The stories in the press seemed to gloss over Mr. Christie's (PLP), Prime Minister, "performance" at the Baha Mar topping off celebrations on Thursday night past.
An angry caller explained it this way:
- The Prime Minister wasted the guests time on self aggrandizement. While some of this is expected from politicians, the event was not about him.
- He chose to chide the Izmirlians for some undefined things.
- Made it public that he had spoken to the unions and needed to speak to Mr. Sarkis Izmirlian about the "training program" that Baha Mar would establish for Bahamians.
- Then he publicly admitted that the Government "would have to find" the money to honour their part of the Baha Mar contract he had signed with Mr. Sarkis Izmirlian some years ago.
The caller noted that several people said that Mr. Christie was just doing what he thinks he needs to: challenge the business owners on behalf of "the workers". But the message he sent to the expats and -- by extension -- other foreign investors, and even Bahamian investors, surely would make them pause before diving into new investment here.
One has to wonder if Mr. Obie Wilchome (PLP), Minister of tourism was cringing when he heard those remarks. There's nothing like making the job of your own Minister of Tourism that much harder by pandering!
Many of the guests indicated they were quite disappointed with the Prime Minister. Other than that, they said the event was awesome.
No matter what you think of Baha Mar, it is one heck of a risk by investors that should employ hundreds, no thousands of Bahamians from all walks of life if it works.
Mr. Christie could have chosen his words more carefully for such a grand occasion. Maybe a simple thank you to the investors for sticking with The Bahamas through thick and thin would have sufficed?