Reader’s Letter 2: Minister Heyliger’s Hide and Seek Game

POSTED: 02/27/11 9:14 PM

Dear Editor,

I was wondering when Minister Heyliger would resurface again. After being “all over” during last year’s elections (with a catchy song on the radio, ads in the newspapers, on TV and in the Movie Theater, a Facebook page, a flashy web site and Billboards “can’t done”) which landed his UP party at the head of the political bargaining table, he managed to secure the biggest slice of the St. Maarten pie together with his old frenemies of the DP.
But since he announced what he would get done in his first 100 days in office (not much of what was promised has been accomplished by the way), Minister Heyliger has gone deep underground. Where was Minister Heyliger when the residents of St. Maarten were hit with a Turnover Tax increase severely decreasing purchasing power? Or when party member Jules James in his capacity as Managing Director of Pelican (commonly known as his first job next to earning USD 11000 a month for asking questions as a MP at his second “job”) put almost 200 workers on the street and put SXM’s timeshare sector at the risk of being abandoned as St. Maarten does not have any timeshare legislation in place to protect their timeshare guests? Or when “the Sheriff” of his party, caused severe and unnecessary unrest amongst teachers? No word from the UP Party Leader and Vice Prime Minister Heyliger, as usual.
Minister Heyliger only emerged this past week at a private gathering of the Rotary Club of St. Maarten doing what he does best: pitching one of his multimillion dollar projects: The Simpson Bay Bridge or “Causeway” (if you want to believe the hype). Mind you: not to you and me the ordinary resident. No, to a select group of business people, lawyers and accountants. Obviously, Minister Heyliger cares not to give account to the majority of the electorate: just the mighty few who in turn will influence public opinion in his favor.
And all this at a time when the country is facing a budget deficit of 45 million guilders, it is OK for the Harbor, a government owned company (ultimately owned by the people of St. Maarten: the same ones that are getting taxed to death to balance said budget) to make “capital expenditures” of the magnitude of $ 45 million dollars. The timing could not be worse.
So there you have it folks. More proof that Minister Heyliger cares for the big bucks projects only and does not give two cents about or can demonstrate any leadership when dealing with issues affecting the common man (cost of living, crime, education, environment).
Perhaps something to keep in mind next time those of you think to go and cash your vote.

Jason Lambert

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