a criminal investigation.

“The publication by Devant Maharaj of the personal contact information of the Honourable Prime Minister is an all-time low and worthy of a criminal investigation,” he said in a statement to media houses.

“He has continued inciting people to use the Prime Minister’s information to, at the minimum, harass the Prime Minister and at a maximum, expose him to harm.”

Young said he considered Maharaj’s actions to be a “dangerous and a clear indication of the Opposition’s desperation and confirmatory of the type of destructive actions that they and in particular, he, engages in.

“It is plainly wrong and even dangerous to circulate publicly the private information of any citizen and that includes public officers,” he added.

Far from being apologetic, Maharaj published Minister Young’s telephone number as well.

The Newsday newspaper reported Maharaj as saying that he was not sorry for circulating Rowley’s number, stating that the Prime Minister was a public official and needed to be in touch with the people.

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