Reader’s Letter: Governing program(s)

POSTED: 01/9/13 11:27 PM

I am very curious to see and read the new governing program or programs of the National Alliance-led coalition government. Our Prime  Minister said on a PJD2 radio program that they change the date of the  launch, because the idea is for each Minister to go a bit in depth into  the programs and projects planned for his/her ministry. She continued to say that the whole idea behind it “was not to be pretty and present a nice program.” The governing program, which already has been debated in the Council of Ministers, will focus on the coalition’s theme of “Working for the People.”

The statement that got my attention the most is when our Prime Minister stated that the Governing Program puts a lot of emphasis on community development and bringing the entire community together “on a platform to move our island forward.”

I have to give our Prime Minister the foot in the mouth prize for the month of January with her press release on the launch of the new governing Program for the beginning of the year 2013. I find it  simple amazing how our Prime Minister is still displaying political leadership with our people when our people needs country leadership.
The average man can see that we are governing the country without a community development plan for the future and setting back the country ten years on the rate this current Government is moving with Duncan’s new social and immigration laws for Country St. Maarten. I really wonder if our Council of Ministers really debated the governing program, because right now every minister and the three independent MPs have their own governing program for Country St. Maarten.

Imagine our Prime Minister has promised that in the New Year the people can expect changes in the pension, health care and social reforms. Then two days later, the Minister of Justice comes out in the media with his new Duncan’s law on immigration and legalizing prostitution in
the new Penal Code. There go the Prime Minister’s nice words to get the people hopes up on strengthening the social reform programs in the different communities. In the next two years, we won’t recognize ourselves in St. Maarten with Duncan’s new laws on immigration, residence permits, lowering the prostitution age to 18 years, foreign financial assistance and no border control to pay for his 100 million dollars Justice Park. Is this the new social reform and moral and social values the Prime Minister and the Minister of Social Affairs are speaking about to create more community development for the local people of St. Maarten? Did the DP in government debated Duncan’s new ideas and laws in the Council Of Ministers meeting? Do the DP Ministers in the Council have the guts to let the Minister of Justice know that his new laws and ideas doesn’t make any sense for an already overcrowded St. Maarten with so many social issues in the different districts. We are just creating another social and financial burden for
government with Duncan’s new social and immigration laws. I find the Council of Churches and the community councils are very quiet about these social issues that going to affect our moral values and social development for St. Maarten.

I am also amazed about the way and disrespect we have for our seniors and new pensioners on the little increase in their old age pension. I really felt bad on the way government has misled the seniors on this issue when they knew in advance that they were just fooling the seniors that they will get 1,000 guilders increase on their old age pension. Imagine, they already have taken away a lot of our seniors welfare monies and now fool them on the increase of the old age pension. What
is next for our seniors who we profess is the backbone that has developed this country? I really would like to read the nice words in the new governing program of the National Alliance/DP coalition on their schemes to improve social reforms for the people when in reality they are doing the opposite to the our local people and seniors. It’s good for the people to see the true colors of the political parties that are supposed to be working for the people. We need to be transparent with the people’s business. There are still a lot of policies/ legislation that need to be drafted by government for the improvement of health care and labor to protect the people. Government also needs to assist the people with the ongoing saga in the increase of the private
insurance doctor cards. Our local hospital with its professional staff is still in dire need of their much needed expansion plan to improve their services for the public. A plan of action is still needed for job creation. I want to see the boys in St. Peters get a five-year (long term) contract, instead of a temporarily job for political marketing for cleaning the trenches with the district

I know the governing program on infrastructure and housing is all about ongoing projects for the Minister of Vromi. I am also curious to read in the new program on how the Minister of Finance will balance the Budget 2013 and bring more relief to the people and local businesses in these hard economic times. I want to see the Minister of Finance’s plan of action to finance all our NGOs (social organizations) since they aren’t going to receive any more monies from Amfo in 2013.
The Minister of Finance needs to focus on the Cft’s negative advice on the draft budget and balance the Budget 2013 instead of changing the subject to Theonomics.

The UP-leader’s vision and track record speaks for itself. The UP-leader doesn’t have time to respond to petty politics when there are so many other issues to address in the best interest of the people. It is high time that we take the people’s interest to a higher level in 2013.
There is a lot of jealousy in government, because all of our politicians put together don’t have half the vision for St. Maarten as Theo Heyliger. The people of St. Maarten don’t have time for this old school politics by the Finance Minister of passing the buck or blaming the previous UP government for the current government’s shortcomings on balancing the Budget 2013. The previous government has balances the budget for 2011 and 2012. The current finance minister just needs to focus on balancing the budget 2013 without basing his figures on assumptions and getting people hopes up on bringing relief to people.
If you can’t give the press a timeline as to when the relief measures will take affect then you have no plan of action and not being transparent with the people business. My advice to the people regarding relief is therefore not to hold their breath.

As a community spirited person, I have to say our local people are hurting in these hard economic times. We can see how many of our local people are losing their cars, homes and can’t afford to pay their mortgages while government continues to play politics with the people’s
business. We need to passed laws/legislation and debate the issues that are going to bring relief and protect our local people. We can’t say we are working for the people without a master plan of action to empower our own people. We can’t continue to play old politics and sugarcoating the issues by saying the Country is “making positive strides in saving 300,000 guilders on insurance of government vehicles when the current government intends to overspend some 100 million dollars to build a justice park and tunnels while people are suffering on a daily basis. Every ministry needs to work together and interrelate their plans of action as one for them to create any improvement with positive results for the people to move St. Maarten forward for 2013. We can’t
afford to go back another 10 years at the pace and the direction we are moving right now.

It’s good to present a nice worded governing Program, but your Minister of Justice’s action speaks louder than words for a current coalition government that is supposed to be working for the people.

We need to take a stand as St. Maarteners before Duncan’s new vision and social and financial laws goes into effect. I also want to see the UP-leader, Mr. Theo Heyliger, address these social issues in Parliament and come up with a master plan and recommendations to protect our local
people in the Constitution against the different governing programs by the National Alliance-led government that will be presented soon to the people of St. Maarten. God Bless St. Maarten.

 Maurice Lake.

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