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COMMENTARY BY MICHAEL CHASTANET: Timely responses – crucial

By Michael Chastanet

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Michael Chastanet

Michael Chastanet

For years on end, the nature of politics here at home has continually disintegrated in terms of perception but more importantly, the world at large seems to be experiencing a similar malaise with little or no change on the horizon.

On the other hand, it is sometimes said that things have to grow worse before getting better, but the big question remains, how much worse?

In St. Lucia politics appears to have adopted all the negatives assigned to this important profession but by the same token, could St. Lucia in anyway take the lead by proving to its counterparts that a greater form of civility and decorum can alter the course  of history.

We have voiced our views over the years that running a country is similar to a successful business where investors should be recognised as real partners and are provided with the confidence that they are indeed serious and conscientious in working together for the betterment of all parties.

We cannot expect investors to remain in a vacuum awaiting decisions which are placed on ice and at any given moment we can simply place our response into a microwave ready to be served.

Investors are few and far between at this time and Prime Ministers all over the globe are making all sorts of overtures to attract such individuals including the mighty America which is presently soliciting wealthy Chinese to their shores with a similar CIP programme.

Investment proposals must be taken seriously and decisions must be taken one way or another. The public in general will accept the fact that officials are not infallible and guarantees are not always perfect but a decision is better than no decision at all.

The DSH project which has dominated the air waves for the past several months is a perfect example of a project which was shrouded in secrecy for fifteen months without a decision was indeed unfair, unrealistic and unacceptable for two reasons:

(a) It is disrespectful to an investor and

(b) it implies that an administration lacked the ability to make a decision one way or another.

Governments have a moral responsibility to act in the best interest of its people and incidents like these should not recur. Further, the insinuations meted out by the former administration that a particular investor is tearing the country apart is also unfortunate as this kind of  propaganda spreads quickly especially in the age of Facebook and the social media.

Hopefully, our comments today will be taken in good faith as constructive criticism is always helpful.

Michael Chastanet is a businessman, writer and talk show host

(127)(32)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

41 comments

  1. We thought that Old Chas had more emotional intelligence than that. Is he losing it? How, in this political climate and this family connection would anyone consider whatever you have to say as being unbiased?

    People expect that the political strings are being pulled in the background. You come out in the open with more? Damn. Right or wrong, that is a very stupid and unwise act.

    (15)(0)
  2. Laced with the concept of running the country like a business. The longer we wait to tell those Chastenets what we think the further they will drag this country.

    (9)(3)
    • but borrowing to pay the interest of the national depth and bring the country deeper and deeper is neither a answer.
      States like Venezuela, Costa Rica, Italy, are in deep waters already.

      (2)(5)
      • If we follow that advice, we are postponing the evil day. We have to borrow to pay for the debts that will mature this year.

        If fail to pay for all those maddening years of SLP transfers from borrowed funds to pay lackeys with exorbitant contracts and non-work work like STEP, nobody will get us out of that bind but the IMF. Not a pleasant thought. That is the carrot. The other option is to take the IMF stick.

        SLP kept funding its future election campaigns on the backs of all Saint Lucians. Only their followers were benefitting from the largesse. The chickens have come home to roost.

        (13)(0)
    • well we no running it like their own personal thiefdom is equaly not the answer.

      (0)(0)
  3. CHASTANET SAYS BEGGARS SHOULD NOT BE CHOOSERS WHEN IT COMES TO INVESTMENT
    ===========================================================

    According to Mr. Chastanet investment is far and few in between and every PM is involved in a hustle to get them. Even the great USA is trying to lure them through a CIP.

    He is implying that once an investor chooses us we have to chose him too. Even if he comes to exploit our people and our resources we should let him. Even if their proposal is an insult to our collective intelligence we should accept it.

    Are you implying that we should behave like "hoes" to the investor "pimp"?

    Such a position is tantamount to telling us the mangoes were selling like hot cakes, and all the good ones are taken all that's left are the touched ones but they cost the same you are to take them you have no choice. Come better than that.

    (7)(1)
  4. That was not a smart move old chap. You have just added more fuel to fire. Whatever you say cannot be accepted or even regarded as being neutral.

    (12)(0)
  5. Oswald Augustin

    It is a shame that the majority of negative respondents use false names. Put your real name in there

    (2)(24)
    • For you all to victimize them!

      You busy on SNO looking at the names of negative contributors to articles.

      They right and they're smart to remain unknown. If you can victimize your own is not people who dont agree with you all you will not try to starve!

