The government and Parliament of St. Maarten are handling the affairs of its people in a way that suggest everyone is allowed to do whatever they want without any consequences and respect for the laws of the country. This is evident on a daily basis when you experience living life on St. Maarten.
The dysfunctional enforcement of law and order is noticed when a visitor manage to enter the country and don’t seem to need any residence permit to live and work here. Without a work permit they would search for jobs in order to survive. These undocumented workers will find employment because employers will rather employ these undocumented persons and pay them what they want, while not paying SZV insurance and or pay as you earn taxes to government, which is a requirement by law. The Justice Ministry and immigration as well as the Labor Ministry are the ones to enforce these laws, and make sure they are followed but they fail miserably doing so.
All kinds of persons operate in the country unchecked. They even drive cars and bikes recklessly without license and proper registration, they violate every traffic rules because they know there are no checks and enforcement for such violations, so they take the risk. Some will go as far as starting up businesses sometimes having Civil Servants and politician’s family members fronting for them in areas where they are not allowed to conduct business but they are protected since there are no enforced law and order. When complaints are filed against law breakers, no one responds; and these complaints are often not taken seriously.
The police are our law enforcement officers but they operate as if they are to show up to work in uniform, hang around for 8 hours after which they go home. They drive around clueless of what their responsibilities are. With criminals robbing Banks, stores and supermarkets right in front their noses and getting away. You make an emergency call for their assistance and they tell you plainly there are no one available to give assistance. Unless it’s absolutely life and death will they show up because they certainly can’t ignore such urgent cases?
We are currently in the middle of a pandemic and instead of Government and Parliament work together to govern and address our problems, politicians are busy playing politics pulling down each other and are engaged in conflict with the Dutch who is helping to pay salaries during these difficult times. The amount of wrong things happening, and are ignored in this Country, are worrisome. It doesn’t give hope to the citizens that we are governing our Island in which our people hope to survive, the way we should. We should be more focus on protecting our citizens while positioning our destination in a better place, in a competitive Tourism environment in the Caribbean. Everyone else are organized and structured to accommodate their tourism business with improved infrastructure that may well put them ahead of our destination when we get back to normal. These are some harsh realities that we have to admit in order to get things right.
This is just one area of lawless behaviors that are noticed in this small town of just 16 square miles called St. Maarten; an Island that is recognized as a Constituent State in the kingdom of the Netherlands alongside Curacao, Aruba and the Netherlands where none of what was just described happens without been checked regularly, let alone in any other Caribbean countries. If this is not embarrassing it certainly sends the wrong message of the way our government officials manage the country. Unless we are willing to start the process of addressing these regular misconduct in this country, we are not demonstrating that we are ready to take responsibility for leading our people to a better, more independent and organized St. Maarten going forward.