Published On: Sun, Jan 27th, 2019

Rude awakening

Claude Peterson Rude Awakening

MP Claude “Chacho” Peterson had a rude awakening this weekend when, during a presentation on Friday in Parliament about a design for a new Parliament Building as a part of a futuristic Parliament Plaza and Boulevard development project, his words were taken out of context and used against him and his fellow Parliamentarians by Second Chamber member for the SP, Ronald van Raak, who used the opportunity to pose several questions to State Secretary Raymond Knops of Kingdom Relations.

The questions Van Raak posed were:

“Do you share my view that the money for the reconstruction of Sint Maarten is meant to restore the infrastructure, repair people’s houses and fight poverty, but not to give parliamentarians themselves an expensive and luxurious gift?”

“Can you exclude that money intended for reconstruction will be spent on a futuristic prestige project for a new parliament?”

Van Raak then took a pot shot at the St. Maarten MPs: “Do you also share my surprise that Sint Maarten is the smallest country in the Kingdom, but parliamentarians there get the highest incomes of the entire Kingdom? What is the outcome to date of the intention to lower the high salaries of the parliamentarians on Sint Maarten? When will this happen?”

MP Peterson has issued a statement that his sarcasm about using the World Bank trust fund money to finance the new Parliament building was misunderstood. However, the newcomer to Parliament has certainly learned a valuable lesson how words can be misconstrued by others, not only in the media as he initially claimed on his Facebook page, but certainly by his political opponents, locally and abroad.

If he doesn’t believe us, he can ask his colleague in Parliament, MP Christophe Emmanuel, who is now in a tit for tat word battle with Minister of TEATT Stuart Johnson, who according to our satirical cartoon most likely used the opportunity to brush up on his Macchiavelli tactics while on that cruise as he continues to use public relations instead of his presence in Parliament to defend himself.

Stuart Johnson On A Cruise