Be responsible

Dear Editor,

  Before writing every letter to you I always ask myself if I am the right person to write about this topic. Anybody who reads my letters to you and who knows what is happening politically in St. Maarten knows that it is not my habit to put down people. Because I made sure being a police officer I was responsible, I expect the same of my people in government. Throwing words at each other, backbiting, ratting out on each other, and all that petty talk that is been carried on with, during meetings, is far from governing or representing the people in a responsible way.

  I read in the paper of Thursday, December 24, 2020, “Emmanuel weighs in on agreements inked.”

  I was born in the era of MULO education, which prepared me with general knowledge and to be able to speak, read and write four foreign languages at the age of 16. Because of that education, I am able to verbally communicate in a general sense with people from all over the world. Verbally communicating is not easy and once one expresses one’s self, the word is already out there and then it takes explanation to clear this up, or not. The written word can be corrected before being published or sent out.

  I’m stating this because the majority of MPs have made a practice by, to use their own term, “grandstanding” whereas very little (substance) is said and fellow MPs are being painted to be whatever they think is good enough to put down each other. Our MPs are constantly attacking each other.

  I even believe that the term “lobbying” is a “bad word” among them.

  After 10 years of Status Apartus they still have not understood (or have disregarded) the procedures of Parliament and act as enemies of each other.

  Negative criticism is not a positive thing. Making proposals to improve the wellbeing of a country is. One would expect that by now, whether you sustain the government or not, everybody would rally behind the Prime Minister (for the sake of the people of St. Maarten who put you on government) in her negotiations with Knops. Instead they are demonstrating to Knops that there is no unity among them, giving him more aces.

  St. Maarten is in dire need of finances and instead of them coming together for the people who voted for them they are already campaigning for the next election, which in the last 10 years has become every 2 years, if not less. For instance, MP Emmanuel states that his obligation is always to be forthcoming with the people “even if that means standing alone.” I disagree with that. I think that is irresponsible, because no man is an island. If MP Emmanuel is responsible then he has to act responsible and most of all tactical.

  A whole lot of times “blaring out” causes panic, especially depending on who it comes from, and also under which circumstances. No responsible political leader does that. It is like a child showing a tantrum. I, for one, definitely believe in transparency of government, but that comes with responsibility also.

  I do not feel as if I am exaggerating when I talk about being irresponsible, because if I look at the timeline all of those bus-stop-huts that are placed very irresponsibly along the roads of Dutch St. Maarten (and are very rarely used by buses), they were placed during Minister Emmanuel’s watch. I have written about this in the past and this has nothing to do with inside information. This is for anyone who has a driver’s license to see.

  One of the answers given in the traffic ordinance from the question “where it is not allowed to stop with your motor vehicles” is at a bus stop. One is not allowed to stop within 5 meters of both sides of the sign indicating a bus stop, if the amount of meters is not indicated on the traffic sign. I would challenge anyone to show me where anyone of those signs, bus-stop-huts or spaces for buses to stop are placed or is laid out correctly. That is irresponsible.

  Those of us from the old school know that “there is a time and place for everything” which is usually followed with “but this is not the time for that”. In this case, however, because of what has been the trend and the modus operandi of our people in government, I would be pleasantly surprised if our government is not toppled. Politics still make strange bedfellows.

  Now this. I read the letter to you by Clive Hodge and will also join him with his wishes for our people getting closer to the Lord. A blessed and prosperous 2021 to all. While blowing away the old year with your fireworks, silently pray for COVID-19 to be blown away.

  Happy New Year to all.

Russell A. Simmons