‘Psych tests for all developers’

Shane Gibson in the House of Assembly.

Shane Gibson in the House of Assembly.


Tribune Staff Reporter


LABOUR Minister Shane Gibson yesterday defended Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell’s public warnings to Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian, and suggested that the government should now begin performing “psychological evaluations” on all foreign developers seeking to do business in this country.

Mr Gibson also blasted Mr Izmirlian for “acting contrary to the policies and rules of the Bahamas.” He said Mr Mitchell had a right as foreign affairs minister to scold Mr Izmirlian, whom he said believes that “because he has couple dollars, believe that he could come to the Bahamas, and talk to us and the prime minister any way he feel like.”

He further slammed Mr Izmirlian for referring to Baha Mar’s staff in company memos as the resort’s “citizens.” He also criticised members of the Free National Movement, specifically the party’s Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest, for opting to “defend an individual against their country.”

Mr Gibson’s statements yesterday were the latest in a public back and forth between government officials and Mr Izmirlian, since the developer of the $3.5b resort filed for bankruptcy in a US court. Mr Mitchell has come under fire this week for warning the resort CEO that his permanent resident status in the country could be revoked after his “attacks” against Prime Minister Perry Christie.

“Why can’t he say that? He’s the foreign affairs minister,” Mr Gibson said in the House of Assembly yesterday. “The minister of labour didn’t say that; mind you I could. The minister of the environment didn’t say that, the minister responsible for immigration said that.

“If I give you permanent residence – I give it to you, you’re a good corporate citizen, and under that (premise) I give it to you. Then I, in my determination, decide that you are now acting contrary to the best interest of the country, why can’t I say that I will take it back? Why can’t I say that? What’s the big deal with that?”

Then, in offering his own criticism of the Baha Mar CEO, Mr Gibson said: “I could go through the list of all our major developers throughout the Bahamas where we didn’t have any problems at all. All of a sudden this one man, because he got couple dollars, believe that he could come to the Bahamas, and talk to us and the prime minister any way he feel like.

“Maybe as a part of our overall assessment, when we are looking at allowing developers to come to the Bahamas, to look at having them do a psychological evaluation. All developers, we won’t discriminate. All developers will need to look at having a psychological evaluation.”

On Monday, during an Emancipation Day speech, Mr Mitchell said an invitation should be extended to Mr Izmirlian “to consider making the appropriate steps to live elsewhere” if he cannot conform with the expected conduct of “economic guests.”

He added that Mr Izmirlian’s recent “attacks” against Mr Christie were “offensive” and “incompatible with the status of someone who is not a Bahamian citizen.”

Mr Turnquest, however, subsequently branded Mr Mitchell’s warning as “inappropriate, unbecoming, and out of order.”

Shadow Immigration Minister Hubert Chipman also slammed Mr Mitchell for his “rabid attack” on Mr Izmirlian, adding that his “belligerent language” has harmed this country’s reputation.

However Mr Gibson said yesterday: “There’s some things that are beyond politics, some things where it is just patriotic to do the right thing and support it. Don’t draw politics into everything. So when members on the side opposite go up and defend an individual against their country, that is a serious thing. Some things are just beyond politics.”

In a memo sent to Baha Mar employees on Tuesday, Mr Izmirlian said in his 13 years working on the project, he never imagined he would be “fighting” with the government over the $3.5b property.

He also said the project was being “usurped” for political reasons.

PULL OUT QUOTE: “I could go through the list of all our major developers throughout the Bahamas where we didn’t have any problems at all. All of a sudden this one man (Mr Izmirlian), because he got couple dollars, believe that he could come to the Bahamas, and talk to us and the prime minister any way he feel like.

“Maybe as a part of our overall assessment, when we are looking at allowing developers to come to the Bahamas, to look at having them do a psychological evaluation. All developers, we won’t discriminate. All developers will need to look at having a psychological evaluation,” Shane Gibson.


Required 8 years, 1 month ago

I couldn't agree more. Anybody willing to invest their hard earned money in a place run by this crew certainly needs to have their mental faculties questioned.


HarryWyckoff 8 years, 1 month ago

Maybe as a part of our overall assessment, when we are looking at allowing developers to come to the Bahamas, to look at having them do a psychological evaluation

Oh. My. God.

These are politicians. High ranking Government people.

The international embarrassment and shame this crew are bringing on the Bahamas is never ending.

Truly ashamed to be part of this nation.


Sickened 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't think that we will EVER be able to get passed this current embarrassment.

This guy has no concept of the long term damage that he is causing our country. China never thought that taking over The Bahamas would be so easy. They don't even have to work for it. They are just sitting back and letting our coconut heads fight for the right to be called the dumbest.


TheMadHatter 8 years, 1 month ago

You are correct. The magnitude of the problem here, is comparable to the economic impact 9-11 had on the USA.

The things that they say (and actually believe it and mean it) are .... well I can't even think of a word that describes it.

