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Bahamian Politics Last Updated: Aug 1, 2017 - 12:26:19 AM

Senator Jamal Moss responds official opposition leader's address
Aug 1, 2017 - 12:00:40 AM

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Nassau, Bahamas, July 31, 2017

Leader of the Official Opposition Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis responded to the Dr. The Hon. Hubert Minnis’ national address in a press statement released on July 27, 2017 with the clear intention of reframing its content. The national address of July 26, 2017 sent a clear message — this administration is committed to good governance, directly addressing the concerns of the Bahamian people, and reversing the negative effects of the reckless behavior of the former administration. Davis’ response focused specifically on the economic state of The Bahamas, knowing the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP)-led government is responsible for the current state of affairs.

On June 26, 2017, in my contribution to the budget debate, I called on the previous administration to make an apology to the Bahamian people for wasting money, and to advise as to when and how the money would be returned. Laughter was the response in the Senate, but later on the same day, Exuma MP Chester Cooper called for a national apology, noting that the administration was “not accountable enough and not transparent enough.” Cooper’s message was not well-received by the PLP, bringing to mind the statement of former PLP Cabinet Minister Loftus Roker who criticized the “pompous and condescending attitudes” and the shift in “political values” wherein politicians insisted they knew the needs of the Bahamian people better than the people themselves. This is not the attitude of the Free National Movement (FNM), and this continues to be proven in our governance and consistent communication with the citizenry.

As noted by the Prime Minister, we face critical challenges as a direct result of five years of gross mismanagement by the PLP. It is the former administration that has crippled our economy and financially destabilized the country through mass corruption and waste of government revenue. This FNM-led administration is tasked not only with policymaking, program development, and legislating, but also with course-correction and rebuilding trust between Bahamians and their government.

Given the performance of the previous administration, it is understandable that the Leader of the Official Opposition feels culpability and a responsibility to the Bahamian people to ensure the country does not continue on the 2012-2017 path, especially following four downgrades by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. With this understanding, I offer reminders of recent undertakings related to economic development and youth opportunities.

Prime Minister Dr. The Hon. Hubert Minnis appointed the National Economic Advisory Council to advise this administration on appropriate policies, programs, and actions for economic diversification and growth. He has also appointed the Ease of Doing Business Committee which will make recommendations for the reduction of red tape for both domestic and international investors, thereby increasing the number of registered businesses, the employment rate, and the attractiveness of doing business in The Bahamas.

Recognizing the power and potential of the Blue Economy, from tourism and fisheries to waste management and renewable energy, the Prime Minister visited L.J.M. Maritime Academy — a Bahamian institution training young Bahamians for jobs in the maritime industry. On that visit earlier this month, the Academy advised that there are approximately 5,000 jobs in the international maritime industry. The Prime Minister referred to it as a “new employment frontier” and this FNM-led government is committed to support of entities like L.J.M. Maritime Academy that train for many career paths in the maritime sector.

The July 2017 national address marked the beginning of a highly communicative, responsive, transparent administration. The work has begun, and direct public engagement will continue as we rebuild and strengthen The Bahamas.

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