Who really cares?

Dear Editor,
A few days ago a person asked me what I meant when I wrote that the inland waters are the cash cow for St. Maarten. I told him to ask Mister Engel because he was the one who wrote about planting in the pond or something like that.
But the reason for me going back there is because of the way things are developing around Prins Bernhard Bridge and the Minister of VROMI is telling us that they can do what they want and we don’t have anything to say about it, which, no matter how they tried to play with words, is still disrespectful to the people of St. Maarten.
And another point is that the Minister of Justice will be needing more qualified people to man the office of the Ministry of Justice. In this case I must emphasize that in comparison to what we have been experiencing of late at least the Minister of Justice is being regarded in a positive sense.
The article stated “more qualified people.” Let me go straight to the point and mention that this does not surprise me, because for years now (long before this Minister of Justice) there have been all kinds of observations about employees who were employed not because of qualification, but because of political colour and as I have mentioned before the politicians made and still make use of this because they can get away with murder because there are not many who can correct their wrongdoings. Hence the countless investigations whether justified or not.
I read a letter to you from the person who puts Cuthbert Bannis under his letters and I do not agree with the general negative characterization of specifically the female employees of the justice department.. My opinion is that he may be playing with words while planting negativity in the minds of the public about the female justice workers. There is nothing like “more honest” or “not so honest”, both of them depict a grade of dishonesty or take away from being honest . I believe that this is a serious negative characterization of the people who are supposed to protect and serve the community of St. Maarten.
I do not believe that this letter should have been addressed to you, because of the serious implication. This is a generalization of negative behavior of the female employees of the justice department and I am not sure what damage it could do to the image of Sint Maarten. Those who are aware would acknowledge that this is the most attention that government has paid to the justice departments in years. Now this.
Many years ago I asked the then Minister of Finance Tuitt how does government go about collecting those millions of one cents which the businesses collect from the consumer for each dollar that is spent? The exchange rate was and still is $1.00 = NAf. 1.79 but for years now the business are collecting NAf. 1.80. The other explanation was that there are no “one cent” coins. So why is it that the customer always has to be the victim of these circumstances? His answer was that it is complicated to control. And I will say the same thing now like I said then. What is black on white is what it is, whether it is correct or not. So everybody should receive a receipt for payment and the receipt should show what currency was used. All of this should be programmed and recorded in the government-controlled cash register.
But I have to repeat my question. Who are the actual permit holders for all of these businesses operated by non-St. Maarteners, who have influence on what is or is not being done correctly in these places of business? .
For a while now people have been asking me why the Chinese don’t give you a receipt. My answer has always been, you should always ask for a receipt for payment from everybody who you pay money to as proof of purchase, rent or service and no one is allowed to deny you a receipt.
So, after all this, again I ask, “Who really cares?”

Russell A. Simmons

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