No public appeal possible?

Dear Editor,
Someone who reads the paper online sent this to me and told me to see how I can get this across to the leaders of St. Maarten in order to let them know that their priority is to govern the country in the interest of the whole community, and not a chosen few.
As a consequence of all that is happening in the world today, increasingly the members of the clergy are drawing our attention to what is written in the Bible concerning the last days. When I read this piece, it took me to I Timothy 6:7-10. Here we go.
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill once said: “I took a taxi one day to the BBC office for an interview. When I arrived, I asked the driver to wait for me for 40 minutes until I got back, but the driver apologized and said, ‘I can’t , because I have to go home to listen to Winston Churchill’s speech.’ I was amazed and delighted with the man’s desire to listen to my speech. So, I took out 10 pounds and gave it to the taxi driver without telling him who I was. When the driver collected the money, he said: ‘I’ll wait for hours until you come back, sir. And let Winston Churchill go to hell!’”
You can see how principles have been modified against money; nations sold for money; honour for money; families split for money; friends separated for money; people killed for money and people being made slaves for money. So, I have a simple question: “With all of these churches in St. Maarten and repeated announcements for hurricane preparedness and then in the beginning of December service of thanksgiving after the hurricane season, does I Timothy 6:7-10 mean anything to us?”
Now this. Why is there a minimum age limit to be able to participate in the motor vehicle number plate design competition? Are we telling our youth under 16 they do not have an idea about the highlights and history of St. Maarten? In my concept it is a local competition about St. Maarten.
Is Minister Irion aware that by the time I and thousands of Antillean children were 16 years old, we were examined in geography, the history of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, four foreign languages beside Dutch, and I can continue. And I hope no one reacts with “that was then,” because then they will be proving to me what my father told me when they changed from MULO to MAVO. If you want to dominate a person, keep his education at a minimum. And if you want to dominate a country, keep its citizens’ education at a minimum.
With a minister like Irion, we do not need anybody to try a thing with us, he is doing it for them. And does he really believe that 500 guilders will be an incentive to enter that competition? Well, in hindsight I am not sure because votes have been bought for less. I believe he is really pushing it a little too far. But I cannot blame him, because the beginning of this letter about Winston Churchill is about the love of money. But there are still a great many of us, even though the chips are down, who still enjoy a sense of integrity.
The minister should apologize to the schoolchildren. Or even better yet, do away with that competition. Who can decide for me what I love most about my country? Would not that be the same as the results of a political election?
When a committee is going to decide who has the better idea for the country, then Parliament should adopt those ideas and implement them.
Is not compulsory education up to 16 years old? And I am continuously having to ask myself what has happened to Parliament?
The Ministry of VROMI [Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure – Ed.] is telling us that once they have notified us about works they have decided will be executed, we the public will not be able to formally, yes, you read it right formally appeal.
Who are these dictators? I stand to be corrected, but as far as I know the people did not vote for ministers, the people voted for the members of Parliament, and up to now Parliament is responsible to the people.
I also read the policy concerning civil works permits and I started to laugh, because whether the people appeal or not, history has proven that it has always been about “who knows who” and/or like Winston Churchill so rightly stated.
I was told that a supermarket (as we would say) is coming where Kentucky was in town (Cannegieter Street). I wonder if public appeal will be allowed in this case. The entrance to the parking lot of Republic Bank is already a problem, because even though that parking lot is staffed by security officers, it takes the boom at the entrance at least eight if not more seconds to open. The waiting for that boom to open, the entrance to the public parking lot opposite Windward Island Bank, as well as the parking lot of Windward Islands Bank, all create traffic congestion at the intersection D.A. Peterson Street and Cannegieter Street.
Because of the experience with parking by the different supermarkets along the streets of St. Maarten and the increasing number of buses which are bigger than the customary 15-seaters, I do not think it takes an expert to realize that having a supermarket in that area would be a blatant abuse of power. Another supermarket within 300 metres of an already existing supermarket tells me that those in charge of issuing these permits have no respect or regard for the people of St. Maarten. Reckless behaviour begets reckless behaviour.

Russell A. Simmons

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