CMOORE Journal News interviews and Public information Tue, 27 Nov 2018 07:55:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 CMOORE Journal 32 32 Building Permit for new Hospital released Tue, 27 Nov 2018 07:55:24 +0000 CAY HILL: St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has announced that it has officially received the building permit for the construction of the new hospital. A groundbreaking ceremony is therefore planned for December 3rd, 2018.

The General Director, Kees Klarenbeek stated: “It is great to see that the new hospital project that we started to plan for back in 2015 has now come to a phase whereby we will officially break ground making way for the construction works to officially start!”

Klarenbeek continued by saying: “We want to thank the SMMC team for their dedication and patience, the tripartite members for their continued collaborative efforts, the Minister of VSA Mr. Emil Lee and his cabinet for their tireless efforts and of course the hardworking folks at VROMI for their diligent and expedited work and for making sure we had our T’s crossed and I’s dotted. Thank you all!”

SMMC’s Facilities Manager, Erika v/der Horst echoed a similar sentiment: “We are happy to have the permit in our hands and look forward to the constructions works to commence. The project is slated to be completed in the next 3 to 4 years and during this time we will closely communicate with our patients, neighbors and community at large about the developments of the new hospital”.

Van der Horst also reminded companies to pre-register for the hospital related World Bank funded public tenders that will be announced during the early part of December. Interested companies can review the projects and pre-register via the special World Bank section on the SMMC website: or email procurement [at] smmc [dot] sx.


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Pensioner in the Netherlands surprised on 100th birthday milestone Thu, 22 Nov 2018 18:53:52 +0000 The Algemeen Pensioenfonds Sint Maarten (APS) surprised APS member Mrs. Dirkje van den Heuvel-de Jonge when she recieved a congratulatory bouquet of flowers and a card in honor of her 100th birthday on November 6th 2018.

“These moments are beautiful reminders of how important our responsibility to our members are. We are happy to see them enjoy their retirement, no matter where in the world, and it is an honor to be a part of that” says APS Director, Nadya Croes-van Putten.

Mrs. Dirkje van den Heuvel-de Jonge is originally a member of the APNA pension fund, which was dissolved on 10-10-10 and transitioned to become a member of the APS pension fund. She now resides in Holland and enjoys her love for plants and gardening in Terneuzen, her husband’s hometown. She met her husband in Curacao when she moved to the Netherlands Antilles in 1953. Their two daughters were born and raised on Sint Maarten until the family returned to the Netherlands in 1973. APS is honored to be able to acknowledge and welcome Mrs. Dirkje van den Heuvel-de Jonge to the elite group of centenarians around the world.


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Ronald Van Raak unleash more allegations on St. Maarten MPs Wed, 14 Nov 2018 20:10:11 +0000 He is calling out our Members of Parliament to let’s have that referendum to see what the people will decide whether to stay in the Kingdom or go independent. Van Raak said the following in his article:

Sometimes, as a Member of Parliament, you get strange messages, such as the letter of the St. Maarten Court of Justice which alleged that Dutch agents had stolen “a considerable number of jewels” during the arrest of mafia boss Francesco Corallo. Corallo was arrested on the suspicion of bribing politicians. The letter contains remarkable language errors and the name under the letter belongs to someone who didn’t work at the Court. Also strange is that this letter was sent on January 8, 2016, while the arrest of Corallo took place on December 13, 2016 – eleven months later. What is going on here? Either the people at the Court can predict the future, or this letter is a forgery. The accused agents are part of a team that investigates corruption on the island, the TBO. St. Maarten politician Frans Richardson, suspected of fraud and corruption, showed the letter in Parliament. It is not the first time that a local parliamentarian has launched an attack on police officers investigating fraud and corruption. Theo Heyliger, the most influential politician on the island, did it before. Meanwhile, it has become clear that Heyliger himself is the subject of investigation, charged with bribing another politician. The leader of the largest party would also have been bribed by a consultant from the Netherlands.