They may as well go out in the morning and shut down the airport.



The_Oracle 8 years, 1 month ago

Should administer “psychological evaluations” to all politicians first and foremost! Mandatory ethics courses would go far as well, though they'd all achieve the national grade average. 98% of them would be weeded out by the above two criteria. How about along with financial statements we require "outside children counts"? Default loan information? Bounced checks declarations? Arrogant, ignorant and self serving.


pablojay 8 years, 1 month ago

"Required" , man you beat me to it------ anybody whom Perry Christie could swing to invest $1 billion here gatta be crazy!!!


Wideawake 8 years, 1 month ago

Not only psyche tests for members of the House of Assembly but also for all persons who voted PLP or DNA at the last election! This would have to be an extremely easy test; three-way multiple choice; just tick the appropriate box; dumb, dumber and dumbest!


pablojay 8 years, 1 month ago

If there is only ONE POSITIVE THING to come from this BahMar saga is that it has shown us and the world the type of individuals we have elected to govern our dear country. But sadly,it is ,using an adjective that Perry who loves Webster uses profusely, a 'STUPENDOUS NEGATIVE '


Sickened 8 years, 1 month ago

No offense to monkeys but these guys really are a bunch of screaming, chest thumping monkeys.

We are actually living the next sequel of The Planet of the Apes!!! Can you imagine... filming live in The Bahamas the newest in the series of the Planet of the Apes movie... The Fall of the Islands of the Apes!!! We even have the token white guy in the Key (no pun intended) decision making position who is playing both sides.

Anyone have any contacts at Netflix???


Regardless 8 years, 1 month ago

The Minister needs to start with his good buddy Peter Nygard!


concernedcitizen 8 years, 1 month ago

They are trying to cover their a@@ ,,When this mess goes south and Sarkis starts to tell who had their hands out btw 2002 and 2007 to do this deal in the beginning


DonAnthony 8 years, 1 month ago

How about a psych test for these delusional, hypocritical, narcissistic, corrupt members of parliament who are destroying our beloved country?


abacogrouper 8 years, 1 month ago

WTF!!! Is this for real? 'Whom the gods would destroy...........' Unbelievable.


Economist 8 years, 1 month ago

Let us not forget that the is the Minister who had the connection with Anna Nicole Smith.....so what type of investor is he looking for?.....drug over dose....sex....interesting choice Minister.....psych test....interesting


BaronInvest 8 years, 1 month ago

Here is Democracy for Dummies :

If you are too weak and not strong enough to deal with critics without kicking those critics out of your country you shouldn't be in the government at all.

You are actively ruining the economy on a daily basis and the trust that this country is democratic and values free speech, which is the fundamental to democracy.
Just by reading these statements any foreigner who wants to invest into the Bahamas should indeed have a psych test - that's something i agree with you. Most of the ministers i'm reading about here i wouldn't trust to be able to turn hamburgers properly.


banker 8 years, 1 month ago

If it weren't our country, this would be pure comedy. Nobody is at the tiller and all of the kindergarten babies in the cabinet are running wild. Perry Christie's head has left the building and no one is in charge of anything.


asiseeit 8 years, 1 month ago

This man is a sphincter blowing hot air, his head even looks like a but plug, maybe he should use it to do said job and save the nation from his stench.


Well_mudda_take_sic 8 years, 1 month ago

Shameless Shane should be first in line to get his head examined....a new bump seems to appear on his shiny head every few months ....... one of his fellow MPs enjoying a cold beer and some conch fritters at Arawak Cay the other day jokingly referred to him as "Bumpy"!


hj 8 years, 1 month ago

Is this a stupidity competition? I mean every single day after the Baha Mar Fiasco,someone from the governing party will get up and say something really dumb. Outsiders who are watching the Baha Mar saga,must have come to the conclusion that the people living in these islands must be the dumbest on earth. For the love of God, STOP TALKING.


jackbnimble 8 years, 1 month ago

Jesus. I think we are finally gone.


Reality_Check 8 years, 1 month ago

And Christie by his silence has endorsed everything said by Mitchell and Gibson! Without a shadow of doubt, Christie has much to hide from the public eye as this can be the only possible explanation for his own abhorrent behaviour. Fear of something being uncovered that you know you should not have done will always create irrational behaviour born out of an acute sense of desperation.


ThisIsOurs 8 years, 1 month ago

Desperation is right, when people who owe you money tell the world, "I think I might have trouble paying some people I owe", your first reaction is PANIC.

I firmly believe that Mr Christie has said nothing because these guys are saying exactly what he wants to say, but he wants to keep his hands clean. It's his modus operandi. "No one can say I've ever done anything dirty". It's a real wonder though that so many people doing dirty rise to the top when he's in power...control of the NIB fund...my God....this mathematical equation is simply unexplainable.


Wideawake 8 years, 1 month ago

Right there in Baha Mar doing the back stroke in a swimming pool filled with vomit!


