Lady Allen joins me in welcoming each of you to King’s House for this very important ceremony to swear in new Ministers of Government. I extend a special welcome to those of you who have joined us via electronic media.
This afternoon we continue the process of forming a new government after the general election, by swearing in members of the Cabinet, who in the Prime Minister’s judgement possess the ability to partner with him in the leadership of this country to carry out the mandate that has been given to them.
Before I proceed to swearing them in, please allow me to congratulate the Ministers and offer you my best wishes and prayers, as you embark on this epic journey of impressive proportion, at a time of great national expectations. Let me undergird and repeat the word ‘epic’, lest peradventure its implication escaped anyone’s ear. One of the definitions proffered for “epic” by the Collins concise dictionary is “an episode in the lives of men and women in which heroic deeds are performed”.
The reality of your parliamentary composition and the expectations of the people, will require, in some instances, that you do the seemingly impossible. The people of Jamaica have given this administration a mandate and they expect a government that will work for them and serve them well. You may have to climb out of the proverbial box sometimes, and do creative things, to show them that you care and that you understand those expectations.
Let me also ask of you that as you strive for prosperity, you undergird your decisions and actions with the values ‘that money cannot buy’ and which our nation needs in order to enjoy the benefits of the progress made.
Above all, as you avail yourselves to advise the Governor General when required, in accordance with the Constitution, please remember also that you keep in confidence the matters of Cabinet which you hold as a sacred trust. Trust broken cannot be easily restored.
Today, a number of women will begin their service in the new Cabinet. It is also the eve of International Women’s Day. Kindly join me in saluting these women who are distinguishing themselves in service to our nation.
By accepting the PM’s invitation to be part of the government you all are indicating your willingness to commit yourself to service for all Jamaicans and to assist him in the realization of the policy and programme objectives of the Government.
I wish you success in all your service endeavours.
I now invite you to come forward when indicated to be sworn in or affirmed.