Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, had visited the ailing Minister earlier this week.
Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips says he is saddened by the news of the passing today of Mrs. Shahine Robinson, noting that although she was ailing for some time, the news of her death is shocking.
He said she was a hard-working politician and Cabinet minister who conducted the affairs of the ministry with dignity and decency. Over the years she had gained her the respect of her parliamentary colleagues on both sides of the political divide.
On the political hustings, she was formidable and organised. “Shahine had good relationships with persons on both sides of the aisle and pursued her job with basic decency,”
Shadow Minister of Labour and Social Security, Horace Dalley, says he is saddened by the news of the death of Mrs. Robinson, who he described as a close family friend.
Dalley said he knew Mrs. Robinson long before her journey into representational politics and despite the sometimes sharp political rivalry, particularly in the halls of parliament, he and his siblings maintained a close relationship and friendship with her and her family.
He said he will always remember the fun times between both families, especially between his siblings and Shahine’s family.
Former Prime Minister P J Patterson, in his tribute, said: “Robinson was a political opponent — and I daresay a formidable one — but whilst we were on opposite sides of the political divide we certainly were not adversaries.
“In fact, during my own period of hospitalisation in 2019 she had been undergoing treatment at the same time and came over to me after being discharged to wish me a full recovery — a gesture that touched me to this day and is now rendered even more profound,” said Patterson.
He added: “The nation mourns a committed, effective and personable professional who will long be remembered for her robust pursuit of the improvement in quality of life for all Jamaicans.”
Robinson, a protégé of former JLP leader Edward Seaga, came to national prominence in 2001 after she pulled off an upset in the 2001 by-election in St Ann North Eastern, defeating the PNP's Carol Jackson by 473 votes.
This made her the second Labourite to outrightly win the seat in 14 elections since adult suffrage came into effect in 1944. The only other JLP candidate to represent the constituency was Bobby Marsh, who defeated the PNP's Vinroy Brown in the massive JLP landslide of 1980, which ended with the Edward Seaga-led party winning 51 seats to the PNP's nine in the then 60-seat Parliament.
She was forced by the Courts to resign the seat in December 2010, as former member of parliament Manley Bowen challenged her election as she had become a citizen of the United States and as such was not eligible to sit in the Jamaican parliament.
The Court ordered her to pay legal costs of $15.3 million to Bowen. She went through with the formal renunciation procedure and obtained a Certificate of Loss of Nationality in December 2010.
Shahine reached an out-of-court settlement to pay Bowen $4 million, just over a quarter of the $15.3 million in legal costs he sought.
She served as Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for local government in 2007, and in 2011, was promoted to Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for local government in the Ministry of Housing, Environment, Water and Local Government headed by Dr. Chang.
She was appointed as Minister of Labour and Social Security in March 2016, following the JLP’s victory in the general election held a month earlier.
Mrs. Robinson was born on July 4, 1953 to parents Peter and Kathleen and raised in Claremont, St. Ann.
She graduated from Immaculate Conception High School and went on to Miami Dade College in the United States, where she earned an Associate Degree in Marketing and a Diploma in Public Relations.
On October 26 last year, her younger brother, Peter Fakhourie, who unsuccessfully contested the St Ann South Eastern constituency against Opposition MP Lisa Hanna in 2016, died of an undisclosed illness.
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