Holness sounds militant note

BY HORACE HINES
Staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 11, 2019

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RHYNE PARK, St James — Prime Minister Andrew Holness has served notice to critics of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government that he is preparing to break his silence and counter the negative vitriolic attacks broadsided against his Administration.

“I don't ready to talk yet, I am just warming up because I have been very quiet over the past month listening, just listening to see who are the people pushing out dem head to make false criticisms. I am just watching. So we are now well-prepared because if they think we are going to sit down and allow the propagandists, the mischief people who parade as if they are paragons of virtue, as if they are independent voices; when they are only operating as representatives under the quiet, carrying out their own agenda,” Holness signalled.

He was quick to add: “But we have worked very hard to do good things for this country and we will not sit down and remain quiet and standby. We have been a Government of good policies and we are also going to be the Government of good politics.”

The People's National Party (PNP) recently embarked on a series of anti-corruption vigils in light of the ongoing allegations of corruption across several ministries and public bodies, and the lack of appropriate action by the Holness Administration to hold its members accountable.

According to the PNP, there has been a brazen plundering of the public purse by members of the political executive and their operatives, who are yet to be dealt with.

However, speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for 754 new housing units to be constructed in Rhyne Park, St James on Friday, the prime minister cited the need for the masses to be aware of the good projects that have being implemented since the JLP formed the Government following victory at the 2016 General Election.

“The greatest challenge that we are facing now, and you know we have many, but the Government faces a challenge of communication. How do we get across to the people all the good and great things that are happening in Jamaica at this time.

“We are used to having a deluge of bad news, but we scarcely pay attention to the good things that are happening and it escapes us. And it creates, sometimes, an atmosphere of negativity, it creates a pall of gloom and doom, and that in itself affects confidence and optimism in the future,” Holness remarked.

“So aside from everything that is happening, it is important that the Government communicates with the people because whenever there is a vacuum of communication there will be someone else with some other motive, sussu, sussuing in your ears and telling you all kinds of somethings untrue, sometimes misrepresented, but always with not necessarily the best motive in mind.”

The Rhyne Park housing project, the brainchild of Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, and is a joint venture by the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) and Chinese firm, Henan Fifth Construction Group, comprises 754 mixed units with prices ranging from $7.9 million to $18.5million.

Bartlett outlined that he conceptualised the housing solution, especially for tourism workers.

The tourism minister congratulated the Chinese partners, who promised that the labour force on the site will be made up of 70 per cent Jamaican workers.

“We bought this land years ago in my first iteration as minister of tourism. And, we struggled to find a partner who would take on the construction on a terrain like this, a very challenging terrain. But the issue was not so much to take on the challenge of the terrain, but was to come out at a price point which was affordable to the average persons of Jamaica, but more specifically, to the workers of the tourism industry,” Bartlett remarked.

“It is appropriate that we should be building these housing solutions to meet the growing needs and demand that the tourism industry is creating in this area.”

Holness was in full agreement.

“Minister Bartlett, a man that loves tourism so much, recognised that for the industry to grow we need to put in housing for tourism workers. So, it is not that the Government is only seeking to get in the big man to build hotel, for the industry to grow we have to make sure that the people who work in the industry can truly enjoy the prosperity of the industry in owning their own home, and he acquired this land through the Tourism Enhancements Fund. And it sat there for nine years almost,” the prime minister argued.


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