Letter: Avoid governance of the past

POSTED: 01/4/12 12:07 PM

Dear Editor,

After listening to parliamentarian De Weever speaks in a very disparaging manner during a meeting of Parliament which was called by the National Alliance to discuss the Corporate Governance Council, I really do not want to believe that the good parliamentarian wants to govern this island in the manner in which it was governed in the past.

I am referring to the governance of the past when there were no checks and balances, governance of the past that caused the Bakhuisreport, governance of the past that caused the Pourier report,
governance of the past that caused a former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles to call the public administration of St. Maarten a “puin hoop”, governance of the past that caused the Government of St. Maarten to be placed under higher supervision by the Kingdom government, governance of the past when houses were built for family members of politicians and the builder was compensated with government land, governance of the past when commissioners were involved in unethical practices, governance of the past when government’s assets and finances were dealt with by those in power as if the assets and finances were their personal possession. I cannot imagine that that is the kind of governance the good parliamentarian wants to go back to.
Little does the good parliamentarian know that the same party that governed the island in the past is the same party that is governing the island today. Looking back at how this island was governed in the past and the consequences it caused we must be forever vigilant to avoid this from ever happening again in the future and that is why this island needs all the checks and balances that are in place today.
Instead of the politicians ranting and raving about the institutions that secure the checks and balances in government, they should pledge to the populace of St. Maarten that they will do all within their power to see to it that all illegalities that occur within government and government owned companies be eliminated.

Government should start by giving the General Audit Chamber all the cooperation possible so that that institution can carry out a thorough investigation into the functioning of government and government owned companies. This institution should be allowed to carry out its task without hindrance.

It has been mentioned through the grapevine that the members of the supervisory board of two government owned companies are very subservient to a certain politician and that politician is calling the shots at those government owned companies and that a third government owned company will soon follow suit. This is in conflict with the practice of good cooperate governance.

Government must endeavor to avoid any semblance of wrongdoing within the apparatus of government and within government owned companies. They owe that much to the people of this island. And when government sets an example, then government can demand from the other sectors in this community to follow suit.

Let us all proclaim the year 2012 to be the year in which St. Maarten will unshackle itself from the tentacles of corruption and become the envy of our neighbors.
Todd Peterson

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