Chris: PM turning St. Maarten into beggar state with foolish charade

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~ Says it is not about corporate governance ~

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Prime Minister of St. Maarten must stop with the “foolish good corporate governance charade” and spinning a narrative to the people of St. Maarten that our companies such as the airport was devoid of any semblance of good corporate governance. Independent Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel on Thursday said he is “sick and tired” of this government creating narratives simply to please the Dutch while making beggars out of St. Maarten.

The MP said that nothing that came from the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the last two days justifies the position the Dutch and Schiphol has taken towards St. Maarten. He said both Ministers continue to embarrass themselves by accepting baseless calls for good governance at the airport, where it has already existed for years. “This nonsense will not go down so easy, this issue has to come to Parliament. This has nothing to do with good corporate governance. The Prime Minister is putting on her best acting job yet,” the MP said.

He said the Prime Minister in her statement about an “Acceleration of Implementation of Corporate Governance Improvement” at the airport, still did not say if this is what Knops want to see to release the liquidity support. And, he continued, why is the implementation of a simple plan used as an excuse to hold up liquidity if the plan was already approved and communicated to Knops in the first quarter of 2021.

“Unless of course it is not about the implementation of a plan, but what the end result of the plan is. An end result that we can’t see yet or have not been made privy to,” Emmanuel said. He asked once again what, according to State Secretary Knops, is the definition of good corporate governance. “What is good enough for him? What does he need to see and hear” Emmanuel asked.

He explained that the Prime Minister said that in order to ensure proper and timely execution and full cooperation of the corporate governance improvement plan, all stakeholders have to endorse a mandate to this team in which the basic requirements for an effective execution are stipulated. “What exactly does this mean? What will such a mandate entail? What are these basic requirements? And will there be a corporate structure change at PJIA in terms of authorities of the boards when this plan is completed?”
“Why is the implementation of a corporate governance plan estimated at to take 12 months unless there are some serious structure changes coming which are exactly what Knops wants in order for Schiphol to have more control through a more independent operational board at the airport? If the State Secretary knows that such a plan will take a year, why would he withhold liquidity support? Because it is not about the plan, but it is about what the plan will deliver.

“The Prime Minister is trying to get St. the people of St. Maarten to believe that the airport is out of control. My people please don’t believe it. The Prime Minister has sold out St. Maarten and, just like the Dutch, must find sly ways to make you believe everything she is doing is necessary. It is not. The Prime Minister and her government have no plan. They have no solutions to anything. Their solution is to get on foreign media and puff up their chest, while being mice to Knops. The trick is simple, deflect and distract the people with impressions of boldness, while still giving Knops everything he wants, ” he said.

The MP said Holland will continue to use an excuse as “corporate governance” as long as the government of St. Maarten cannot show it can run its own affairs. “They will say you see, we have to feed 4,000 people so that means your corporate governance is bad. If it was good, we wouldn’t have to feed your people. It is as clear as day what is being setup for the future. But we are here accepting being transformed into beggars until one day there will be nothing to beg for. We would have lost our country. It is time to get rid of this government,” he said.

He also called out the other MP’s in Parliament for sitting back and not uttering a word or asking questions publicly so the people know these issues matter and that what is happening is not right.

“Instead MPs are letting this foolishness go down in front of their eyes. They know it is not about corporate governance but some either staying quiet just to go along, while others are pleased to see the Dutch getting what they want. But the minute an issue like decolonization or such comes up, they are all over Google and Facebook searching for arguments. What kind of representation do our people have when MPs are letting the Prime Minister giving away the country. I’m sick and tired of the lies, the spinning, the non-answering of questions. But this will have to come to Parliament before anything happens at PJIA with its corporate structure. This one I am not giving up on,” the MP stressed.