We give balance on behalf of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis today.
In this space, throughout much of the one year and five months the Free National Movement Government has been in power, under the leadership of PM Dr. Minnis, there has been good cause to be critical of decisions on national issues.
No doubt Dr. Minnis and his colleagues have botched some matters that are pivotal to the general advancement and economic improvement in Grand Bahama and the wider Bahamas. We have expressed as much. In particular, the Oban Energies Heads of Agreement signing will likely haunt Dr. Minnis and company for a long time.
There was failure regarding the Wynn Group of Canada negotiating with Hutchison Whampoa for the purpose of purchasing the Grand Lucayan, despite many promises by the government that the deal would in fact be closed. That never happened.
The conflict between two investment parties in West Grand Bahama, still exists and threatens the economic future of residents of that area and by extension the rest of the island.
The increase of Value Added Tax from 7.5 percent to 12 percent was not met favorably in the land and several members of the government voted against it. There was sympathy, nationally, for those members who were fired from positions by PM Dr. Minnis, as a result of not toeing the party line.
So indeed, he has been challenged and criticized by us.
Now, the other side of the coin.
It is puzzling, how the PM could receive criticisms for simply voicing that he is “focused on putting Bahamians first and moving The Bahamas forward.”
We wish he would be that resolute when sitting around the tables with investors.
In the aftermath of earthquake devastation in Haiti, Dr. Minnis, several days ago, when confronted by reporters, responded pointedly, expressing his priority being The Bahamas, and also, concerns about undesirable Haitian migrants flowing into the country as a result of reported prison damage in Haiti.
“At this time and point, I am looking at moving The Bahamas forward; Bahamas first. We don’t know whether they are murderers; we don’t know what type of crime they have committed, but it’s a serious matter, and we must assume that they have done the most heinous crime and we must look out for our borders. And, I again, ask all Bahamians to be vigilant because they (illegal migrants) could have a devastating effect on our country. There is a possibility that criminals have been released and are traveling toward our shores.”
Dr. Minnis, with his comments, was being “real” and we don’t consider him to have been insensitive or uncaring about the plight of Haitians or other nationals in distress due to natural disasters, or otherwise.
We believe his “Bahamas first” approach is commendable and wholeheartedly support him in this instance.