I have written more often in this paper about fraud and corruption in St. Maarten, and also about the parliamentarians, half of whom are the subject of an investigation, or have been sentenced in the meantime. An international investigation is being done on the island focusing on the connection between the legitimate society and the underworld. It is painful to see how many politicians are involved in fraud and corruption. This investigation led to a counter- reaction by a number of politicians on the island, who organised demonstrations against the interference of the Netherlands and drafted proposals to become independent. A discussion in Parliament where Dutch politicians were accused of “slavery” and “apartheid” says a great deal. Referring to the current anti-corruption investigation, Heyliger even spoke about “Gestapo methods.” Other politicians called for independence with the idea of preventing the prosecution of corrupt politicians. The outcome of that debate in Parliament remained obscure, also because halfway through the light went out. Threatening with independence is not very effective, because no politician in the Netherlands will stop it. A condition is that not only the politicians but especially the inhabitants of the island speak their mind on the matter of independence. Let politics organize such a referendum, which seems much better to me than spreading letters with a nonsensical content.

Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin has voiced criticism about the corruption investigation, something that the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament didn’t appreciate, because this kind of political interference with criminal investigations does not fit a constitutional state. As a result of this criticism, the prime minister refrained from an intended visit to the Second Chamber to speak with us about St. Maarten’s recovery after last year’s Hurricane Irma, for which the Netherlands has reserved 550 million euros. Minister of Finance Perry Geerlings decided to come to the Second Chamber, as an investment in better relations. In an interview with the TV news programme EenVandaag, the minister distanced himself from Heyliger’s “Gestapo methods” statement. When he returned to the island, the Parliament bombarded him with negative reactions. Even the opposition felt that the minister should have said that the Netherlands is using Nazi practices. Most local politicians felt that the minister should not have spoken with Dutch Members of Parliament. It makes me sad when I see how politicians on St. Maarten are suspicious of the help that the Netherlands offers, and how they try to frustrate any attempt to fight fraud and corruption. Let’s have that referendum on independence that politicians are threatening with. Then people can choose whether they want to live in a fraud state or in a lawful, constitutional state.

Ronald van Raak is a Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament for the Socialist Party (SP)


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Near 50% turn out for Bus Association Election Sunday. Tue, 30 Oct 2018 04:04:56 +0000 The St. Maarten United Bus Drivers Association held its election on Sunday to fill three positions on its managing board that became obtainable for any member who wish to fill those position. The position of President, Treasurer and Secretary were made available by the sitting members who have served their time but also put their names up for re-election.  They were not challenged by any other members of the Association therefore their names were the only name up for election on the ballot.  The membership however had their democratic right to vote yes or no for the re-election of these candidates.

For the position of President Mr. Claude Omeus Bus #12 secured his presidency with 76% of the votes cast.  29 out of 38 persons voted for him to continue serving as President. For the position of Secretary Jean Daniel got 68% of the votes cast. Some 26 out of the 38 persons who voted, said yes for Daniel to continue as Secretary of the Association. And for the Treasurer Mr. Gilnes Dorane, he too was successfully re-elected. 28 of the 38 drivers voted yes for Dorane to continue, which represents 73 % of the votes cast.

With the elections now behind the association the board feels empowered to continue with the structuring of the bus routes covering all areas and the implementing of a new system of a bus terminal from which to operate in and out of Philipsburg pending an approved area for bus holding.

The board is extending gratitude to Mr. Thompson and Mr. Moore for their volunteer service to the association offering advice and support in advancing the cause of organizing the Public Bus Transportation service for the Island.


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West Indies Coach Stuart Law likely to leave the WI… Sat, 27 Oct 2018 19:28:18 +0000 Full Interview conducted by Varun Shetty:

Stuart Law, who became West Indies’ coach in February 2017, saw them through the World Cup Qualifiers, but he won’t be sticking around for the big tournament itself next year, having taken on a job with Middlesex. Under him, West Indies won six out of 15 Tests, including a famous chase of 322 at Headingley last year, secured series wins over Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, a draw with Sri Lanka, and did well in T20Is too. He talks about working to change West Indies’ cricket culture, the singular talent of Shai Hope, and why Jason Holder still needs to work on his leadership skills.

It has been over two years since you took over from Phil Simmons. What was the state of the game in the West Indies then and what was your mandate from the board?
The mandate was pretty clear: to get us moving forward, both on and off the field. You create a professional development system that is going to improve the cricketers at a different rate to what they expected. So first of all, I had to see what was going on. I watched a little bit of domestic cricket and had a pretty quick intro into international cricket against England – which wasn’t easy against their one-day side. The first thing I noticed was that we needed to be fitter and stronger. It wasn’t really a cricket skill issue.

