The shoe is on the other foot now for The Bahamas.
Where once we were so worried about the extent of the COVID-19 virus that we imposed a travel ban on people coming from China in February, now Chinese people are worrying about the safety of living here.
A demonstration by Chinese workers from The Pointe outside the Chinese Embassy yesterday was so out of the ordinary that it shows the extent of health fears.
An embassy representative said that the workers were “very anxious” to go back to China, with about 200 trying to return home.
There will of course be unsympathetic voices saying let them go and hire Bahamian workers instead, but that is irrelevant in this case with their work on The Pointe almost done. This is a matter of getting people home. Other countries, such as the UK and the US, have flown out citizens, so why not China?
We would do well to recall that the first hotspot for this virus was in China, and now people look at it as a safer place than here in The Bahamas. That’s not to point fingers of blame anywhere as some politicians elsewhere have done for their own benefit, but rather to remind ourselves that here in our community are representatives of a country that has won the battle we are now fighting.
Perhaps a goodwill effort to assist with finding a way to return the workers home would not go amiss – in the hope of being able to draw upon the expertise of a nation that is now ahead of us in the race to stop COVID-19.
Mr Fix It
Michael Johnson seems to be a remarkable fellow.
He appears to be an all purpose Mr Fix It. Got a problem with your electrics? He’ll don his electrician hat to sort it out.
Got a problem with a $400,000 tax dispute with the government? Apparently, Mr Johnson is also your man.
Mr Johnson – the brother of Central and South Eleuthera MP Stephen “Hank” Johnson – was, according to court documents, the “go-to-guy” to removing obstacles for the 4M Harbour Island Ltd project.
4M’s principal, Michael Weiner, said of Mr Johnson: “He basically does whatever needs to happen.”
The tax issue had apparently rumbled on for months befor Mr Johnson stepped in to sort it out, and the details have emerged as part of a court dispute between 4M and its former project manager. Never mind calling on Ryan Pinder, 4M’s attorney, who is a former Financial Services Minister, send for Michael!
The exact nature of the tax dispute is unclear, as is the manner in which Mr Johnson was able to get it resolved. He did not return our call when we sought to ask him more, but fixing so many things must keep him busy.