FREE National Movement (FNM) leader Dr Hubert Minnis said on Friday that the disclosure of the company negotiating with the government to acquire Baha Mar is too bare on details to satisfy the public’s right to information on the matter.
On Thursday it was revealed that the Hong Kong-based firm Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited was in talks over the troubled resort, but Dr Minnis was unhappy with the Prime Minister Perry Christie’s “refusal to share the full details”.
“Drip…drip…drip – that’s the sound of the slowly leaking of details coming out about the embattled Prime Minister’s dubious, secret Baha Mar scheme he cooked up with his Chinese allies,” Dr Minnis said in a statement.
“We now have learned through the press – not the embattled Prime Minister that negotiated then sealed the deal – a company named Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited is applying to buy the resort. Yet this new information still does not allow the public to know what this sale means for Baha Mar and the Bahamian people because the embattled Prime Minister continues his refusal to share the full details of his secret deal.
“With each detail that drips out, it is becoming more and more clear to Bahamians that Prime Minister Christie seems more concerned with pleasing his Chinese allies than negotiating a true deal that would benefit our people and our country,” the statement continued.
And Mr Minnis called for the Prime Minister to “unseal the deal”: “It is far past the time for the embattled Prime Minister to unseal his deal and finally share the details of this Baha Mar deal with the public now that an owner has emerged. There is nothing to protect anymore other than his political position. The government’s argument that it was for commercial reasons involved in the sale that they could not reveal the details, no longer applies.
“Did he negotiate some fireside sale with his Chinese allies in a desperate attempt to bolster his sagging hopes of reelection? Doesn’t the rest of the PLP that are not privy to this deal agree with the Bahamian people that we should know what was negotiated and what the true costs are to our nation?
“The FNM remains hopeful that Baha Mar will be up and running and provide good paying jobs for Bahamians, but we, like the rest of the country, still demand accountability and transparency from this PLP Government. The continued silence on their part is deafening and cannot continue. The people deserve an open and responsive government, not the secretive one we have now. The FNM has made it clear that we will represent the people, and stand with them as they continue to call out for the embattled Prime Minister to unseal his secret deal with his Chinese allies,” said Dr Minnis.