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Who is really destroying the country?

Dear Editor,

Government officials are transferring their guilt to the population, which speaks volumes to their insecurity and inability to lead effectively. They have assassinated our hopes, and so the ludicrousness of the idea that individuals, and the media, are destroying the country, is an accusation that cannot be further away from the truth. The blistering message to government is a demand to do things differently, because its approval rating is almost zero.    Therefore, this bleak situation should be a wake-up call for the authorities to acknowledge that the most important element in communication is having the ability to listen; and that real leaders stay connected to the inhabitants, in order to provide the best service possible. This is why it is so difficult for our politicians to understand that fixing the problems that are plaguing the country is not about them.

Only last week, the island witnessed an all-time low; when Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs uttered words that reflect the feelings of a man who is agitated and frustrated. It was a shocking moment to hear a leader of a country telling persons to go and commit suicide and how to do it. Then a few days later, when he came under fire from the public, he came out with a half-witted apology - one that is completely useless.

Anyone who expresses regret and still is proud of what he has said did not apologize; it was just a cheeky way to disguise the extent of the insult. So, the reality is that the attack was well-intended, because the words were meticulously placed and timed. If this is the direction in which the press briefings are headed, then they serve no purpose, other than to widen the disparity between government and the people.

The prime minister’s major concerns are: investors will not invest in a country that is politically unstable and that the Dutch will lose confidence in their capability to manage the country properly. Here is my take: The prime minister needs to step into the world of reality. When was the last time that Sint Maarten had an investor that cares about the welfare of the inhabitants? In unison, the people would say, not since the invention of Mullet Bay Resort.

The attitude of all the others has been about them – they have displayed a selfish, get-rich scheme that is evident in their behaviour towards the people of this nation. Investors of this era have ill-treated and disrespected the people by destroying the natural resources of the island; blocked the access to beaches; forced many to work in slave-like conditions and compensate them with meagre salaries.

These unscrupulous investors have failed to value the business of their time share owners, through the lack of integrity, and government has allowed establishments to paint the island with sexually-explicit billboards, without any regard for our children. So Prime Minister, who are really destroying the country?

With reference to the Dutch being fed with information from bloggers and the media, is mind boggling. The Dutch detectives and border police have been here for years and now the Dutch Marines have taken up their residence. The judges, prosecutors and 99% of lawyers on Sint Maarten are from Holland. Besides, how many Dutch persons are employed within the various ministries and other principal offices that handle the internal matters of the country? Who is the Finance Minister? So who are more exposed to privileged information and the mounting ills that are destroying the country? Does the minister think that they would ever go against Holland for Sint Maarten? Not in a million years!

The minister also claimed that his government is busy outing fires that they did not start and actively engaged in cleaning up the mess that was created before he entered office. The questions should be asked: Which politician stated on the verge of election a few years ago, that they will give Sint Maarten back to the people? Then, the prime minister should ask himself, wasn’t he a part of the same party that took Sint Maarten away and gave us 20 years of successive disaster?

It is his party that has consistently refused to build an economic climate that would sustain the intellectual capacity of the returning students. Does the minister remember the situation with Dr. Emma Bell-Wynter back in 2002, and of late, Dr. Randal Friday, just to name a few? Have anything changed since then? So who started the fire and created this mess? Then this is fair game, because whoever ignited the fire should put it out and those who have the island in a tail-spin, have to stabilize it.

Lastly, in the headlines again, another person has been shot, not with a bow and arrow, but with a gun. Where are these guns coming from Prime Minister and who is controlling this segment of the illicit trade? So again, who is really destroying the country? What is manifesting now is simply a backlash of persistent neglect and the only remedy to this situation is to improve the lives of the people through well-intended educational, health and social programmes.

Joslyn Morton

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