We needed to work smarter, not longer. I think sometimes the net session can go on for far too long – you can turn a five-day game into a six-day game by training too long the day before. That was [about] changing the mindset, changing the culture. We had to get the fitness and strength into it but also work ethic that was going to be smarter rather than time-consuming. Slowly but surely over time, it’s developed very well. The boys now know what they’re doing three days out from a game.

Was there a particular aspect that struck you as something that needed to be sorted out immediately?
Fitness counts for a lot of things. It counts for decision-making on the ground. If you’re not physically fit, you can make poor decisions in the middle because you can get tired. And that was it.

I saw a lot of skill. Still do. Every player that comes in here has got something about him. One thing they need to work on is being able to maintain that skill level under pressure the entirety of the game rather than ten or 12 overs here and there.

We’ve got good pace, we’ve got good spin, and we’ve got young kids coming in. I’m excited to see them coming in. There’s skill in the Caribbean. Just need to get them fit and strong. If they’re fit and strong, they’re going to maintain that skill a lot longer.

“Marlon Samuels is a very misunderstood bloke. Tough as teak. But he’s got a bit of compassion too”

How do you ensure such a direction is taken?
It’s a different system now to what Phil Simmons had. Since I’ve come in, there’s been a change of CEO – Jonny Graves, from England, who I know really well. Jimmy Adams was employed as director of cricket. I believe this is the first time that the West Indies has someone from the West Indies in that role.

I worked with those guys to come up with what we’re going to do and then delivered it to the board, which will then filter down into the regional groups. We need to get each region’s headquarters onto one island – all the players there, so they can live there and do gym together, run together, play cricket together. That’s a big move but a brave one. And that’s where we have to get to.

The islands need to just make a commitment and do that, and I think that with the likes of Jimmy and Jonny on board, the directors definitely want to make this improvement. That would be the No. 1 priority.

Next one would be to have an academy. We had an academy for a while. It was disbanded for whatever reason. We’re in the process of developing one in Antigua, where we’ve seen immediate improvement. A lot of these young fast bowlers coming through, they’ll be able to come in for two-three months at a time, get through an extensive gym program, which will give them functional strength to bowl fast. People back in the Caribbean say: “Why do we need ’em [academies]? We didn’t back in the day.” I think we need it now because every other nation does. And every other nation has started to catch up and go past us. So I think we need to do the same.

You were exposed to long-form cricket for a long time as a player, which is not something the young batsmen in West Indies have currently. From a developmental perspective, do you train these guys on skills? Is that even possible to do at the Test level?
I feel sorry for a lot of them because they’re learning on the road. International cricket is a super tough environment to learn in. If you’re not understanding what goes into playing long-form cricket, it can be bloody tough.

I think to play long-form cricket, you need to be able to play on really good surfaces and understand what it takes to bat all day. Also understand what it takes to think a batsman out rather than run in and let go and let the wicket do the job. I think that’s what the Caribbean needs. They need a little bit of love down in the regions to make sure the pitches that they play on are the best they can possibly be. I’ve seen games go two days, one and a half days, which is no good for anyone. You need decent pitches. I’d like to see them more hard, fast and bouncy, so it’ll encourage the fast bowlers. Wherever we go, we play on hard, fast, bouncy wickets. Even in India, the wicket in Hyderabad had good pace and bounce in it.

That will improve our longer-form cricket immediately. It’ll also improve our one-day cricket, because batters are not looking for balls that’ll hit them in the head or roll along the ground. Our boys come [overseas] and they see the surfaces in the nets and they are better than the wickets they play out in the middle back home. Everyone sees what other countries get.

Has the unavailability of senior batsmen because of contract issues affected batting quality in the team? 
It has affected things, yes. It does have a detrimental effect. When you pick a side – talking about these ODI – you sit down at a selection table and three or four players pull out for one reason or another, you sort of think, well, okay, what’s going on?

Some players have explained to me what’s going on, and some haven’t really explained it. So it’s hard to get that continuity in the team. What we’re doing right now is building up for a World Cup. And if we keep chopping and changing, [it isn’t ideal].

