New Senate Vice President: Dr Muhammad Yunus Ibrahim

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New senate vice-president Dr Muhammad Yunus Ibrahim – Dr Muhammad Yunus Ibrahim

New senate vice-president Muhammad Yunus Ibrahim has only sat in the Upper House for less than a year, but welcomes the Prime Minister’s confidence in him to serve in the position.

In a surprise Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, Dr Rowley appointed Ibrahim and made his predecessor Nigel de Freitas Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries with responsibility for Lands.

Born and raised in Port of Spain, Ibrahim has been a member of the People’s National Movement for several years and was appointed a government senator on June 11, 2021.

He is the nephew of TT’s first senate president under the republican Constitution, the late Dr Wahid Ali, who served in the position from 1971-1986.

The Parliament website says Ibrahim made his maiden contribution on October 19, 2021, during debate on the Finance (Supplementation and Variation of Appropriation) (Financial Year 2021) Bill.

While relatively new to the Senate, Ibrahim said he understands the importance of his new duties and will do his best to serve the country.

In an interview last week, he told Newsday, “Since I’ve been in the Senate it has been a steep learning curve, but it has not been impossible.”

He said he understood the seriousness of his new position, “as it is an adjudicating position for debates and for the managing of the parliamentary processes.

“It is a very significant role…in the process of democracy to allow balance and to allow fairness for the purpose of debating bills and to bringing matters of importance to the country.”

As he settles into the new role, Ibrahim said de Freitas has offered assistance.

He also thanked former senator and minister of agriculture, land and fisheries Clarence Rambharat for helping him adjust to the Senate.

“I was nurtured and ushered into it through the stellar leadership of Mr Rambharat, who will be missed sorely as the Leader of Government Business.

“I really congratulate all other persons who have had new positions and, as per usual, I wish them the best in their endeavours and seeing about the nation’s business as laid out by the Prime Minister.”

Ibrahim sits on the Committee on Land and Physical Infrastructure and the Joint Select Committee on the Fisheries Management (No. 2) Bill of 2020.

Though he foresees extra work, Ibrahim doesn’t think his new position will affect his committee duties or vice versa.

“The role of the VP may put on my plate a few more responsibilities…but I look forward to remaining on those committees to continue the service that I have started at this level to my country.

“Being in the serving arm of the government, and the legislative arm of the government, it truly is an honour and it is really a wonderful process to be part of.”

Ibrahim, a dental surgeon, has a BSc in biochemistry and doctor of dental surgery degree from UWI. He is a fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, where he became an accredited implantologist.

In 2005, he opened San Juan Dental Clinic and Implant Centre, which also offers facial aesthetics services. Ibrahim told Newsday he has actually been involved in San Juan’s business scene since 2000 and has a deep love for the community.

A former director of operations at Ramish and Leela Supermarket, Ibrahim is also a past president of the Supermarket Association.

He is a devoted Muslim and has served on the Capital City Mosque’s board of directors.

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