THE EDITOR, Sir:
Recently, I have heard a spate of advertisements on the radio with the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) coming out 100 per cent in support of the proposed logistics hub. Putting aside the glossy sales pitch (we've heard many such before from both major political parties and the private sector), I must ask how Mr Francis Kennedy, the head of the JCC, could come out 100 per cent behind something that:
1) We have NOT heard all the details about and that is (supposedly) not yet a done deal?
2) Several questions have been raised concerning environmental and legal issues.
It suggests that Mr Kennedy has some knowledge to which the rest of us are not privy, as the prime minister has studiously avoided answering any questions put to her on the subject. This being the case, I must ask, why? What is it that they don't want us to know?
I do not regard myself as being against progress, and I fully realise that most, if not all, progress comes with trade-offs. Unfortunately, the history of Jamaica has been one where those trusted with the guardianship of Jamaican assets have proven, on several occasions, to be less than equal to the task. (Remember JPS!)
I called the JCC with my concerns and was given a list of websites to look at. None of the articles suggested even mention that the land being proposed for use was 'protected' under law and that the current endeavour would, as I understand it, be illegal. Is that what Mr Kennedy is supporting?
Of course, the law will probably be changed to make the project legal, but that also suggests that Mr Kennedy supports changing rules once they don't suit you to get what you want.
I would suggest that Mr Kennedy, acting as a responsible leader of Jamaica, withhold any support until we know the details of this project. Will it actually employ Jamaicans, and in what capacity, and for how long? Will it be under the control of Jamaica, or is it a giveaway to the Chinese? Will it result in significant pollution to the south coast and surrounding environs?
When Mr Kennedy has answers to these and other questions, THEN he can determine if he wants to offer 100 per cent support. As it is, I'm very disappointed in what seems to be his 'waggonist' mentality. I expected better.