Look, players have their reasons and I respect they have their reasons. They’ve got to put food on the table, they’ve got to do it the best way they can. The contracts are there in place and [some of] the players want to commit to the board. Others are more in demand in the rest of the world, and they can command a higher wage. All in all, it’s their decision. There’s nothing else you can do. But it would be great to have full accessibility to these players to use not only their skills but also their experience to help the youngsters get better.

Does it affect the team morale when players back out?
These guys are pretty good. They’ve been through a lot at such a young age. And you know that’s our job as the management to make sure they’re given everything we possibly can. And they tell you the reason. They don’t tell you made-up stories.

It’s disappointing yes, but it’ll be interesting to see if the couple of debutants in this series – if a bowler comes in and takes two lots of five wickets, a batter comes in and scores a hundred and 80 not out, what everyone is going to start thinking then.

Are you more technically inclined, or do you prefer a managerial or mentorship role?
If I wanted to change technique, I would be coaching the Under-12s. By the time you’re 15, 16, it’s very hard to change a technique. You’ve got to give snippets on how to use that technique to score runs and study the batter – how you think the bowler is going to try and get you out, and then give them options: a) how to negate them, and b) how you’re going to score your runs.

I’m not a technical coach. I can pick the pieces of technique, but if you’re doing that here on the road, you’re basically giving the player no confidence, by saying everything is wrong with your technique and you need to change. I think if you need that sort of technical work, you’re better off doing that in the pre-season.

Here I talk about basic things. If they’re falling over or not taking a stride, you can change that on the road. But if it’s a complete set-up, a trigger movement, or a particular shot, very hard to learn it.

Jason Holder said you have a close working relationship with Shai Hope. Could you tell us a little about that?
I’ve got a close working relationship with a lot of the boys. Shai, you watch him bat and he scores very pretty runs. And you’ve got another kid, Rovman Powell, who, when I first got here, struggled against the spinning ball, struggled in defense. Now, he’s turned into our most improved white-ball cricketer.

I don’t think Shai realizes yet how good he can be. He probably says he does, but deep down I don’t think he realizes how good he could be. It’s a constant conversation. He always tells me he wants me to be honest. I tell him when he’s had a good day, I tell him when he’s had a bad day. He can trust me. If I need to pass information down the chain to one of the coaches, I won’t mention the specifics that we spoke about or the way it was spoken. He’s a fine young player, a dedicated professional. He’s now got to step up. He’s got to grab the opportunities he’s been given because he’s leaving far too many runs out in the middle.

“We had some success. I wouldn’t rate it a great success. There were plenty of games where we were in control and we lost. Which goes back to fitness”

Like Hope, there are guys like Shane Dowrich, Kraigg Brathwaite and Roston Chase who have done well recently during your time. But Holder has leaped over them all dramatically. Why do you think that is?
Roston Chase has had a good time. Dowrich has worked very hard away from our group, with coaches back in Barbados.

The only thing I’ve done for Jason is given him more responsibility. People say he’s still very young, but he’s played a lot of cricket. We can’t just keep saying these guys are still learning. You’ve got to learn but you’ve also got to develop.

Jason started swinging the ball massively back in the Caribbean during the Sri Lanka and Bangladesh series. He bowled well in England without getting the rewards. Probably bowled slightly the wrong length, but he quickly worked out that if you’ve got to swing the ball big, you’ve got to pitch it up. As soon as he did that, he got wickets against Bangladesh. He has developed, and it’s not through constant badgering and constant chatting.

You give him an idea, he might say one thing, might do another thing. You might not talk to him at all and let him work it out in the field and he’s actually gone and embraced that and started to take more control. His leadership still has some way to go. [He needs to] understand that sometimes you can’t be nice to everybody, and not everyone’s going to like it. As a captain you’ve got to be the big brother, and sometimes a school teacher. And that’s how you’re going to command respect. Whatever you say should happen.

Is there anything in particular about Jason that has set him apart?
As a captain he’s responsible for the results in the field along with me. As responsible for preparation off the field as on. If it doesn’t affect you here [points to heart] and mentally, nothing will. You’ve got to have that passion and desire for the team to do well.

