A MUST READ: Disgrace to St. Maarten


Dear Editor, In your publication I read that President of Parliament Rudolph Samuel will be travelling to Holland for the King’s inauguration later this month. My question is – how in his rightful mind can the President of Parliament decide to attend such a prestigious occasion when the Parliament he resides over has done nothing to date in relation to the Bada Bing scandal?

Not one Parliamentarian (not even the opposition) has asked for a parliamentary inquiry or formally requested Member of Parliament (MP) Illidge to vacate his seat while the investigation is ongoing.

Mr. Samuel presides over a parliament that has one convicted member (MP Laveist) for bribery, while another (MP Illidge) is the centre of an investigation for similar alleged charges. For a new country barely 2.5 years old, this is not something to be very proud of.

A strong message would have been from the President of Parliament to decline the invitation on the grounds that St. Maarten needs to get our own house in order first before we can celebrate another being officially inaugurated; that would have earned him respect locally and abroad.

After Curaçao, now it is St. Maarten that has become the black sheep in the Kingdom as our Parliament is not carrying out their duties (or simply inept) and thus is co-responsible for trampling on good governance.

To our leaders: the people of St. Maarten demand swift action, which is certainly not asking some foreign organisation to carry out a 12-15 month study on integrity (= buying time to the next election).

We want and deserve swift and decisive action now to repair our tainted image as accessories in and facilitators to corruption.



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