OPINION: I’m feeling something


TDH – Dear Editor, The final year of the parliament of country St. Maarten was ushered in with much pomp and passion. The march pass with the different civil and military groups displayed the resources available to government to protect or oppress the people, depending on what or whose political interest is being served. None the less, it was a great show of democracy and the tools at its disposal. What happened on the outside was quite impressive. I was, however, somewhat amused if not amazed about what came from within the house of parliament.

For the first time in three years I’ve heard members of the various factions, especially the one-man factions, mention words like “our people and local people.” It made me wonder where they were for the last 1,085 days, nine hours and counting. What they recognize now as the plight of the people was the same three years ago and they did absolutely nothing to alleviate or give relief to the suffering masses.

In any proper functioning democracy an unemployment rate of above ten percent is reason for concern and when unemployment among our youth reaches twenty-six percent and up it is certainly an emergency. But as it seems some of my honourable friends were and still are too occupied with the self-enrichment programme for which they erroneously believe government or elected office is designed.

As I write, I am getting information of an MP applying for a water taxi license and an auto inspection facility, following examples which abound. It looks like we intend to over saturate these two services like we did with public transportation (taxies and busses) and the overrun of jewel stores on Front Street that sell everything else and operates as a mini bar.

It was also encouraging to hear the minister of education sound the alarm for more and better controls at ports of entry, but just so she may know everything is being overwhelmed by the uncontrolled influx, not just education. As I have written before in our enthusiasm

to impress, we implemented a complementary education system without any control or restrictions, making it possible for St. Maarten to educate the drop-outs and illiterates from around the Caribbean. How they must be laughing at us! I was told by an immigration officer that there are people in this society who are making money signing for people to bring their children from wide and far, guarantying them they will get into school on St. Maarten.

As for the utterances of walking up and down the corridors of the council of ministers, it proves that after three years we still don’t understand our responsibility or the functioning of the dualistic system in which we operate. But it is very amusing that today they are ready to turn a new page and build a highway to heaven for the local people and that the local people will benefit from one fourth of their time doing nothing but collecting high salaries and building up advantage miles on American and others. That’s why I am feeling something and I know election is coming, so welcome to the contenders and pretenders. Elton Jones