Three MP’s request urgent meeting on status of TELEM

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Members of Parliament Solange L. Duncan (Faction Duncan), Melissa Gumbs (PFP), and Grisha Heyliger-Marten (Faction Heyliger-Marten) recently sent a request to the second Vice-Chair of Parliament William Marlin for an urgent public meeting on the status of TELEM.

The meeting request includes three main agenda points, which are:

  1. The original SOAB report of 2021 on TELEM
  2. Update on the financial status and overall fiber to the home project.
  3. The state of affairs related to the concerns about the working environment at TELEM as expressed by the Telecommunications Union. 

“Since the previous update, over one year ago, there has been little to no update or movement on Telem’s fttH project. As we consider the move to more digitization and automation, our country’s internet connectivity will remain a critical part of achieving these progressive goals”, MP Gumbs stated in a joint release with MP Heyliger-Marten on Tuesday afternoon.

In the release, MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten expressed deep concern and disappointment over the fact that the SOAB report on TELEM, which the Prime Minister has promised to send to Parliament more than a year ago, still has not been received from the Government. “Why is the Government reluctant to release this report if there is nothing to hide”, Heyliger-Marten stated. “Why are people being kept in the dark? TELEM belongs to the people of Sint Maarten, and the people of Sint Maarten have the right to know what is going on”, according to Heyliger-Marten.

She further stated that it has been almost two years since the employees of TELEM and the unions representing them expressed their initial grievances with the manner in which the company was being managed. “The ongoing situation at TELEM is very worrisome, unacceptable and cannot continue any longer”, according to Heyliger-Marten. 

“It is time that the Prime Minister accepts responsibility for TELEM and gives accountability to Parliament about the status of the company and how it is being managed. I therefor hope that this request by my two colleagues and I will be honored, so that the people can be informed about what is seemingly being kept in the dark”, Heyliger-Marten concluded.