Independent Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel on Monday likened the National Alliance led government to a tree of poisonous fruit from which too many St. Maarten professionals have taken a bite and fallen victim. “This is a very bad government that shuns responsibility, lies, passes the buck to others and destroys the lives of local people to protect their agendas,” MP Emmanuel said. “Wickedness and vindictiveness in its truest form,” he added.
The MP was triggered to make his statement based on the reported pending resignation of Minister of TEATT Roger Lawrence. He said while he will continue to look forward to a speedy recovery for whatever ails the Minister, he cannot ignore the fact that the government and its reported demands upon the Minister, is a contributing factor to the Minister’s reported poor health.
MP Emmanuel recalled when he warned the Minister about the “group of people he decided to join” and the immense pressure that will be brought to bear upon him in very short time. “I warned him on the floor of Parliament, I warned him in the newspaper, on radio, I warned him every chance I got. I told him that this government is not to be trusted and are back-stabbers. I even played the song in Parliament and some people laughed, well laugh now,” MP Emmanuel said.
For example, the MP said, the Prime Minister created the mess at the airport with Michel Hyman and the dossier Hyman presented to the Council of Ministers and Parliament. “She pretended not to know anything about it and dropped it in Minister Lawrence lap as if it was something totally foreign to her. He located the dossier in one day and from then was left alone to carry those troubles, almost two years after Hyman informed the Council of Ministers,” Emmanuel said.
“He was also left to try and figure out the web of lies and deceit created at PJIA by the Prime Minister and her government, who overnight forgot about good corporate governance and allowed the board of the operating and holding companies of the airport to go rogue by dismissing Hyman. To date government cannot say why that decision was made. She recused herself from PJIA affairs, but was still front and center to deliver a speech and toast a loan refinancing, for which I am still awaiting answers from her and the Minister of Finance,” the MP said.
MP Emmanuel said Lawrence also proceeded to provide Parliament with more than one hundred statements of “I cannot comment” on questions posed about airport affairs, when he should have “simply told the people of St. Maarten the truth about the mess at PJIA and the unfair treatment of Michel Hyman. Instead everybody let Hyman at the fate of the airport boar to be sacrificed to cover up the mess he attempted to expose to his superiors.”
The MP said Michel Hyman, Dexter Doncher, Julian Rollocks Jr, Roger Lawrence and others are the victims of eating from the “tree of poisonous fruit.” “It is horrible how this government chews up local professionals and spits them out. They have nothing good to offer local people other than heartache and strife. Michel Hyman also ended up with medical issues out of stress and worry. This government is no good,” the MP said.
He also used the opportunity on Monday to express his disgust over the actions of the government and its support in Parliament to put the Carnival festivities on bid. He said the board of the Carnival foundation is in danger of being the latest group of local St. Maarteners that the government is looking to ruin without considering the consequences.
Meanwhile, he added, World Bank foreign personnel can live tax-free on St. Maarten with their full benefits and income, while “our own people struggling and getting their businesses torn down under suspicious reasoning.”
“Last week the government scrambled to get a public meeting requested by the Carnival foundation, moved to a closed door meeting. Why? I happen to know for a fact that the Carnival foundation was not only ready to bear it all, but wanted to show the public how a decision for a bid of Carnival was made unilaterally and the consequence this will have not just on the foundation but its board members personally.”
He continued: “And what do you hear from government? Oh they owe people. Yes, they have admitted as such over and over every time they come to Parliament like beggars for help in their own country. But they choose not to help, but to try and get rid of them instead and give Carnival to cronies and people they can control. The regatta isn’t going on bid, St. Maarten music festival isn’t going on bid, but something run by our people who have developed and elevated the festival to where it is now for the past three decades has to go. This government is on a mission to fulfill agendas and they do not care which families gets destroyed along the way. A tree of poisonous fruit,” MP Emmanuel concluded.
MP Emmanuel stressed that the people of St. Maarten are still awaiting a relief in fuel prices, a post-pandemic economic recovery plan, a new tourism master plan and more that falls under the Ministry of TEATT.