How more clean can Mr Ali come on academic qualifications?

Dear Editor,
Please permit me to respond to an article entitled “‘Integrity on the line’ David Hinds urges Irfaan Ali to come clean on academic qualifications”, appearing in the Stabroek News’ April 08 edition.
The subject of the letter is self-explanatory, so I would go straight into my response. First, Dr Hinds is an academic and a politician. Though he might be more of the former than the latter, his punches are all undoubtedly tendentious.
Allow me to expound. Mr Ali, ever since questions were raised about the authenticity of his certificate, was sincere enough to stand by his words, and furnished — as promised — the media with all his certificates. Such unprecedented gesture by any standing politician undoubtedly confirms his high level of uncompromised integrity. Hence I do find it quite preposterous for someone who is ostensibly cognisant of academic standings and procedures to stoop so low to deliver a low-blow by questioning the integrity of someone who, by all means, epitomises integrity.
Are we about to witness another “catch-65 absolute majority” scenario with the reinvention of the word “integrity”? Will we now go down the line citing various definitions proffered for the word “integrity”? Or is it simply a matter of obliviousness or deliberate ignorance, hence on this raft Dr Hinds is now seeking to boost his relevance in the political arena?
It is public knowledge that Mr. Ali submitted all his certificates as promised. Similarly, it is also well established within the public domain that he is soon to receive his PhD in Urban and Rural Planning from the University of the West Indies. Cynics who doubted his qualifications and took it upon themselves to investigate the authenticity of each are now shell-shocked and dead silent when confronted with the truth from the various academic institutions — that indeed his certificates are authentic. It is a pity that self-consciousness and humiliation are now the deciding factors for not proffering any public apology to him.

Underlying Motives
Mr Ali is the presidential candidate of the PPP/C, a party that now represents — based on last local government elections – 65 per cent of the populace; hence he is well within range of securing a landslide victory at the next regional and general elections. On the academic side, he is the holder of two masters’ degrees, and is soon to earn a PhD. Currently, he is on a countrywide visit to meet with the people to discuss contemporary and future concerns and challenges. In so doing, not only will he strengthen his relationship with the people at the grass-roots level, but better understand their needs. Hence the calling out of Mr Ali on the principle of integrity is nothing more than an act of desperation by the Government, to divert attention from the ongoing corruption-fuelled media frenzy.
Any graduate would concur that it is a gross level of absurdity to publicise one’s personal academic transcript. No one has to see what grades you scored in your various courses.

Timothy Isaacs