Published On: Wed, Jun 26th, 2019

MP William Marlin slams the State Secretary and the Dutch Government during speech in Parliament

Dubs State Secretary Raymond Knops the “President of Sint Maarten”.

MP William Marlin in Budget Debate June 25 2019

PHILIPSBURG — Instead of delving his time into discussing allocations in the 2019 National Budget, MP William Marlin on Tuesday broke his silence and expressed his sentiments on the “gradual and accelerated take over by the Dutch government of the country”, imputing it to the Council of Ministers.

“But what we see happening is a gradual and accelerated takeover of our country by the Dutch Government…And who’s facilitating it? The Council of Ministers,” he said during the parliament meeting.

He also stated that hurricane Irma was used by the Dutch government to control the Parliament. He also mentioned the involvement of State Secretary Raymond Knops, who, to his words, “acts as the President of Sint Maarten because he stands above the Council of Ministers”.

“State Secretary Raymond Knops will be addressing the people of St. Maarten tomorrow via Laser 101 on the reconstruction of St. Maarten as if he wants to tell the people of St. Maarten the Council of Ministers is incompetent; they are not capable of informing where we are and where we are heading with the reconstruction.”

Despite the fact that the prime minister said she is not responsible for what the state secretary says, MP Marlin said that “whenever we hear the state secretary say run, this government takes off; they don’t even know which direction to run into.”

He also reminded the ministers that the seats they occupy are seats given to them on behalf of the people of St. Maarten to represent its best interest and not the political interest of any individual, any party or any group.

Furthermore, MP Marlin also emphasized how St. Maarten had to start out with debts because it was not cancelled by the Dutch government as they promised.

“Amidst all these challenges, we continue to get a Dutch government that breathes down all our backs, breathes down all our necks, and make us feel as if we are bundle of no goods; a bundle of misfits; a bundle of corrupt people and we need their help and their support to cleanup our mess,” he added.

MP Marlin also recalled the agreement to establish the “notorious” Integrity Chamber that he fought against when he was the Prime Minister due to his stand that it was an intrusion on St. Maarten’s democracy. However, he said that a majority fell for it and they signed on to it.

Furthermore, MP Marlin also said during the parliamentary meeting the country incurred more debts due to unapproved budgets.

“No State Secretary, whether they believe they are the President of St. Maarten or not, should instruct the government… This is another continuation of their indecent proposals,” he stated.

He also questioned the Ministers what are the plans for St. Maarten and where it is going, “Where are we heading? Because we know where the Dutch is going, and anyone in here, whether on this side or that side, can see the Dutch’s agenda and your head is in the sand. And the question is, what is our plan? What is St. Maarten’s plan? What is it we want? Because between 2000 to 2010, all of us, whether we are in the government or opposition, wanted St. Maarten  to become a country, but have we dropped the ball? … Are we allowing the Dutch government to take it from us because we were hit by the hurricane?”

In addition, the MP also stressed how the Dutch Government lent to St. Maarten with conditions, “CFT giving support to a loan by the Dutch government that will sink St. Maarten even deeper in debt, making it impossible to crawl out of that barrel of debt.”

Marlin also expressed his sentiment after the proposal for US Pre-clearance in St. Maarten was turned down by the Dutch Government because there was no business in it. But he explained that there is business through the fees. He emphasized that the Pre-clearance could help St. Maarten to be on the frontline once again.

MP Marlin also questioned the operations of the Integrity Chamber. Marlin wanted to know if the Integrity Chamber did not frown when the Minister of Finance signed an agreement with BearingPoint for 12 million guilders plus a little extra for consultancy of sum 2 million and asked “What went down there?”

“We see the same thing happening with the appointment of a CFO at the airport.” Marlin said, questioning whether it would be the norm in St. Maarten to enter into agreements without going through proper procedures. Apparently, whenever the state secretary is involved, even the corporate governance code is put aside and instructions has to be followed.

 

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Publisher’s note: StMaartenNews.com will be bringing more reports on the extensive political commentaries in MP William Marlin’s speech in Parliament during the 2019 budget presentation on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Keep following this article for updates.