He’s a driven young man who’s also very thoughtful, which I think is standing him in better stead. He’s also highly skilled. He can bat, he can bowl, and for a big man, he’s got great hands in the field and can move pretty well. So he’s got the skill.

Mentally, not a lot affects him. He’s gone through the wringer. He gets abuse daily from the Caribbean saying he’s not good enough, and that just drives him forward. I can relate to that – people telling you you’re not good enough and shouldn’t be playing. To keep making that work for you is a credit to him. Other players take it on board and take it to heart too much. You can’t listen to what we call “the bullshit”. You can only listen to what your team-mates are telling you and what your coaching staff and family are telling you.

You’ve got a very young batting line-up, and the World Cup is not too far away. What was the plan leading into that after qualifying?
Seems to be an ever-changing line-up due to personal issues or other issues beyond our control. At the moment that plan has to change every tour because of new personnel. So now it’s all about opportunity. These young kids have been identified, through the T20 tournament and domestic cricket back home, so they’re really green. But I think sometimes the more green you are, the better. You don’t know the unknown. I notice in the press that everyone’s given us absolutely no chance to win a game. That’s incentive for us. We’re supposed to get our backsides handed to us, but its great motivation for us to show that we’re not just there to make up the numbers.

I dont think Shai Hope realises just yet how good he can be

In terms of uncertainty, is that still a cloud that hangs over the likes of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell?
Chris has given us his program for the next three months. I think he and Russ have been told that it’ll now be down to performance, which is what selection should be based on. You’re talking about two special cricketers there, though. Whether or not they get extra room to move remains to be seen. But for me, you need players with good experience leading into a World Cup, guiding the youngsters how to play.

We’re lucky to have Marlon Samuels here. And his job on this tour is to show these kids how to go about a game. He’s rising to the challenge. He’s a very misunderstood bloke. Tough as teak. But he’s got a bit of compassion too. Without those guys, it’s a bit tougher.

It must have been particularly difficult for you to step down.
Yeah, it was, mate. The one thing that got me was my family. We’ve just upped sticks from Australia and moved back to the UK. We had to sever ties with Australia completely to move, which is always tough. But I did it for the family, to be close to my wife’s family and for my son to have an opportunity at a cricket college in Leeds, which was probably too good to say no to.

I spent the first couple of weeks there when I was settling in with him. Then on the drive down from Leeds to Heathrow, my son called me and said, “Dad, I don’t want you to go.” That was pretty tough to listen to. I was lucky enough that I was good mates with Angus Fraser, who is the director of cricket at Middlesex. He had rung me out of the blue weeks before this, asking if I would consider coaching Middlesex. As they say, the rest is history.

I’ve been to a World Cup with Sri Lanka, I know what it’s about. It’d be nice to have on the CV as well, but at times there’s more important things to life than cricket and at this point in time the family comes first. I’ve got to listen to their wishes. I’ve been looking after other people’s young men. Got to start looking after my own.

What will you remember as your successes in this job?
The mountains we had to climb, trying to change a culture. To have it told from outside the culture that this needs to change, to get that message across – I think that’s a huge mountain climbed.

Our fitness has gone steadily up over the last two years, which is a hard thing to achieve, particularly in a laid-back culture like the Caribbean. But I think the players understand now that if you’re not fit, you’re not going to compete. If you’re not going to compete, the other teams are there to steamroll you. That’s probably a major change that is a success.

Playing-wise, we had some success. I wouldn’t rate it a great success. In all formats, there were plenty of games where we were in control and we lost. Which goes back to fitness.

There were challenges in all facets of the game, but the No. 1 thing was to make sure we change that culture, and we did that. I think that’s the most successful thing we’ve done.

And was there something you wanted to change but couldn’t?
The win-loss ratio! And not through lack of trying or lack of hard work. Look, when you’re used to playing at a certain level, it’s very hard to have that belief that you can go the next step. There are times when we had the foot on the throat and we crushed teams. There were times when we were getting in a good position and we lost games. That’s one thing I wish we would have changed. That’s not a two-year project. That’s a five-six-year project. The boys are well on the way. They understand what they need to do and I think with who’s coming in to help out after I leave, the boys are in very good hands.


