Pearl of China fast becoming an ‘edifice of contempt’ – SMCP calls for more information-

Wycliffe Smith Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) views with grave concern the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pearl of China project that took place on Saturday on the Belair Beach. While as a party we are not opposed to economic development nor sound investor relations, it is the right of the people to be adequately informed, prior to the launching of a project of such a large magnitude.

The government has yet to confirm whether any environmental impact assessments or carrying capacity studies were conducted. What are the long term ramifications of this project on government’s coffers? Where is the feasibility study to suggest how much revenue this development would generate for St. Maarten?

It is unfortunate that this project has become mired in controversy and allegations of corruption and politicking. But this is the result of the lack of transparency on the part of our government.

To maintain the integrity of the project, the government should have held a town-hall meeting with residents where they could have given voice to their concerns.

The Pearl of China hotel and executive suites has now become an edifice of contempt. The veil of secrecy over this project needs to be lifted. The SMCP is calling on parliament to take action by calling out the Minister of Finance to give all relevant information concerning this project. As the people’s representatives in parliament our parliamentarians should exercise their right to ask the hard questions in order to lift the veil of secrecy from over this project.