MP de Weever continues with xenophobic rantPOSTED: 03/13/16 7:26 PM
Marlin-Romeo offers conditional support with several amendments
St. Maarten News – The highly anticipated continuation of the budget meeting took less than two hours yesterday before parliament’s president Sarah Wescot-Williams suspended it until further notice shortly before 4 p.m.
There seems to be an option to get majority support for the budget. Independent MP Leona Marlin-Romeo announced her conditional support, before presenting a rather wish list of amendments.
The MP wants to see a provision in the budget for neo-natal screening (150,000 guilders), a reservation of 250,000 guilders for outbreak prevention at Collective Preventive Services and extra money for burial costs.
Marlin-Romeo furthermore wants a life and disability insurance for members of the uniformed services and an education trust fund for the children of officers who fall in the line of duty. The MP also demands additional funds for the Voluntary Corps of St. Maarten (VKS), though it remains unclear how much, and a discount system for seniors that applies to utility bills and shopping needs.
MP Rodolphe Samuel submitted three motions. The first one asks for the parliaments support for a motion passed by the Youth Parliament that wants increased safety and security in public transport by displaying the ID of the driver and an emergency number in the vehicles. The second motion asks for the introduction of mandatory service for unemployed youngsters between the age of 18 and 25; the third motion promoted the establishment of job secure scholarships.
Independent MP Cornelius de Weever returned to his xenophobic rants against Minister Emil Lee (Public Health, Social Development and Labor) by saying, “In my youth I knew only one Lee and that was Bruce Lee.” Adding insult to injury the MP remarked that “the Chinese are known for their counterfeits and knock offs.”
All this in reaction to a perfectly normal request from Minister Lee during an earlier meeting when he asked how the MP defines a local. “I am not going to sit here and let you create tensions by questioning me about a definition of a local,” De Weever grumbled.
About the budget, MP De Weever did not have much to say, other than that “a vote for this budget is a vote against the people.”
On the other side of the divide, MPs Samuel, Hyacinth Richardson and Maurice Lake made passionate pleas to vote in favor of the budget.
President Wescot-Williams noted that “serious allegations had been made against the government” and that they need to be addressed. She furthermore noted that MPs had not asked many questions, but that the material amendments to the budget proposed by MP Marlin-Romeo are not ready for deliberation because they have not been supported by other MPs.