Published On: Thu, Jun 16th, 2022

Publisher Terrance Rey: “Greed knows no boundaries”

PHILIPSBURG — The essence of the problems with government-owned companies is “political meddling,” Terrance Rey, the publisher of StMaartenNews.com recently said on Wendell Moore’s radio program People’s Voice.

“No matter who gets appointed to these companies, they will always have to battle political interference. There is no government-owned company in St. Maarten where this has not taken place – from the airport and the harbor to Telem and GEBE.”

Rey suggested that the Corporate Governance Council ought to get a role in guiding the Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of these companies. “And the moment politicians interfere with their work, they should report this immediately to the Integrity Chamber.”

The publisher added that both institutions should get teeth. “On paper everything is regulated but if you look at the practice, what do they really do?” he said.

Political interference does not only affect government-owned companies, it also affects the wellbeing of the CEOs. “To the detriment of their personal health,” Rey said. “You read that some of them are on long-term sick leave but are they really sick? Or have they been pushed to the side? These people do not only need guidance, they also need protection.”

When Moore asked about the status of the COHO, the Caribbean Organization for Reform and Development, Rey said that the draft consensus law that underpins this institution is “dead on arrival.”

He referred to the sentiment among politicians on both sides of the ocean and also to the position of the governments in St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba.

“What I do see happening is that we will be able to make some business arrangements; give and take. If you want this then you have to give me that. That is the only way to get things done that are good for our island. Don’t forget, we are going into the next hurricane season. Where are we going to get the money to recover if anything happens? All it takes is a little hurricane, or a little pandemic. After twelve years we are still not in a position to help ourselves.”

Rey is critical of the performance of successive governments since the territory became an autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2010. “First our tax revenue went to Curacao and the money stayed there. So we blamed everything on Curacao. Then we got into this position whereby we can manage our own money and what did we do? We mismanaged our money to no end. Who is to blame for that?”

The answer to that question can be found in the political arena. “We look at our politicians and see that they have this amount of eloquence and then we mistake that for competence, or talent. But the past twelve years have proven that this is absolutely not the case. Having the gift of gab does not mean that you have the skills to manage a country, or to direct the management of the country. Politics does not manage a country, but laws, rules and regulations do.”

Rey recognizes that St. Maarten is a young country that still has a lot to learn. “It is time to learn what we really are: children learning to become adults. We have to accept responsibility and grow up.”

From that perspective, St. Maarteners have to see the reality for what it is. “In the media and in public circles there is a lot of talk about outside handlers. A couple of years ago we broke the news about the Cupecoy shadow government. Nowadays we have clear evidence of a Container Cartel. There are millions of dollars involved so the stakes are high. But that is where the high prices are coming from. Why does this happen? One word: greed, because greed knows no boundaries.”

Radical Statements on Wendell Moore’s Sunday Radio Show – May 22, 2022:

Part 0

Part 1

Part 2


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