      (6)(0)
  6. Elizabeth Glace

    First of all Mr. Chastenet - don't refer to yourself by using the Royal pronoun " we". It's tacky and pretentious, much like your argument. Investment is important and investors should be treated fairly; but investment at any cost is not what St. Lucians want. You may think your comments ar helpful, but people generally don't trust daddy trying to speak for his grown son who just happens to be Prime Minister. He can either do this job or he can't but you're seriously not helping.

    (30)(0)
  7. It would have been nice to hear Mr CHASTANET talk about our local entrepreneurs. What he fails to see is that the policy of his son's administration is adverse to the growth of. Local businesses, if you are willing to see foreign investors as partners why is it so difficult to enact policies that gove locals an opportunity to be partners likewise .
    It can't be a one way street Mr Chastanet, If your son does not change course he like other administrations in the country will soon be booted out of office,

    (27)(1)
  8. It is amazing and stunning. A well respected self developed man who has successfully run a number of businesses for years gives his take on governmental success and some persons who have absolutely no idea or never even ran a tray by the road side want to heap obviously cheap political criticisms on the man.

    The world is getting harder and if we do not take out the cheap politics from how St. Lucia is run then Helen pwi en sa

    (9)(21)
    • Michael Chastanet you and your son Allen are both idiots and an embarrassment to St Lucia. Why don't you let your son stand up for himself. Ask him to release the latest version of the DSH agreement so St Lucians can read it and decide for themselves whether it makes sense. Your loyalty should be to St Lucia not the Chinese. Teo Ah Khing should be asked to leave our country ASAP because his plan does not make sense for Vieux Fort. For starters Sandy Beach and the Stadium are non negotiable. The people of the South need those for recreational purposes for this generation and other generations. Stop selling our prime assets, stop selling citizenships for little or nothing. Ask all foreign investors to finance their projects with their own money not from selling our passports. Ask Allen to build a real economy based on Farming, Manufacturing, Fishing, etc. Stop focusing on Tourism.

      (20)(5)
    • Memo to the Chastanets :
      Please note the following:
      1) The DSH deal is a bad deal and must be renegotiated.
      2) Restore the CIP to what it was when it was first se up.
      3) The people of the South cannot afford to lose Sandy Beach, the Stadium and the choice areas. There must be land for the town of Vieux Fort to expand.
      4) All foreign investors should have the money to finance their projects.
      5) Selling citizenships is a novelty and will wear off in
      2-3 years.W need to focus less on Tourism and more on the other industries.
      6) All St Lucian citizenship should have s 5 year residency requirement and should be limited to 200 applications a year.
      7) We need to change the constitution to require that anyone seeking to be PM must be born in St Lucia.
      8) St Lucia cannot absorb 100,000 or more Chinese- based on the number application the DSH agreement requires.
      Allen & Michael "If you love St Lucia do not ignore the above".

      (25)(4)
  9. Somewhat a balanced statement, it comes out still on the investor side of the equation. Now, in the light of the extremely polarized nature of the politics today especially regarding DSH, and being a parent of the PM, it was not a useful statement to make at this time.

    It is difficult to be neutral regarding DSH. A lot is hanging on the eventual outcome. If, after the initial stages, the project does deliver, and beyond the lifespan of the living, we do not know how to appraise today the eventual outcomes. Benefit-to-cost analysis has some question marks on some evaluations. The worst part is the lease. It is not a sale. But that is not comforting to some.

    As a constant reminder, we are still waiting for the 99-year Radio Caribbean agreement to come to an end. This has to come to pass, to allow other French radio stations to broadcast from Saint Lucia. A lesson that is well learned.

    (21)(0)
  10. straight SHOOTER

    THE CHASTANETS, DUBOULAYS. AND FRIENDS ARE RUNNING THIS COUNTRY. LUCIANS ARE SO IGNORANT AND STUPID I CAN TASTE IT, MIND YOU== I AM A LUCIAN I KNOW THIS IS HARD TO SWALLOW .

    (12)(6)
  11. As a foreginer I would NEVER ever invest in St. Lucia again, because:

    1) I had to wait for 1 year for the alien landholding license (even if all my documents was complete!)

    2) I had and will have to pay much more taxes than a local, when I bought the house, and again should I decide to resell my home (even if it is my private home and not a income generating property)

    I therefore strongly advice every potential expat/dreamer/investor to STAY AWAY from this island, as long this does not CHANGE. Foreigners are second class people here, and a big part of the local population hates us because they think it's exactly the opposite. Most locals try to rip foreginers off, asking much more money than they would from a local. I call this discrimination. Locals think we foreigners get everything for free. I love to hang around and mingle with my Lucian born friends, of course this is the more educated part of the population since they know how it really is for foreigners.

