Published On: Wed, Nov 6th, 2019

Parliament approves of Mullet Bay parliamentary inquiry

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MP William Marlin - Chair of Parliament 20191105

PHILIPSBURG – Parliament unanimously approved the initiative of MP Rolando Brison to conduct a parliamentary inquiry into issues concerning the Mullet Bay property. An amendment presented by MP Sarah Wescot-Williams, geared towards narrowing down the scope of the inquiry, was defeated by 8 to 4 votes.

Brison presented an abbreviated version of the proposal he made earlier in a central committee meeting. “This is an historic day, because it is the first time parliament discusses a parliamentary inquiry,” Brison said, adding that the inquiry aims to “remedy the ill-managed issue of the Mullet Bay property.” The MP furthermore said that the objective is “to uncover the truth and to bring about solutions.”

MP Claude Peterson acknowledged that the inquiry-initiative has become “a big topic in the community” but he considers the premise that its objective is to give Mullet Bay back to the people misleading. “You cannot state that before you have conducted the inquiry,” Peterson noted.

He asked whether Brison expects resistance from the Central Bank and from Mullet Bay owner Ansary. “And can you guarantee that Mullet Bay will be returned to the people of St. Maarten with this inquiry? It is going to open a Pandora’s Box and I hope you’ll be ready for what will pop out.”

MP Wescot-Williams expressed concerns about the lack of procedures for conducting the inquiry. She also said that not all issues mentioned in the proposal have to be subjected to the inquiry. As examples she mentioned the status of Mullet Bay Pond, the road that leads from Maho through the property towards Cupecoy and the status of the beach.

MP Silveria Jacobs said that she had been told in the run-up to previous elections “to leave Mullet Bay alone.”

MP Peterson made a suggestion for a witness to be called: former minister of finance Richard Gibson Sr. “If there is anyone who knows what went on with Mullet Bay during the past 24 years it is Mr. Gibson,” he said.

MP Brison strongly advised against the Wescot-Williams amendment. “It would do a disservice to the inquiry to narrow it down,” he said. In the end, the amendment was defeated.

All twelve members present in the meeting voted in favor of conducting the parliamentary inquiry.

MP William Marlin - President of Parliament 20191105

Photo caption: Chairman of Parliament William Marlin while discussing procedures with former President of Parliament, MP Sarah Wescot-Williams, about him being able to make a personal remark (‘persoonlijk feit’) from the chair of parliament after his name was mentioned in a news article read out loud by MP Claude ‘Chacho’ Peterson.


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Breaking news item: Mullet Bay Inquiry passed unanimously in Parliament
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