In his first term in office, the Prime Minister promised you an underwater hotel. Now he is projecting floating aquatic cities for Freeport. So last time you were supposed to drown. This time you are supposed to float above your underwater grave. The government might as well had lined off every unemployed and underemployed Grand Bahamian along with all struggling businesspersons and laughed them to scorn right in their faces – that’s just how insultingly blatant the government was about campaigning this week on taxpayer dollars in Freeport’s face IN SPITE of Freeport’s state.
Regarding Baha Mar, in US Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, there is what is called a “discovery” process. This process is basically a disclosure and examination of all the matters that have led up to the financial position the debtor (in this case, Izmirlian) is in which led to the bankruptcy protection filing. This means all cards and evidence are supposed to be put before the Court and full accountability is supposed to take place about all that has taken place. And so you wonder why the government is mad about a filing that would involve a discovery process in US Courts? Could it be that there are things THEY DON’T WANT TO BE DISCOVERED?
I begin by stressing what all Bahamians need to understand about what is supposed to happen in free societies with a free enterprise economy – THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO SUBVERT THE PRIVATE SECTOR OR A LAWFUL PRIVATE BUSINESS’ ABILITY TO FUNCTION OR EXIST. NOR IS IT SUPPOSED TO SEEK TO CARRY OUT OR FACILITATE HOSTILE-STYLE TAKEOVERS OF PRIVATE COMPANIES/BUSINESSES. That is what happens in dictatorships, banana republics or otherwise closed societies and economies. That is not supposed to happen in countries like The Bahamas which claims to be a free society whose economic system is free enterprise. With the Baha Mar matter becoming so heavily politicized, many of us are forgetting what is critical here – BAHA MAR IS A PRIVATE PROJECT, NOT A GOVERNMENT PROJECT – hence in a free society where free enterprise is supposed to exist, government seeking to use the Courts to stick its hands into a private company so as to determine how and if that company can function or exist IS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. Should private entities fall into disputes, their recourse includes Courts of jurisdiction – not the government interfering and seeking to exert control over private enterprises to determine which party in a dispute “wins”. This kind of government action cuts to the very core of what The Bahamas is as a jurisdiction and place to do business. Continue reading
Which Ministers of the Government have business interests in the Baha Mar project, either through contracts, business ventures inclusive of stores, etc? Those interests in our system also extend to those being held by any spouses or dependents of Cabinet Ministers. Cabinet Ministers are required to declare their interests in any matters before the government and MPs are to declare any interests they have in matters before the Parliament. Now that the Government of The Bahamas has become involved in the Baha Mar development to the extent it now is – ALL MINISTERS AS WELL AS MPs MUST DECLARE THEIR INTERESTS.
You already know what my message to you is. Today’s ruling was not unexpected at all, and I will limit my commentary on that specific issue there for now. In the meantime, don’t become dismayed by the gross and shameless media bias and ignorance in this matter, or by the government’s propaganda or by the widespread political games being played in our country at the nation’s expense. All of us with eyes and a working mind are seeing who is who and what is what. All is not lost and it’s not over yet. #RidingForYou Continue reading
Know yourself, know your purpose, stand and take your rightful place. This earth was not created for only one special group of people to have dominion and freedom. Stop waiting to see what a politician will do before you do what you have got to do for yourself, your family and your country. Just because a politician refuses to get it right doesn’t mean you need to sit small and give up. Get up – and who is late let them catch up or get out of the way.
Can the foreign Stronger Bahamas team take that tired, struggle TV commercial out of rotation and at least come up with some new lies and fairy tales for all our money they are getting? With all our tax money these people are being paid, that struggle commercial is the only broadcast item they can keep on repeat, aggravating average Bahamians with their ridiculous and failed PR messages therein? If you are going to be paid top taxpayer dollars to campaign for the governing Party, you should at least be able to show that you can do what top-class Bahamians cannot. #EpicFailAndViolationOfOurTaxes
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS SIDED WITH CHINESE PRINCIPALS AND FILED A COURT PETITION TO LIQUIDATE BAHA MAR SO AS TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM THE PROJECT’S DEVELOPER SARKIS IZMIRLIAN – that is what the Prime Minister announced tonight. This means the government is asking the Court to bring Baha Mar as it exists today to an end (liquidation). The Prime Minister announced that China ExIm wanted Izmirlian to drop his court cases against them that allege sabotage, shoddy work and unjust accounting practices and that ChinaExIm did not want to agree for more time to negotiate with Izmirlian, the project’s developer. He also announced that China ExIm wanted Izmirlian to drop his Chapter 11 protection filing in the US (even though it did not oppose the filing in US Court as was its first right to do). Mr. Christie announced that the government agrees with and hence has sided with what China ExIm wants, and as such, the government has filed a motion in our Supreme Court to put the project into mandatory liquidation. WHAT THIS MEANS IS THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS, NOT SARKIS IZMIRLIAN, HAS TAKEN ACTION IN COURT TO KILL WHAT WE NOW KNOW AS BAHA MAR. Baha Mar’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection filing was to keep the company in existence while the company tries to re-organize. The government has now moved to bring the company as it exists to an end – THAT IS WHAT LIQUIDATION MEANS. Continue reading
The Attorney General’s role under the Constitution is to act on behalf of the Bahamian people. The Prime Minister announced tonight that the AG has filed a motion in our Supreme Court to put Baha Mar into mandatory liquidation stemming from specific desires expressed by China ExIm Bank in its dispute with Baha Mar’s developer. This means the AG has asked the Court to bring Baha Mar, as it currently exists, to an end (liquidation). But here is the major problem – in mandatory liquidation petitions, it is normally the company itself or the company’s creditors (the people a company owes) who make such a petition to the Court. BAHA MAR HAS NOT FILED TO LIQUIDATE ITS COMPANY. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS IS NOT A BAHA MAR CREDITOR OR EQUITY STAKEHOLDER, NOR DID THE PM SAY THE AG WAS FILING ON BEHALF OF ANY BAHAMIAN CREDITORS. Why is the country’s AG, who is supposed to be acting for BAHAMIANS, filing a motion that is supposed to be filed by ChinaExIm Bank, the agency that is the lender for the Baha Mar project? So is the AG of The Bahamas now a de facto agent for a Chinese agency – an agency whose construction company is currently being sued by Baha Mar’s developers for alleged project sabotage and alleged unjust accounting practices in The Bahamas? It is not Sharon T who announced to the nation that our AG, acting due to the interests of a foreign creditor, has asked our Supreme Court to bring a company in The Bahamas to an end (liquidation) – THE PRIME MINISTER MADE THAT ANNOUNCEMENT. Baha Mar has not declared itself to be finished – the government, through its petition the PM’s says stems from a foreign agency’s interests – is seeking to have Baha Mar as it exists today, finished (liquidated).
These last almost two weeks of the Baha Mar saga have indeed displayed very many things about the way we see ourselves and the way we see others. We as Bahamians tend to have very curious and in many ways hypocritical positions about foreign nationals. We embrace some nationalities (and ethnic groups) while we despise others and in the case of Baha Mar, Sarkis Izmirlian as a foreign permanent resident – who ironically applied for Bahamian citizenship – was seemingly God’s gift to politicians banking on his development and his hundreds of millions in investment to give them keys and bragging rights to a sought-after political victory at the polls. The governing Party had even begun bragging about how it wanted to christen Baha Mar of sorts by being the first Party to hold its national convention there. Continue reading