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Briland's Dr. Lea Percentie Writes: Nassau Tribune
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Posted by:Oct 8th 2002, 09:44:51 pm
KimberlyCommentary
October 03, 2002 - 20:59
"Nation For Sale" Still Haunting Us

In 1988, it was said that the Bahamas had lost a generation of young people. We must make sure that we do not lose another generation as history repeats itself.


The Constitution of the Bahamas provides a guarantee of freedom of expression. Whether you agree or disagree you cannot deny the messenger his opinion. However, with that freedom comes responsibility. Such guarantee does not extend to slander and libel where persons with their own selfish motive tries to discourage not the message but the messenger by making his character and not the factual content of what was said the issue.

Therefore, I am taking strong exception to what obviously appears to a personal attack on both my character and constitutional right of freedom of expression. In a recent letter to the editor in the Freeport News under the heading "Bringing Up PLP's Past Will Not Encourage Young Voters To Vote FNM." that was allegedly written by a young voter. (if that is who wrote it!) What a blatant display of cowardice. How can someone be bold enough to attack the credibility of someone and yet don't have the guts to identify themselves. Shouldn't a defendant at least have knowledge of his accuser? Indeed many persons have come forward to voice concerns of support as to why I was made the subject of this letter and to speculate on the intentions of this ghost writer.

First of all it is obvious that this is an effort to silence me on certain matters that PLPs hate to be reminded of. If this indeed was their intention then sadly that writer or writers have not only wasted their time but valuable newspaper space as well. Since the Marco City Bye-Election in 1990, I have been on a personal mission to save the Bahamas from an abyss of corruption, lack of civil liberties and outright abuse of power. A few days after the Marco City Bye-Election, I was approached by two police officers (part of a special squad dispatched from Nassau) at my office who were there with the expressed purpose of arresting me for voting illegally in the Marco City Bye-Election. How on Earth can this be? A few days prior to the Marco City Bye-Election, my home was visited both by then Cabinet Ministers Darrell Rolle and Perry Christie, now Prime Minister.

Clearly, the PLP knew where I live. However, on election day, I was challenged based on the fact that I did not live in Marco City. Unfortunately, my treatment was not unique as scores of decent, law-abiding Grand Bahamians were harassed by the Police and taunted by the PLP government.

Publicly dozens of persons were scandalized and libeled by PLP government officials including Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling who publicly referred to these persons as criminals and indicated that they will be prosecuted for committing a criminal act. Even the name of one of my assistants was publicly called even though she DID NOT VOTE. In a nutshell, I realized that under that current trend, the Bahamas was headed down that short road straight to hell. Since then, I have adopted the Jewish approach after the Nazi holocaust "Never Again" should any citizen of the Bahamas be subjected to such intimidation and indignity as they were under the old PLP.

Under his own admission, this "young voter" has indicated that he is aware of past indiscretion by the old PLP. That does not seem to bother him even though many of those implicated under the old PLP are now a part of the molding the new PLP. His myopic or tunnel vision of the state of affairs prevents him from seeing that these PLP leopards have not changed their spots nor have they apologized to the Bahamian people. During campaign 2002, the FNM strategy was to run on their record of accomplishment.

The PLP on the other hand ran on a campaign of promises that misrepresented and deceived young voters. Everyone knows that a promise is comfort only to a fool. Judging by the way election 2002 had turned out, many Bahamians were fooled as the PLP did an excellent job not to mention anything from their wicked past. Regrettably, the writer doesn't appear to understand that politicians are to be held accountable for their actions. Already, there are signs of the old PLP ways surfacing such as the victimization at BAIC where persons were fired because of their political choice.

Over the past two decades, I have resided in Grand Bahama. I have collected almost every newspaper printed in this country. It is amazing what some persons have said over the years and what they say today. What a bunch of hypocrites. That's why when I write it is based on facts.

Only once have I been challenged, not because of an inaccurate fact but because of a justifiable explanation. In 1991, I asked a question that why does chicken in the Bahamas cost eight as much as chicken in the US? I was rebutted by Mr. Forrester Carroll, a former customs officer and now a customs broker, who indicated that the cost of shipping to the Bahamas drove up the Bahamian price. On the other hand, my accuser's ambiguous statement about FNM MP's hands in the cookie jar are only allegations as there are no substantial facts of support. The 1984 and 1994 Commission of Inquiry clearly revealed the corruption and bribery and the tens of millions of dollars that disappeared while the PLP were in power. His speculation that I had considered the FNM government as perfect is shear nonsense. At times I have taken them to task to the point where my political loyalty was questioned. Furthermore, I have never belittled anyone as that is not my style to personally attack anyone. I only comment on their actions or lack there of.

The writer, concerned about Tommy T. becoming Prime Minister, should not have been a concern. When one looks at the make-up of today's Cabinet, most have no experience or have never even been in Parliament before. Consequently they are learning on the job. On the other hand, Tommy T. had ten years Cabinet experience under his belt and was certainly qualified for the job.

Finally the writer's assessment of the Honorable Perry Christie must be analyzed. He was described as "respectful, educated, man of God, etc" - an interesting choice of words. You see I, like so many others, lost respect for Perry Christie when he walked out of the PLP along with Hubert Ingraham because he could not stomach the corruption and then returned "likea dog going back to his vomit."

Persons like George Smith, implicated in the Commission of Inquiry, one of the reasons why Perrt Christie left the PLP in the first place, has now been appointed by Perry Christie to chair a government board. How can Perry Christie be so educated that a basic piece of legislation that he voted for in the House of Parliament and later indicated that he did not understand it even though he has 31 year experience as a lawyer? With all the town meetings and public relations to educate the Bahamian public on the constitutional amendments, those who did not understand it certainly had the opportunity to do so. If Perry Christie didn't understand such a simple legal construction, all he had to do was ask either Hubert Ingraham or Attorney Fred Smith for clarification. Furthermore, as "a man of God" how can he continue to sinfully discriminate against Bahamian women and their children.

Had he paid any attention to those Town meetings, he would have witnessed on almost every occasion the length and breadth of the Bahamas, the hurt, the broker lives, and the break-up of families caused by the chauvinistic immigration policy that Bahamian women who utilize their constitutional right to choose have been severely and unfairly punished for over the past 29 years!

Young people must be aware of their past. What is happening today in the Bahamas can only be fully understood in terms of its historical context. unfortunately, the writer prefers to remain ignorant and in the dark to the extent where he may deny his past. The writer should have least learn something from evangelist Rex Major in 1986 when he warned what will happen to the Bahamas if we continue to welcome persons into the Bahamas with "suitcases full of money!" Now today, the Bahamas is paying a terrible price of being a nation for sale.

In 1988, it was said that the Bahamas had lost a generation of young people. We must make sure that we do not lose another generation as history repeats itself. History is the future, rewind it.

Dr. Leatendore Percentie
Freeport, Bahamas

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