EDITOR, The Tribune.
THE Hon Dinisio D’Aguilar (FNM- Free Town), Minister of Tourism & Aviation, is the hardest working member of the Minnis cabinet. Prior to entering politics he was a business executive with the family owned business, Super Wash, and a director/shareholder in numerous private entities. A Chartered Accountant by profession, he knows how to crunch numbers and he has a firm knowledge of his cabinet responsibilities and the expectations of the people of The Bahamas.
He is not a career politician and he may not always be politically correct. These are a few of the reasons why he is sometimes a lightening rod based on his public statements. The other day he opined as to why the numbers were so low for individuals who would have been eligible for the proposed residential lots in the Sun Set Close Subdivision.
He suggested that most relationships were transitory and did not enjoy the benefits of joint incomes. It is trite knowledge and simply common senses for a person to understand that two incomes are better than one when it comes down to owning an affordable home.
What is so difficult to understand about this proposition? He also suggested that too much income may be being diverted into the huge coffers of the operators of the web industry at the expense of rental and mortgage payments; school fees; medical bills and only God knows what else. Again, he was dead right.
In The Bahamas, we tend to understand the ‘message’ but we are prone to ‘shooting’ the messenger, big time, especially if we do not ‘like’ the narrative. Most of you are able to recall remarks attributed to Attorney Richard Lightbourne, former member of parliament for Montagu. All he did was to suggest that some of our people were having “too many” children out of wedlock and that birth control methods had to be considered on a serious basis. The fire storm that erupted is still burning, even if the thrust of his message resonates with the unwashed masses. He was accused, God forbid, of being a racist and worse.
Now newspaper columnist and political talking heads are accusing the Minister of Tourism & Aviation of “double” standards? Yes, it is true, that Dinisio inherited the bulk of his fortune from his late father and family businesses. So what? Is something criminal or unethical about this? The last time I checked, being born with a silver or golden spoon, as I would have been, is quite legit and many would literally die to be fortunate to have wealthy parents and/or relatives.
This bogus narrative being put out by some in the web industry that when you play we all win is so far from reality as East is from West. The only guaranteed winners are the handful of individuals who currently dominate the industry. It has been said that “the house never loses”. We have become a nation of gamblers in the vain hope that we will, eventually, hit a three or four ball. We are chasing behind fool’s gold and the christian community is dead quiet. It is remarkable that so few churches have a subdivision or land available for discounted prices to its members. Why is this?
The Minister of Tourism & Aviation is not always politically correct, but for people to suggest that he is “out of touch” is a bold and sinister lie from the very pits of hell. The graduated taxes being proposed may be just what the doctor ordered. Any administration has the inherent constitutional and legislative right to impose taxation. This right cannot be outsourced or delegated to others. Consultation is one thing but no one, much less private or corporate citizens is able to dictate taxation policies of any government.
I have said it before and I say it again....there are too many web shop outlets and many of them are too close to churches and schools. Why this seemingly mushrooming in web locations? How is this relentless expansion being allowed by The Gaming Board, et al? Where is the President of The Bahamas Christian Council? Where are the voices of the Anglican and Catholic Churches?
Minister D’Aguilar is a breath of fresh air in front line politics. It is a political pity that he is not a member of the New Deal Progressive Liberal Party. I am, of course, not an FNM and most of my other habits are good ones, if I may say so. I call a spade a spade, however. He is performing well and he has a bright future going forward.
ORTLAND H BODIE Jr
September 12, 2018.