    To often locals blame foregners to have no local friend. This is unfortunately 90% true. 9 of 10 people wanting to be my friend will find my door always closed. I do not want so called friends who think they can rip me off just because of the color of my skin.

    (2)(16)
    • Take your advise and shove it #1 stay in your section and home land#2 and leave St.Lucians and St.Lucia alone #3 thanks.

      (9)(1)
    • Lucian, you sound totally mixed up. It's hard to figure out what the hell you are trying to write. My advice to you , sit with an educated person and let write the comment for you. Then enter and post it.

      (9)(0)
    • Elizabeth Glace

      If you're expecting sympathy you're going to be disappointed.

      (13)(0)
    • I guess then , yes time to go home
      If someone apparently doesn't like you why stay , can't afford a house back in England , of course it's cheaper here and local staff rate is cheap right?.....
      But if you took the time and effort to speak and advise or help our not so edecured populace as you so lovely put it , you will see that they are pretty alright and most probably more loyal than your bourgeois friends in cap .
      Btw I'm a white man and I take offense at your verbal diarrhea.

      (5)(0)
    • A foreigner doesn't like how he is treated in another country? Now you know how we feel in your country, plus the sick racism. You want people to kiss your feet because you label yourself an "investor". We don't need your types here. Bye Felicia!

      (3)(0)
  12. IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH A POINT MAKE A CONTRIBUTION AS TO WHY YOU DISAGREE. (Don't just give thumbs down)

    I want to hear the passionate view on both sides.

    (4)(6)
  13. Daddy nobody cares let your son stand up for his damn self.

    (48)(3)
  14. You guys constantly speak about the governance of a country with monetary returns as the focal point.. when you do that your message and vision will make an impression on a small percentage of St.Lucians.. other business owners perhaps?... Can you imagine what were to happen if St.Lucians felt that they were on a team actually working together.. the prospect of overall prosperity and substantial living for them, their children and their children's children in the forefront of their minds? Whether they are part of these elaborate plans politicians work up or not.. people's mindsets are important when it comes to "running a business" and you get the best out of people when they are satisfied and feel that they are working towards something. The average Saint Lucian is scraping by to support their families.. build and save. Communication by the government could be better.
    There is also such a disconnect between the government and younger Saint Lucians, several of whom have had to use the bricks laid against them to form their own paths.. starting up their own businesses and finding alternative ways to make money .. e.g online employment with international companies.. there are a few organizational projects and programs here that offer resources like scholarships, monetary awards, donations, vocational workshops and so on.. but these could be in the forefront and attainable to all Saint Lucians not just those fortunate enough to have come across them.. social media and globalization are real things.. a Saint Lucian can get a scholarship on the internet to go study all the way in Italy but would be lucky to find one program that meets their interest in Saint Lucia.
    Furthermore, I know from experience that when it comes to political affairs there is little desire from younger nationals to engage with politicians or in discussions because the way most(certainly not all) politicians carry are petty and ironically childish.. it also translates as if our livelihoods are not infact a true concern of the government's. Politicians are quick to use "increased employment rates" as the piece of the pie for Saint Lucians.. but the nature of those jobs are less than stimulating.. rarely would they result in long term benefits for these employees other than making slaves out of them, having to clock in for minimum wage 9-5 or shift jobs to support their families who they barely have time or energy to invest anything other than their paycheck into.. it only gets worse when they eventually get promoted and earn more.. their hours increase. I know this from experience and observation.
    The idea of being able to live well is not a farce especially for a country as small as Saint Lucia. We understand you guys want to decrease the country's debt but we can't even muster and direct our energies towards your goals because we are exhausted.

    (8)(0)
  15. we have two people running this country

    (11)(4)
  16. Chris St. Remy

    Propaganda is as bad as "bad politics" because it has the ability to spread like wild fire, and destroy the moral fabric of society. Bad rhetoric has been crushing my beloved country, St. Lucia, from the time I was a little kid in infant school; but it was never as venomous and divisive as it is today. It is time that St. Lucians everywhere begin to put the economic, social, moral, physical, educational, and spiritual priorities of our "Sweet Helen of the West" ahead of our political affiliations and biases. The DSH Project, as mentioned in Michael Chastanet's commentary is a prime example of how Politicians in St. Lucia have been using their bias and indifference against the ruling UWP Government, to create a crippling environment of divisiveness among the masses. No decision can be as bad as a bad decision; but no one knows what a bad decision is until a decision has been made and implemented. The problem is, there are too many judgmental people in St. Lucia and around the world, who think, that because they are able to express themselves on social media, then the ease of spreading propaganda must become the norm for civility and morality.
    St. Lucians, let us unite around our Government. Let us support the efforts that are intended to make our island nation prosperous, again. Let us bring back the aura of feeling proud to be St. Lucian at home and abroad. The bad news is decaying our spirit and our pride; and it's time that we put an end to the divisiveness in politics. May God Bless St. Lucia: the Land, the People, the Light.

