Amid a heated debate relating to the amendments of the Trafficking of Persons Act, the Criminal Procedure Code Amendment Act 2017 and a Homeowners Protection Act 2017, in the House of Assembly (HOA) on Wednesday morning, member of Parliament (MP) for Fort Charlotte, Dr. Andre Rollins stated that while he is not seeking re-election, he maintained that he is and will continue to be member of the Official Opposition, the Free National Movement (FNM).
He noted that the country deserves better and the Bahamian people deserve better from those that have been elected to speak on their behalf.
“What we are doing in this country is not working. As a reality, we have our country, being set up to be dictated to by foreign powers.
“I understand that we are, in many cases, under the very watchful eye of the United States and we are beholding to them because without the United States, economically, we are nothing. It is difficult to hear a Bahamian politician say that, but I believe in being real,” said Rollins.
“Mr Speaker, negotiating tactics are such, you never allow the release of potentially damaging or damming contractual details to emerge before a general election; you never do, because these people who are in here right now, the unionists, would be out in the streets with all of their membership, saying this must not stand.”
Rollins added that leadership means that one stands up even if he or she feels that they are weak, nonetheless, you stand.
“Mr. Speaker in this next election, do not believe for one minute people have maligned the Member for Long Island (Loretta Butler-Turner); I want to say this on the record, we did not hold a gun to her head and tell her, down with Minnis, we didn’t do that.
“We believed that his opposition ought to have been performing much better. Thousands of Bahamians out there felt that we were falling down on the job, but if we were falling down on the job, at least we were on the job.”
Known for being very vocal during his contributions, Rollins noted his concern with respect to the recent landfill fire as well as the status of Baha Mar.
“The Baha Mar situation, please I ask this Honorable House, lay the documents on the table. We need to know what you promised the Chinese Government, not that we have a personal problem with the Chinese, the Chinese control the enterprises that they call state owned enterprises (SOE’s), they are owned by the Chinese.
“We need to know what you promised the Chinese, because as I was the first to say in this House, if it is found that what you promised and committed us to is not in our interest, we have a right to review. I cannot sell what I do not own, Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador (Hon. Philip Davis); however, I am the one who establishes the legal framework and parameters in which they must operate,” Rollins noted.
“Mr. Speaker the Member for Long Island called it a playpen the other day; the country is not a playpen. The same way the people that are under bondage, because they are being held against their wishes as economic slaves, the same way that is not a game for them, this place is not a game for the Bahamian people.
“Tall Pines and the people of the entire New Providence, they need rescue from this dock that is killing people. We may not see it now, but 10 -15 years from now we will hear about it. We need the details of Baha Mar and Mr. Speaker, we hope that those details are not damming such that our country will be in bondage to the Chinese for years and generations to come,” said Rollins.
“Having said that, because I do not know how many more opportunities I will have to come in this place, I wish to thank the people of Fort Charlotte for reposing their confidence in me and for allowing me to be what I said I would be, and that is their voice in this place.
“Secondly, I would be ungrateful if I did not say to the PLP, its stalwart councillors, particularly of Fort Charlotte, its foot soldiers and yes, I want to thank the Rt. Hon. Member for Centerville (Perry Christie) for giving me this opportunity, but I hope that you do understand that for all I have done, to hold you accountable it has been to promote a better country so that when those of my generation would be in a position to see a better future than our present. As I am a member of the FNM and I remain a member of the FNM, I am not too big to acknowledge where I ought to be thankful.”
Published Friday, March, 17, 2017