It was a pitiful moment to witness how the derailed Minister of Health Emil Lee defended the integrity of his ministry, when the vote of no-confidence became an inevitable reality. Like a drowning man, he tried desperately to grasp at the wind that he couldn’t even see, just to hold on to that ministry. But who is to blame? His lousy, combative, incomplete and sometimes non-responsive explanations have caused his tenure to reach an uncomfortable level.
Let’s roll back the curtain a wee bit. In 2014, when the minister and his party leader were quizzed repeatedly about him being a nominee for the executive branch, neither of them gave a clear-cut answer to the reporter. When the rumor was confirmed in 2015, he announced his open policy on recruitment for his cabinet. At the time, Minister Lee told this public that his chief cabinet advisor is a volunteer.
On November 26, 2015, I questioned his integrity in my article entitled “Open recruitment for cabinet, really?” After the elections of 2016, the volunteer became a paid cabinet member. Was his position advertised? No! And, all that the population got from this minister was a cocky attitude towards the press and excessive talk about constructing a new hospital. Labour and Social Affairs were totally neglected.
My article “They have become extremely cocky” of February 15, 2017, outlined his behaviour and failures in these areas.
The health situation and broken labour system just worsened under Minister Emil Lee, who was too blind to see how his lack of transparency has diminished his integrity. His constant dodging of questions from journalists and MPs [Members of Parliament – Ed.] was a testament to his behaviour. Does the population recall when the three labour mediators were hand-picked? My article “Stand up to your responsibility” of March 23, 2017, questioned the openness of these issues.
How can the public forget the numerous invitations from Parliament to this minister regarding the six-month contract? When he finally came to Parliament, the original version was completely dismantled, which left the opposition totally puzzled. Up to date, this issue remained dead on arrival. So, whose interest was he representing then and now? Is it the people or the big businesses? Assessing his mindset, I called for an immediate dismissal of Minister Lee in my article “Get rid of him” on April 12, 2017.
It was obvious that the minister has gotten very comfortable in his position and so the people did not have his attention. The weapon that he exercised a lot is his ability to pacify the population with pretty talks that lack substance. Nothing else mattered to this minister but his obsession with building a new hospital. The behaviour displayed forced me to write “Incompetence + arrogance = complete failure” on June 27, 2017.
How laughable it was to hear the minister state that if the coalition had asked him to tender his resignation, he would have gladly done so. How long have the people being demanding that the minister do the honourable thing, for failing to represent his ministry in its entirety? And to hear the same minister complain that his spouse’s business has suffered tremendously, was also ludicrous. Which is more important, politics or family?
Luc Mercelina had every right to seek the support of the opposition and send Minister Emil Lee packing. It was long overdue. The minister is the one who has created this situation. He did what pleases him and whenever the public grumbles, he pacifies us with details of the new hospital. I expected nine votes, but as usual, MP Frankie Myers is a coward. He says things that he does mean. This is why MPs are looked upon as jokers or flip-floppers.
What was also very shocking is to hear the Chairlady’s remarks pertaining to the treatment towards certain individuals. MP, look around in the various supermarkets and tell us who is considered xenophobic. What was more profound is how she graded herself, when she stated that she is not a professional, only on the level to which the people entrusted her to be. Did I hear the Chairlady correctly, or is my interpretation of a professional different from hers?
And, did I misunderstand the issue of Intaquin precisely; an entity where St. Maarten would have owned 49 per cent of the shares? Hasn’t the situation with UTS taught us anything? Chairlady, the consistent breach of integrity issues surrounding “your minister,” deserved his immediate dismissal. Get over it! A professional picks up the pieces and moves on. Be a professional.