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What are we really about?

Dear Editor,

Over the years I have experienced many things in life which as the bible says were and will be. Yes, I have seen many proverbs (warnings) come to pass. Meaning we have had the opportunity to know. They were there more than a hundred years and the oldest person alive is 116 years, so I can declare indeed they were there before all of us.

We have also had opportunity to know that when we get plenty that it is expected of us to do good with whatever the plenty is. That is in the bible. And if anyone tells me he/she does not read the bible, then let them go back as far as they can remember and see how often they needed help from someone because they could not do it all by them self.

Just imagine what would have become of them if no one cleaned them as a baby. We also know that not everyone is cut out to do the same thing. And then we should also know that no matter how much money you have you are going to need people to help you.

Yes I said help you, because that is what it is. We all help each other all the time. By working for you I am assisting/helping you in accomplishing what you want to accomplish because you cannot do it yourself.

One of the sayings which is known world-wide and has become a motto or slogan for many is "what goes around comes around." "Karma" also. And there is the one: "When you dig a hole for someone you must dig two." In Dutch it says "wie een kuil graaft voor een ander valt er zelf in." That is in tandem with "ik zal je nog eens krijgen."

I read that the Chief of Police De Witte said that Bouwman also had been given an update on where the local Police Force had begun and where it is at the moment. It is not clear to me what he means by "when it begun." It also says "an update," which could be either positive or negative. Personally, I believe it is the latter and since we are in proverbs mode, the reason why I say it is the latter is because a popular saying here on Sint Maarten goes "the fish always starts to stink from the head."

I came to work on Sint Maarten in 1975 and there are a whole lot of people both here and abroad who have enjoyed Sint Maarten over those years and they will tell you that they do not know anything about people shooting at police and police shooting people in this country. If it is not so, statistics can prove us wrong.

They will also tell you that they never knew anything about high day robbery with revolvers on this beautiful island. Let Chief De Witte compare his statistics, which from the time he took over were never clearly published. There was even a period where there were no statistics from one year to the other to make a comparison.

A spate of high day robberies in Philipsburg and totally nothing is being done about police presence. I said it before¬ – you cannot walk in town without stumbling on a security guard yet nobody sees anything. I am sure Mr. Bouwman is still in the region and I hope he gets an update on that also, because several times Chief De Witte has alluded to the progress of the police force but since he took over there was never a clear picture of the progress.

I get the impression that De Witte wants to impress upon us that since he took over much progress has been made, but where is the concrete evidence for the public? The evidence that the public has is the increase in high day robberies. The people are not interested in paperwork, what they want to hear is less robberies and see more police presence. Robberies as recent as Thursday July 24, at 11:15am. And no one has taken him to task.

I listen to speeches on days like July 17, and think, wow. We go out of order and put MPs in their place but offer the police chief a carte blanche. I believe the chief is making use of that eight-day story that the former PM used to talk about. Karma? You know "be careful what you wish for."

Nothing is done about the little things. Is it only me hearing rumours of increasing numbers of outdated French number plates used on vehicles of many owners of those 2000 plates that were not collected?

Robbers are escaping on scooters without number plates but daily we are seeing scooters being driven over the whole island without number plates. Does Chief De Witte really want to compare then and now?

I did not read that there was insufficient information given to the public as was with the case of the Ombudsman. Neither did I read any demand for an explanation from the Minister of Finance for not cooperating with MP. G. Pantophlet in getting the verdict in a case which the government lost. I believe that pressure should be put on the Prime Minister for a different format or for more press conferences. I do not think it is the duty of the Ombudsman to give a detailed explanation to anyone who is not directly involved in any case that is being handled by the office of the Ombudsman.

Besides that the Ombudsman is not an educator and just like the newspaper not duty-bound to educate. If this is volunteered for the sake of the public, it is to be applauded and not ridiculed when one is not satisfied.

When I am writing these pieces I am sometimes prompted by certain brainwaves. The Dutch term "Tendentieuse berichtgeving" comes to mind. Not me, the people need to know and to be informed correctly and not how I Russell thinks it should be. How I think it should be is that the out-of-control rising price of food should be controlled. A hungry man is an angry man is not a line in a calypso to make it rhyme. A hungry man is truly an angry man. When one is hungry he does not want food, he needs food.

The Lord is not against wealth because He blessed many people with it. What I believe is that He is against the unethical way in which one acquires wealth and the wrong way in which it is used. By now we should know that when the Lord provides you with plenty of anything it is expected of you to share it with those who need it. Do well to remember that we are here to help each other in more ways than one.

Russell A. SIMMONS

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