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Insight: Believing In Bahamians?

Prime Minister Perry Christie.

Prime Minister Perry Christie.

The Prime Minister will have to attempt to sell dreams in his Budget Communication this week in an effort to cover up his administration’s failings, Malcolm J Strachan says . . .

This week, the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Perry Gladstone Christie, will be presenting his Budget Communication to Parliament.

Within this document he must address the most pressing issues facing this country - crime, unemployment, education and, of course, Baha Mar.

In what should be a time for our Prime Minister to boast of his achievements in office over the last four years, instead we will likely be greeted with an excuse-ridden theatrical address, filled with platitudes and latitudes of all kind.

To put it colloquially, ‘dreams will be sold’ on Wednesday. But, for Mr Christie it may be too little, too late.

Last Thursday evening, noted radio talk show host and attorney, Jeffrey Lloyd, blasted the Government’s handling of the economy and focused his most pointed criticism at the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) mishandling of Baha Mar.

The resort, which should have been the jewel in his administration’s crown, is now poised to be the one element that will sink the PLP’s entire government.

Mr Lloyd, who previously served as the head of that resort’s Leadership Development Institute (LDI), decried the lost futures of those thousands of young people who this Government will now turn to and ask for their votes.

We believe Mr Lloyd was absolutely right in his criticism, which we will echo below.

Over a year has passed since the resort filed for Chapter 11 protection. The Government of The Bahamas, through the Attorney General’s office and the Office of the Prime Minister, fought and blocked that motion, ultimately placing the resort into receivership, where it now languishes today.

Thousands of young, bright, enthusiastic Bahamians have lost their jobs as a result. The future of that development has been taken out of the hands of the Bahamian people, and placed squarely at the feet of the Chinese Government.

Bids have been put forward for the project, chief amongst them being the original developer Sarkis Izmirlian, who has put it in writing that he would make the bank whole, along with all of the Bahamian unsecured creditors, including the thousands of young Bahamians who are owed monies to this day.

Mr Izmirlian is also offering to re-hire all of the former Baha Mar workers and get the resort completed utilising Bahamian contractors to finish the three per cent that remains. No other bidder has come close to this offer.

The value on completion of this project stands at a whopping $600 million. We believe this deserves, repeating. That’s $600 million for local Bahamian contractors to finish the resort.

T

he Prime Minister himself has acknowledged the generosity of this offer, and has urged the Chinese Export Import Bank (CEXIM) to look at it seriously and soberly.

It gets Bahamians back to work and adds a tremendous boost to our ailing economy - especially the construction industry. Because let’s face it; the only other development taking place in New Providence is The Pointe, and only Chinese workers are working there.

Now to add insult to injury we understand that our Prime Minister is actively promoting a deal between the CEXIM Bank on finalising a deal with China Construction America (CCA), the same company that did all the shoddy work at Baha Mar in the first place, to have CCA finish off the resort so that the Prime Minister can say there is movement taking place at Baha Mar.

What a disgrace! In 2016, in the midst of what will be an election year, our Prime Minister, OUR Prime Minister, will be promoting the idea of putting the Chinese back to work.

While Bahamians struggle to find jobs on a daily basis, while contractors and construction workers go hungry, they will reward the same company that brought that resort development to its knees. For our Prime Minister to even contemplate such an action is a betrayal of us as a people.

It is an admission of defeat, an admission of incompetence and a betrayal of the Bahamian people; for Mr Christie cannot raise his head and say that he has actually fought for Bahamians.

He would be nothing more than an errand boy for the Chinese. A lackey, dancing at the end of a string that reaches all the way to Beijing.

And before any of their political cronies come around attempting to suggest that, by putting CCA back at that hotel, it will be a boost to getting it sold, my brother that is stupidness. We don’t talk that around here.

Let’s get something straight. Chinese labourers had to be used in the first instance to build the resort. We accept that. But they failed to complete it on multiple occasions.

Now the same CCA, who are alleged to have overbilled in the first instance, had multiple labour issues with their Chinese workers marching up to their Embassy for non-payment time and time again, and are now building a competing resort in the heart of downtown, will be the same company that gets to finish off this resort while Bahamians go without?

I thought this was the Commonwealth of the Bahamas! Are we no longer free and independent? When did we stop Believing in Bahamians and our God-given abilities? When did we become so weak?

Many Bahamians are wondering to themselves about whose interests is their government looking to serve; the people that voted them into office, or a Chinese government that is known for using soft-diplomacy to invade and colonise weaker countries. The fact that after everything we have witnessed from CCA, CEXIM Bank and the Chinese government; the fact that the Receivers were appointed by the Chinese government should also raise a huge red flag. Bahamians are consistently disenfranchised and disregarded in their own country. The Prime Minister’s Budget Communication will surely be must-see TV as this storyline continues to unfold.

Will there be a happy ending to this saga that has further tanked the economy over the last year? Will the government listen to the outcry from the Bahamian public? Will the 2,026 employees that once dreamt a dream so big, that the whole world was watching, be able to be re-employed with the resort? Bahamians all over the country will be awaiting these answers as Prime Minister Christie addresses the nation this week.

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Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 5 months ago

THIS BLITHERING CORRUPT IDIOT CHRISTIE IS GOING TO GIVE THE CHINESE WHATEVER THEY WANT, PERIOD! IF NEED BE CHRISTIE WILL TAX ALL OF US EVEN MORE SO HE CAN PAY THE CHINESE TO COMPLETE THE BAHA MAR DEVELOPMENT. The corrupt Christie-led PLP government has already sucked the "non-politically connected" private sector businesses dry of financial resources as part of its social welfare campaign aimed at buying votes at any cost by making voters dependent on government jobs, government handouts and government concessions of one kind or another. Now Christie wants to give mega millions in additional concessions to the Chinese which will result in honest hard working Bahamians being taxed out of business or taxed to death. Bottom line: Lamed-brain Christie and his loyal buffoons are ignorant corrupt imbeciles totally incapable of formulating and executing on national economic policies that would create well paying private sector jobs that in turn would result in an expanded tax base to lessen the tax burden on an already severely over-taxed "non-politically connected" private commercial sector. It's really all as simple as that!

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