    (9)(4)
  17. Your name suggests that you have a conflict of interest in this discourse. Yes St. Lucia needs foreign investment but at what cost?

    The conditions of acquired citizenship and the rights to own property in St. Lucia should be reevaluated. St. Lucia is a very small island and the land is our most important natural resource. We cannot undervalue the St. Lucian soil!

    We evict St. Lucians from public lands yet we want to give large proportions of St. Lucian land for nothing to foreigners! Bad deal! Negotiate HARDER!

    (21)(4)
  18. First of all America DOES NOT have a CIP PROGRAM SIR - America has a RESIDENCY BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM which is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, under that program if you meet the requirements you get a green card (RESIDENCY STATUS) NOT CITIZERNSHIP !

    Now America ain't facing what everyone is worried about here. In America, if you were not born on the soil you cannot seek the highest office in the land. Here in Saint Lucia, any one with a $100,000 can get a passport and become a citizen, why not a RESIDENT... WITH A CRAZY PLAN LIKE THAT ANYONE WITH A $100,000 can come here and run for office. Plus the lease of the land for 99 years (which I can't confirm for sure but it's rumored that's part of the plan)

    IS THAT A WISE DECISION JUST BECAUSE WE WANT TO ATTRACT FOREIGN INVESTORS?

    (69)(50)
  19. running a country and running a business big difference sir and firsly u cannot hire and fire ,,all have to live here ,be fair etc etc

    (36)(26)
  20. So you just expect us to just sit back and let your son have unrivaled power, I believe in development and all that but we are the ones getting the short end of the stick here .people from other nations come here and set up shop with ease and yet local businesses cannot even keep their heads up, our education and arigiculture needs investments too. We so quick to accommodate other people yet our own are out in the cold . You don't understand what cold is.you never have .

    (21)(10)
  21. Kenna shut your mouth

    (9)(8)
  22. Imagine both Chastanets think we are stupid. You have a "Chinese investor" Theo Ah King who will be given St Lucian passports to sell (26,000 X US$100,000 per passport equates to US$2.6 billion. Imagine all the US$2.6 billion belong to him and he is given land to build and every thing will be his. For what? to create a few jobs? Chastanet senior? Is that investment? Investor raise their own money. So this Chinese guy is not an investor but a fraudester who has blinded both of you. I can see Allen is a boug fooo so as his fada plz talk to him. St Lucia belong to us so he cannot give it away to China.

    (21)(8)
  23. Looks like you are living yr life through Allen..we all know he is in the fore front,.....but who is the Prime Minister

    (18)(6)
  24. Looks like you are living yr life through Allen..we all know he is in the fore front,.....but who is the Prime Minister

    (15)(4)
  25. I have said it and I will say it again: KDA was ill advised to say the last elections was between the Chastanet family and SLP but the statement has more truth than untruth! You think as a businessman not a politician and what favors you as a businessman don't favor the country. The quicker you remain quiet the better it will be for the likes of me.

    (21)(4)
  26. My respect for you has gone out of the window. What are you really trying to sell to us in this commentary? Put your Dolphin Park in Choc Bay on your property if you must have one. The investor isn't tearing us apart, Allen and his band of cronies are. You now are endorsing all the lies said by Allen, from the gas prices which he said he had to sign just after elections up to now with the many recordings as proof of a Liar.

    (69)(47)
    • Terence Joseph

      That's good commentary very positive. Every government everywhere is looking for investors to invest in they country even the mighty America. Some of them you might not get everything you want from them, but sometimes you have to settle for something inside of nothing. I believe the prime minister is on the right track. The Chinese investors are looking in everyway to put their money into America. So St lucians don't stay there and say Chinese are taking our land. Wake up and smell the coffee, every country is competing for investors. We have so much waste land but we talking Chinese are our land. Don't let those old leaders with no vision fool you and keep you in a box .

      (4)(20)
      • Terence if you believe what you wrote you are a jackass. St Lucia is only 238 square miles. The so called Chinese investor is a con man. He realized how naive the PM is so he is taking advantage of him. Sandy Beach, the Stadium and the Abattoir should never be leased or sold. Feel free to sell your land, or your grandparents land to the con man Teo Ah Khing. BTW since they eat dogs tell him to stay away from our pets.

        (1)(0)

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