Opinion: ‘People want leadership’ by MP George Pantophlet

POSTED: 05/11/15 5:53 PM

Member of Parliament George Pantophlet says that the people of St. Maarten don’t need more politicians, the people want leadership. The customary political grandstanding and spin moves that is being used to sidetrack mislead or confuse the people has to stop. This was especially evident during the meeting on the Checkmate Security Harbor contract debate. St. Maarten is facing some challenging social and economic problems that requires forward thinking persons who are not concerned about the next election but the next generation. The Member of Parliament will always maintain that without finances it is impossible to provide the proper services to the citizens and inhabitants of St. Maarten. The compliance audit of the 2013 financial statement states and he quotes: We find that the financial information does not conform to the requirements stipulated in the National Government Accounting Ordinance (NGAO) and the national Ordinance General Audit Chamber. There are serious significant deficiencies in terms of the internal control and in the financial management. These result in material errors and uncertainties in the financial statements and major budget overruns and budget overages” end of quote. This has been a constant even before we became a country. The report also states and he quotes: We find the ministries are not in control in terms of their operations end of quote. He is calling on this stagnant government to get its act together and administrate the people’s business in a responsible manner. He is calling on this stagnant government to enact policies and execute them. If we are facing a financial challenge, it is because it started somewhere and since we can’t go back we must go forward. To date there is no governing program. As a matter of fact the UP led government had promised to have a full Cabinet in 60 days. We are 128 days and counting and still there exists vacancies at the two critical Ministries of Vromi and Health. What this shows is a lack of direction a lack of leadership. It is time this stagnant government gets its act together and work for the people of St. Maarten. Instead of wasting time on what the European Dutch are doing or saying this stagnant government better start getting its house in order. There are challenges with our Health care system. Indeed a protocol has been signed and a committee has been established. He hopes that soon Parliament will be informed as to its progress hopefully in the not too distant future. The Member is still waiting on the answers he posed on the amount of persons who received a referral letter from their physician but have not yet received an appointment. The Member of Parliament needs information concerning challenges in our educational system, challenges in our Justice system, challenges in our labor system, challenges in our financial system and the list goes on. He is calling on the council of Ministers to start preparing the information on all the Ministries because he will be requesting of the Prime Minister to provide a list of vacancies that have been filled in the last 2 years and by whom. There are too many complaints by our civil servants who are not given the opportunity even though they are qualified to do so to hold these positions.  If St. Maarten is to turn around the Members of Parliament supporting the government have to stop behaving like politicians and start behaving like leaders.

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