John 8 years, 1 month ago

SHAKESPEARE said it best : "he that is giddy thinks the world spins round". Meaning this government is crazy as hell so they thinking everyone else is crazy! As it relates to Fred Mitchell "it takes one to know him."


ThisIsOurs 8 years, 1 month ago

this is what pisses me off about representatives like Shane Gibson, they CHOSE to give themselves for public office, that says to me that they realized the awesome responsibility they have on their shoulders. Yet it's clear he has ZERO knowledge of the constitution. This prerequisite is already there

No person shall be qualified to be elected to the House of Assembly who is a person certified to be insane or otherwise adjudged to be of unsound mind under any law in force in the Bahamas.

Chase dem crazy bald heads outta town


Islandgirl 8 years, 1 month ago

Really Shane? I actually think a psych evaluation should be administered to all potential voters to determine their eligibility. If you are easily bribed, live in an era long past (see 1960s to 1980s), and are not grounded in reality, believing in this circus that is the modern day PLP, then you should not be allowed to vote. How many of us lament that it is people like these that have landed us in this mess, giving up their vote for so little to hand power over to your corrupt government? You also need a psychiatric examination if you, your leader and the cabinet think that all this smokescreen bull is swaying the thinkers among us. Shut up. You all have destroyed this country and every time I think it cannot get worse you people find a way. Are you all even thinking about the long term ramifications for this country and those of us not on the take by the actions, stupidity and power tripping you are displaying? Just how will we recover from this? We went on a fast ride to hell when you all came to power, with a minority of the votes. Even the pre-1992 years, marked by the shame of this being a corrupt, drug infested nation, doesn't seem as awful as this. Question is, who will do the clean up for us now? Twenty three years onward and you all have managed to undo the cleansing that the first FNM government achieved for us. You of all people, with your track record, should not be speaking. Good God please deliver us.


Wideawake 8 years, 1 month ago

Great post, Islandgirl, but the trouble is, how many of our Bahamian voters are thinkers like you and the others that post on this site? PLP politicians like Gibson and Mitchell know what happened in recent elections, and trust and believe it will happen again. Race card being played, less educated voters being convinced that only the PLP will protect the natives against the greedy exploitive foreign devils, banknotes in T-shirts, government contracts for cronies, web shop funding, and now, perhaps, plenty Chinese dollars!!

Have we yet reached a point where the critical mass of voters will do what is just and right for their country and not sell out their birthright for a ham or turkey or some 50 year old racist claptrap??

I think the Opposition have a great deal of work to do, both within their party and through their dialogue with our electorate if they are to re-gain control of The House of Assembly. PLP like Potcake with bone! Watch out if you try and take it away....too many have too much to lose, ...to lose!!!

This time it will require the participation of not only the usual political operatives, but all Bahamians who love their country getting involved and putting our beloved Bahamaland back on track!!!


Tarzan 8 years, 1 month ago

I seem to remember that Shane likes to do his psychological examination of potential permanent residents on a bed, but only after, as an expression of good family friendship, they have given him an expensive wrist watch.

Perhaps that is the kind of psychological examination he is promoting.


OMG 8 years, 1 month ago

"economic visitors" what a bloody joke. These tin pot politicians have no concept that potential investors have many places to invest and don't invest for the pleasure of the Bahamian Government. Mind you these politicians have their savings, property, shares and overseas bank accounts so why should they worry. . A total laughing stock in the world is what we are .


newcitizen 8 years, 1 month ago

Exactly! They seem to miss the point that once you invest your money here, you're no longer a 'guest' or 'visitor'.


Craig 8 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if they conduct psych test on cabinets members. If they don't perhaps that should, based upon their words and actions. Where do they come up with stuff from. These people should not be in leadership positions in our precious countries.


laisee 8 years, 1 month ago

Do any of these 'Ministers" realise how this is playing in the canyons of Wall St, or The City? The Bahamas is being viewed as more and more a banana republic. Potential investors will avoid the Bahamas like the plague. As for being a 'guest', if you invest in a country you are no longer a guest, you are an investor with a vested interest in that country. Alsoe aware Chinese money does not come without large strings, just go and ask any number of African countries.


banker 8 years, 1 month ago

"Anna, it's Shane. Thanks for the Rolex."


truetruebahamian 8 years, 1 month ago

This jackass should be the first to have his head examined!


Bahamianwoman 8 years, 1 month ago



Chucky 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest we as a nation must be on the verge of financial ruin, bankruptcy or something; what else could drive such nonsensical attacks against and investor?

We must need this online now, and without it we can't make our debt payments? Why else would they attack an investor, as if we drive one investor of this caliber away, we will never get another one.

One thing our political fools are not considering is how well the worlds elite stick together. Izmerilain can lead a charge to crush our nation if we're not careful!

I'm not even gonna mention or suggest what it's possible for him to do or have done to the leader themselves..............I'm sure many people are worrying about this!


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