Reader’s Letter: Troubling trends

POSTED: 11/30/12 12:55 PM

Mr. Editor,

Please allow me some space in your newspaper to address two important troubling trends that we need to get away from in today’s society. As a St. Maartener, I am very concerned about how we have changed from generation to generation. We have moved away from the principles and values that our forefathers and parents have taught us over the years. At present, we live in a society where lying, slander, having no respect for each other and running government like a lollipop store is the norm. We need to start respecting our rules, laws and Constitution of our Country. We need to set a better example for our children and the younger generations to come.

In my twenty years of working in government, I have never seen so much self interest issues and the lack of transparency being given to the media on these pressing issues that are affecting the people. I have learned one thing over the years in government that you need to present the facts and to be transparent with the media houses. You might not like some of their way of reporting, but you need to be a “statesman” and present the truth at all times. If the media houses see that you are not being transparent on the issues that are affecting the people, they are going to ask questions and do their research to get clarity on the issues.

I am amazed to see the lack of professional of the current government officials and parliamentarians making statements to the media, but not accepting questions or tearing up a newspaper in front of the press. I am even more baffled by the statement by MP Frans Richardson that he had authorized the moving and dumping of sand from the harbor into the Great Bay Salt Pond.
I find this is the biggest blunder ever made by a parliamentarian and the people need a parliamentary inquiry into such illegal action. Imagine, we have MPs now doing ministers jobs like authorizing filling in of ponds, creating their own businesses and organizing Tempo shows, instead of passing legislation and laws to bring relief for the people. How many legislation or laws have these MPs passed to bring relief to the people?

All these Independent MPs can talk about is “Theo, Theo, Theo,” but tell the people what you have done for them. Where is the transparency within this current National Alliance led coalition government that is supposed to be working for the people? The people are fed up with this extremely old politics with a lot of lying and slandering that is going on by government to defend the issues that are affecting the people.

They need to present the facts, instead of saying the filling-in of the pond was part of the ring road project or the filled in area is not part of monument area of the pond. I have to commend all media houses to continue asking questions to the current government and the opposition members to get more transparency and clarity on the issues that are affecting the people.

I have noticed another important trend we get away from in our society is respect for each other. We don’t respect each other’s word and like to slander people’s names without getting our facts straight. Last week, my friend told me to check the new talk show website from Mr. Christopher Emmanuel on Facebook slandering my name on the site.

I was curious to see what my conflict of interest on Mr. Emmanuel talk show website. I was shocked to read that Mr. Emmanuel was slandering my name that when I was Commissioner of the Island Territory of St. Maarten, I collected one year salary from the tax payers. I decided to call Mr. Emmanuel, instead of taking him to court for slandering my name. I humbly advised him before he slanders anyone’s name, he should have gotten his facts straight or go to the Finance Department to verify first before making such a false statement that can live a life to the general public. He apologized and mentioned it’s politics and told me he got the melee from a friend. He promised me faithfully he would apologize on his talk show website and I honor his word. I heard he did admit that his statement was incorrect on his website. I thank him for making the correction. We are a small community and when you want to know about each other we can easily call or find the person, instead of going on hearsay.
I noticed the National Alliance likes to go by hearsay and melee instead of doing their homework and getting their facts straight.

The point I want to make is you have got to demand respect in today’s society when someone want to scandal your name for taking a stand for the people. He also wants to know who Maurice Lake is on his website. Maurice Lake is a child of God and is “no Johnny come lately” in serving the community and his Country. I am also well educated with three Master’s Degrees and teaching our young professionals for 20 years at the University of St. Martin and I can represent myself. I can go on and on with my resume but I am not that type of person looking for self praise or recognition for my achievements.

Mr. Editor, someone asked me why I am so vocal on the issues that are affecting the people. It seems like I am running next election. I told them as any St. Maartener that has a love for his country and have children, I can’t sit aside anymore and listen to the extremely old way of politics with a lot of lying that’s going to destroy my children and the younger generation future with all the self interest and tunnel vision of this National Alliance led coalition government. What I would tell my children in the future when they are burden with all these taxes for decisions that we let this current government destroy within such short time. I feel as a community minded person, I have to speak out and encourage our young professionals to take a stand and speak out and don’t be afraid to represent our country. St. Maarten needs a new fresh breed of politicians that are educated, honest with principles and dedicated to work and empower its people. We need to get away from the extremely old way of politics we are seeing today with a lot of lying, spiteful work and victimization to our people. Right now, we are letting a selected few politicians who can’t even tie their own shoelaces to decide the future direction of this Country.

In closing, I would like to see more transparency in government and encourage the media to continue asking questions to get more clarity on these pressing issues that will bring relief to the people. I also would like to encourage our young professionals to get more involved with the issues and don’t be afraid to speak out. Let us continue to respect each other and stop the slander if you don’t know the person or have your facts straight.

Maurice Lake


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