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Hope and Nurse helped WI draw level with India… Sat, 27 Oct 2018 19:04:11 +0000 Not much is written about WI cricket of late because of their woeful performances in International Cricket in modern times. But if anyone thinks this series with India was going to be one-sided affair, they will have to think again. You’d be forgiven however, for thinking so, after the thrashing WI got in the Test series. So far we’ve had an Indian win, a tie and, now, a West Indies win. WI 283 /9 India 240 all out after 47.4 Overs. West Indies winning by 43 runs.

First time ever that India have lost a game at home when Kohli has scored a century, and only the second time anywhere in the world it has happened. But this game was really an exposure of an old ailment in the Indian ODI team: an underexposed middle order. Rohit and Dhawan failed in this third ODI, and that meant the middle order was tested. WI on the other hand showed some hope for their ODI chances after been left out of the last World Cup and having to play qualifiers in order to be on the world stage for the next World Cup.

Great game for Ashley Nurse that earned him man of the match honors, It was him who boosted West Indies total to 283/9 with a late onslaught and then grabbed two wickets. Others chipped in to help come away with the win; Holder produced a ripper to get Rohit Sharma, and then got MS Dhoni edging behind. Not to forget Shai Hope’s measured 95 as he held up one end and built the innings while India chipped away. “Whatever’s required for the team says Shai Hope, I had to put up my hand.”  Samuels did very little with the bat but picked up the important wickets of Kohli and Bumrah to close off the win.

Captain Jason Holder says, “Credit to the boys. I thought we played an outstanding game, It was important to go deeper for me, something to learn there, but credit to the guys. We hung in the game, which was very important. Nurse was outstanding, I know what to expect from him, so it was good to see him get wickets and keep things tight. I think the guys are learning better.” They will start the fourth game level one all with India at Mumbai Monday October 29th.


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How St. Maarten can take advantage of Hub Possibilities Fri, 05 Oct 2018 11:32:43 +0000 Economist Caryl Monte gave a presentation to a cross section of the Business community Wednesday October 3rd in which he outlined the possibilities that St. Maarten has, as a result of its strategic location in the Caribbean region, and the hub possibilities that exist, even in a rebuilding stage after the devastation of Irma.

Economist Mr. Caryl Monte says the post Irma situation for St. Maarten has the potential of making the Island ready to climb to the next level even in the face of the technology era. E-commerce, business and on line technology is threatening the jobs of the working class in the traditional business and enterprise that have drastically changed into electronic commerce. But these merchandise that are bought on line and the service to move these goods to the Islands needs a hub like St. Maarten to help get them to their final destination in the quickest possible time. The Postal service that at the moment seems dead can be part of the logistics to make this happen but it must happen with all players having their nose pointed in the same direction.


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Minister Lee meets head on with labor violations. Thu, 27 Sep 2018 01:40:39 +0000 Minister of VSA Emil Lee said on Wednesday that he experienced ‘gross non-compliance’ during his recent field visit with the Labor inspectors of VSA. Lee says that the inspectors were even denied access to conduct their inspections of a Government owned entity.

Lee says he finds it unfortunate that something like this is happening and he intends to bring this matter up with the management of that company. Lee occasionally joins the field inspection in order to get a better understanding and to assess the challenges faced by the inspectors and also to understand what is going on in the community.

“As a Government, we need to try and ensure compliance and we are looking at it as a phased approach. Certainly, for people who are paying their taxes and premiums, we would work along with the employer in terms of how we can improve their compliance in terms of work permits and residence permits. For those companies who are not paying their taxes and social premiums – that is unforgivable. For the country, that is something we just simply cannot afford to let happen.” Minister of VSA, Emil Lee said.

He advised that employers and employees alike are to adhere to compliance regulations. The general observation according to Lee is that employees who were addressed, were under the impression that they were being compliant. However, when asked to provide appropriate documentation such as pay slips and labor agreements they were unable to show proof. “It is troubling to see that a lot of these workers are in a way being taken advantage of. Imagine, many of the employees couldn’t even provide the name of the company that employed them.”

Employees are reminded and encouraged by the Minister to be sure to receive a pay slip from their employer, to always have a valid form of identification on hand and to have a copy of their labor agreement“If you have a smart phone, take a picture of your last pay slip and labor agreement and have this on hand.” Employers are reminded that they must understand that they have a responsibility, regardless of the legal status of an employee – taxes and social premiums must be paid, and it is a legal obligation. The press statement concludes.


