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Baha Mar Ceo Slams Govt For ‘Unfulfilled Promises’

Baha Mar’s original developer Sarkis Izmirlian.

Baha Mar’s original developer Sarkis Izmirlian.

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

BAHA Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian criticised the government yesterday for its “unfulfilled promises” and suggested the Christie administration seek “outside help” on crime prevention and education for the country to succeed.

Addressing a Chamber of Commerce summit at Baha Mar’s Melia resort, Mr Izmirlian said he is concerned about a “number of promises important to the future of the Bahamas” that have “not come to fruition.”

“All of us must be concerned about the unfulfilled promise of improvement in the reliable supply of power and the reduced costs of power, we all should be concerned about the gap in necessary education and training programmes that would allow workers to be better prepared for jobs, and we all should be concerned that growth incentive commitments are not viewed as reliable,” he said.

Reduced electricity costs and a pledge to double the investment in education and training were among the pre-election campaign promises of the Progressive Liberal Party. The government has also promised to reform the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, as the utility provider struggles to provide steady power supply to New Providence. However, this process has dragged on considerably with no final announcement from the prime minister despite an initial pledge to have contracts signed by the end of 2013.

“In short, all of us here today need this nation to truly position itself to attract the crucial investments necessary to grow, expand business, and create the necessary financial reward and incentives for the young Bahamians who will graduate from schools over the years to come,” Mr Izmirlian said. “Let us not kid ourselves if we think that today we are competitive versus countries like Dubai or Singapore.”

Mr Izmirlian said that although he “strongly believes that Baha Mar” will enable The Bahamas to be able to compete with the best tourism destination in the world, the $3.5 billion property “in and of itself cannot solve the ills of this country.”

“I can assure you this, there are not that many Sarkis Izmirlians or Sol Kerzners (formerly of Atlantis) out there who would be willing to invest in the Bahamas as we have,” he said.

“We must position this country to succeed for decades to come and we need help. We need to bring in, and listen to, the best minds in education, crime prevention, and government to help us steer through and make us the Singapore of the Caribbean. And by the way, bringing outside help is not bad – it is smart and value added. It is as simple as going to the right person for the right advice at the right time. If you had to get a triple bypass surgery would you go to someone who does one a month or the person who does multiple per day? We should not simply wrap ourselves in the Bahamian flag to protect old habits. Let us wrap the future in the Bahamian flag and give our children the future they deserve.”

Mr Izmirlian said the “esteemed leaders of our community” must pause and reflect on the future of the Bahamas and ask themselves: “Where do we go from here?”

Comments

Economist 3 years, 8 months ago

We have spent 40 years wrapping ourselves in the Bahamian flag to protect old habits. That is who we are as a people.

We have watched the rest of the world pass us by and change their ways but "I's Bahamian". You may do it that way in other parts of the world, but in The Bahamas we do this. Never mind that what we are doing is rubbish. It is who a Bahamian is. Don't try to speak correctly because then we will drag you down to "the Bahamian" standard.

Mr. Izmirilian you need to go another country if you want to find forward thinking people.

Education. NO politician wants Bahamians to have a good education. An educated Bahamian would ask questions and make them accountable.

Look at the 'over the hill' constituencies and see how much has been done for the people since the PLP came into power. Some still don't have running water. But who do they keep re-electing for the past 50 years, yup the PLP. No, a dumb and poor Bahamian is just who the politicians want.

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asiseeit 3 years, 8 months ago

If I had billions, the last place I would invest is The Bahamas, you get swing, sucker.

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duppyVAT 3 years, 8 months ago

........... you gat no ting (cash) ........... you gat swing........... mudda sick

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Stapedius 3 years, 8 months ago

Buzz off Izmirilian. He's pointing fingers everywhere now that the project is delayed. First he lashed out at the Chinese now he wants to blame the government. There's plenty of blame to go around I'm sure but he only need look in the mirror for some of it. He couldn't attract the brands initially, then the Mondrian pull out. Next like we locals say he 'wibing' with Breezes. Problem after problem and want talk promises. The reality is we all have an interest in seeing the project do well but he seems to w ant to sulk and moan. There were lots of errors on the government's part, his and the Chinese part. This attitude that someone else is to blame is typical of a person who has money but is not self made. In other words, daddy's money does well but you can't set up a project of this scale.

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duppyVAT 3 years, 8 months ago

Money talks ...................... bullshit walks ................. Chinese swing this guy big time and Perry cant help him now. Chinese money and labour = Sarkis is only the front man .. Sandy is the bell boy.............. getting in bed with these Chinese is bad bad news

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Economist 3 years, 7 months ago

You got that right DuppyVat. Agree with you completely.

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Voltaire 3 years, 8 months ago

He seems to have just figured out that the contractors and the government are friends. No one is on his side. #squeezedout

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goodone 3 years, 8 months ago

The Bahamas had help before though. That's how most Bahamians learned proper english through the British english teachers. Police forces were brought in to teach Bahamians how to police the streets and what not. Maybe outside help isn't so bad. It helped before. I think he's right in some levels. Just my opinion

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Stapedius 3 years, 8 months ago

Agreed. Nothing wrong with help but he all around pointing fingers lately.

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goodone 3 years, 8 months ago

I notice that he is pointing fingers. Maybe he's been in the Bahamas too long. Bahamians point fingers too. Is it okay for only Bahamians to do that and not investing foreigners to state feelings too? He sees what Bahamians see. A weak or incompetant government

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 7 months ago

To Z's credit, for several years now he has tried to have the major issues addressed behind closed doors. Going public is the result of Z's frustration with the years of lip service Christie has given to the major issues. Just about everyone in the Lyford Cay community now refers to Christie as the long winded tongue wagger who gets nothing done unless there is something in it for Christie and one or more of his cronies.

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