Letters & Opinion

The abuse of Political Office

By Jeff Fedee

WE live in an enlightened age today where citizens of a country cannot be easily fooled by politicians as in the past. This is due to the expansion of education at all levels, especially university education. This investment in the highest levels of education is what prepares and protects a society from the arbitrary whims of abusive and authoritarian politicians, which is very much in evidence in St.Lucia Today.

The combination of an educated people and the spread of high technology, prevent dictatorial politicians from keeping citizens in a state of ignorance and subservience from bad and ill-conceived policies.

There was a period in our history, when it was the wealthy and privileged class, who were capable of enjoying the luxuries of modern technology, which are widespread throughout the society today. The poor and the middle-class are in the majority, and have the most sophisticated cell phones and laptops, which provide instant information and communication at the fingertips of citizens.

This was dramatically illustrated recently with the circulation via the internet and smart-phones, of the demented image of the Prime Minister on a political platform snarling and spitting offensive venom towards members of the country’s elected parliamentary Opposition. These images will be used in the struggle between the two protagonists in elections of the future.

In the mindless efforts to denigrate the Opposition, the image of a snarling Prime Minister baring his teeth, will certainly alienate and lose the confidence of the people of our country. No other politician in the hey-day of politics in St.Lucia has ever behaved in that repulsive manner on a political platform.

The rational conclusion of citizens is that if a sitting Prime Minister can descend to such repulsive levels, what levels of manufactured disinformation will he create in order to protect its political interests?

There needs to be a more positive atmosphere in our country today, instead of the incessant quarrelling and settling scores against its opponents by this administration.

I have been critical over the monumental disgrace and confusion that have been imposed on our country, by our inexperienced politicians and Prime Minister, who does not attempt to emulate the best practices of St. Lucia’s iconic leader Sir John.

It is deeply troubling for me to revisit the divestment of our patrimony to a wily Asian, Teo Ah Khing, which has been occupying my mind as a patriotic St.Lucian. This is what inspired me to calculate the exact amount that Teo Ah Khing was paying for our valuable land, of less than one cent per square foot, to expose the ludicrous cost that a foreigner was paying for our land, while struggling St.Lucians were paying $15.00 – $18.00 per sq. ft.

Teo Ah Khing is purported to be a multi-billionaire. Why would an investor with such grotesque sums of money, be reluctant to pay a decent price or the market value which ordinary St.Lucians pay for land in St.Lucia? Amerada Hess paid market prices for our land and was also a generous benefactor, by building several Secondary Schools for our country.

Among the astonishing revelations made by the Prime Minister is his negotiations with Teo Ah Khing, reported in the leading newspaper of the country, the Voice of St.Lucia were the following; quote: Ah Khing cannot complain about the money spent on the Horse-track, including the stables and supporting facilities which will be reimbursed to DSH, through the citizen by investment programme…Once the track is paid for, we will take back ownership of the land and so there no longer will be a lease.

I find it incomprehensible that St.Lucians will ever vote for Allen Chastanet to win any election in St. Lucia in the future, when he can divest our land at such an absurd price at less than a cent per sq. ft. to a foreigner, while St.Lucians are expected to pay market prices.

Any successor administration must launch an investigation to unearth the truth about this transaction, when St.Lucia depends on foreign aid for all aspects of our nation’s development.

How can citizens of St.Lucia repose their confidence in a man who first projected a false and sanctimonious disposition? This was all deception. Allen Chastanet entered politics in St.Lucia with an approachable and sincere personality, but has been transformed into an arrogant Prime Minister who has expanded the powers of the Prime Minister. He has kept away from Parliament the details of the deal he struck in the DSH investment. He has refused to honor the conventions of our Parliament, by refusing to appoint one of his Ministers as Deputy Speaker, despite the majority he holds in the House.

Allen Chastanet’s deceptive posture has turned into a vindictive arrogance, towards any St.Lucian who he perceives does not support his policies. This is manifested in the firing of several technocrats, replaced by incompetent figure-heads.

St.Lucia is a democracy and not a Banana Republic. The mark of a democracy is that citizens can express their independent views and thinking, without fear of victimization from a government with authoritarian tendencies.

The conclusion is that Allen Chastanet wants to be surrounded by yes-men, who will do his bidding without question, instead of intellectual and intelligent professionals who would challenge him.

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