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The Dutch meddling responsible for my demise Sat, 22 Sep 2018 04:03:30 +0000 The former Prime Minister of St. Maarten MP William Marlin has blamed the Dutch with some help from local politicians for having him removed from Office after hurricane Irma of 2017. Mr. Marlin was at the time being interviewed on the Popular 12 O’clock radio show “View Point” when he outlined the series of events leading to his departure as Prime Minister. According to MP Marlin, the hurricane was used by the Dutch to gain more control of St. Maarten when they decided to attach conditions on their obligations to help the country after a disaster of this magnitude. The Parliament as well used the moment to side with the Dutch and gave Marlin’s cabinet of Ministers a vote of no confidence and forced their resignation.

Marlin said he objected to the manner in which the Government of the Netherlands laid down the conditions when it appeared that the Dutch Government was not talking about immediate help but rather asking to give up control of some autonomous areas of his government to be handed over to the Dutch.  There was nothing wrong on his part other than charges of him stalling the help promised by the Dutch from coming; one year later, there is still no substantial help that came from the Netherlands other than to park the relief funds at the World Bank that requires supervision from Dutch persons attached to every committee connected to accessing the money.

When the MP was asked if that means the Dutch are in control, Marlin said “the Dutch have been giving the International community the impression that The Kingdom of the Netherlands is made up of 4 countries but internally they act as though the kingdom is Holland and three colonies. That’s how much they want to be in control. The Dutch, he said, certainly do not regard Curacao, Aruba and St. Maarten as equal partners in the Kingdom when at all political levels they seek to gain control and interfere in the government actions in these countries.

Although MP Marlin along with the other Ministers resigned immediately after the vote of no confidence, he was asked to stay on until another government was in place, but the Dutch pressured the governor to have Marlin removed since he was objecting to their control. He was then asked a second time to submit a resignation letter and vacate the position because the Dutch wanted no dealings with him. But the MP says to get out of the control of the Dutch, the citizens will have to understand their roll and our political leaders will have to clean up their acts themselves without having to be told by others what they are doing wrong. It’s the only way we can be in control of our destiny and sit at the United Nations like most Caribbean countries and be seen as equal. Until that happens the Dutch will always act as though they are the ones in control.


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Buss Association drive to organize Public Bus Service Thu, 13 Sep 2018 14:44:53 +0000 The United St. Maarten Bus Drivers Association held meetings with the Ministry of Transportation seeking to get a consensus on the part of Government to help organize and regulate public bus transportation on the island.  The President of the Bus Association, Mr. Claude Omenus, says for the first time he felt confident that the new Minister of TEATT, Mr. Stewart Johnson, seems willing to work with the association to regulate public buses running in an organized way to the different districts.

Public Transportation on St. Maarten for all intent and purpose has been in the hands of individuals who have been issued Bus and Taxi licenses to operate on the public roads without any specific frame work for service that they have to abide by. The only rules they are to follow are the traffic guidelines by law. Taxis on the other hand have established themselves putting in place organizations of which taxi drivers are encouraged to become members and work within their organization’s structure.

Busses however, are running arbitrarily where they feel they can make the most money and at whatever times they feel like doing so. This system has turned out to be more of a hustle rather than providing a structured bus service. As a result some districts get no bus service and gypsies run rampant and uncontrolled. Another complexity within the bus service system on St. Maarten has come from politicians giving Bus licenses to themselves and family members who then rent these permits to drivers who are not willing to cooperate and work in a systematic way but hustle on the road to pay their monthly fees. That situation has led to an over saturation of busses especially in light of the politicians’ practice of giving out Bus licenses as favors.

Since the inception of The United St. Maarten Bus Drivers Association, attempts have been made to regulate public bus service throughout the island but that has been met with constant failures due to Government not showing interest in wanting to regulate the Public Bus Service on the island. The sitting current Bus association members are pushing hard to involve the Ministry of Transportation to implement certain procedures such as a color code system for districts, a bus terminal for Philipsburg and the involvement of more districts, to give teeth and a show of support to the Association’s effort, and finally give commuters the trusted bus service they so deserve.


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