Published On: Wed, May 30th, 2018

Minister Ferrier: “Government-owned companies should operate in accordance with good governance”

Mike Ferrier - 20180530 HH

PHILIPSBURG – Is the government finally for or against the civil inquiry the public prosecutor’s office wants to conduct at the harbor group of companies? Last week, the attorney for Minister Cornelius de Weever created the impression that the government is in favor, by saying that the country supports the position of the harbor’s attorney, Chris de Bres, who clearly opposed the initiative.

We could not ask Minister De Weever for a clarification during Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing, because he left early. So we posed the question to Finance Minister Mike Ferrier – thinking that the inquiry is, at least partially – about a lot of money. But the questions did not yield a clear for or against.

This is what the minister had to say about the subject.

“Every government-owned company should operate in accordance with good governance and good practices that protect the company and make sure that it can grow. Government-owned companies are ultimately owned by the people, the tax payers of St. Maarten.

“In my opinion, if there is reason to doubt that a company is not run the way it is supposed to be run, investigations need to be done. Who should do those investigations? I’ll stay out of that, but we, the people of St. Maarten must want things to be done right, not because somebody else, some other country or a partner in the kingdom, thinks that we need to look at a situation. It needs to be done because we want it to be done the right way.”

When stmaartennews.com volunteered that this statement amounts to support form the civil inquiry, Minister Ferrier said: “Take it the way you want. Again, if there is a solid reason, okay, but it should not be based on rumors and innuendos. That happens a lot in our community.

“People’s names get destroyed as rumors are brought out. Social media have their positives – old friends get to find each other – but rumor mongering is wrong. A tremendous amount of people in our community engage in this and that is very disruptive.

“Throwing out stuff to see what will stick about someone’s reputation is absolutely unacceptable to me. If anyone, be it a prosecutor, calls for an investigation, it better be because they have solid information that could lead to a possible conclusion that shows that the companies are being run wrong. If there is something they can prove – that is one thing.

“I also hope that if in the end they find that nothing was wrong they come out and say so. That does not always happen. People’s names get destroyed and then nobody comes back and says: oops, we made a mistake and we’re sorry.

“St. Maarten is a small community and we need to protect each other as much as we can. But if you have butter on your head, try not to go out into the sun.”


Photo caption: Finance Minister Mike Ferrier. Photo Hilbert Haar.