THE EDITOR, Sir:
Colonialism as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is the practice of acquiring control over another country and exploiting it economically. The Chinese are here not just now; they have always been here. And unlike when our cultural icon Honourable Louise Bennett penned 'Colonization in Reverse', there will be no lining up of Jamaicans to migrate to China, so it's basically, one-way traffic for the Chinese. I have no intention of adding my views on the Goat Islands saga, if I may describe it as such. Fact is, the Chinese nationals are already benefitting economically, and one only has to venture downtown to see the stranglehold they have over our capital city and other major market centres islandwide.
While our Government is all over the media harping on the economic benefits to be gained from the Chinese investment on Highway 2000 and now the proposed logistic centre, they have a lot of groundwork to do before any investment takes place, whether from overseas national or local investors. They should ensure that the relevant stakeholders are given enough information regarding their proposed project. For too long, because of high-handedness by our government officials, who are of the opinion that the 'little citizen' cannot understand details, they fail to do the logical thing and level with the people. They did it during the implementation of the Millennium Project Highway 2000, and are opting to do it again with the logistic hub. It is also done when housing projects were done under the Housing Act without regard for local authorities.
No Jamaican from any walk of life is opposed to development. What we will resist are different forms of exploitation where our wishes are ignored for the most part and those of investors place on a pedestal to be protected at all cost. Ask us residents of Portmore and the Portmore leg of Highway 2000. Any question asked is met with a stony-faced government telling you that they cannot do anything as their hands are tied, while we suffer economically and otherwise.
We are not about to let the logistic hub investment go the same way. There must be clear benefits to the country before a contract that will tie the hands of Government is signed. In other words, if the Chinese are given the go-ahead to develop Goat Islands, then they must be prepared to dish out 'Stir-fry curry goat' when it's time for lunch.
HOWARD HAMILTON, JP