Search results for : leslie miller

Showing 1 to 10 of 747 results


News Article

August 06, 2014
Leslie Miller's latest round of sexism and misogyny

Tall Pine MP Leslie Miller's campaign to redeem himself following remarks he made in the House of Assembly earlier this year about brutalizing a former girlfriend were woefully unsuccessful.
Any pretense that he was a changed man in light of those sexist and misogynistic remarks were shattered last week as Miller discussed proposed constitutional changes granting women full equality.
To say that Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller is representative of a bygone unenlightened era is an understatement. His remarks reported in The Nassau Guardian were pre-modern, uninformed about the realities of the 21st century and stunningly unintelligent.
"If my sister marries a foreigner, I expect for that foreigner to take her home to his country and support her," he said.
"What they bringing him here for? Don't come to my country and take a job from one of my Bahamian brothers."
In equally poor measure, Miller referenced remarks he said a constituent made about FNM Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner. The disparaging remarks referred to a certain physical aspect of Butler-Turner. Recall that during the last election Miller made a crude joke about Butler-Turner.
All of these comments by Miller should be placed in the context of his now infamous House remarks. They are in the same stream of thought and anachronistic thinking which made him believe that he could speak openly in Parliament about beating a woman, which he found quite funny at the time, playing to his colleagues and to his public persona.
As reported in this journal: "'That's like beating your wife or your girlfriend every time you go home. You just beat her for looking at her. I love ya. Boom, boom, boom. I had a girlfriend like that.
"'When I didn't beat her she used to tell me I ain't love her no more 'cause I don't hit her. But seriously I had one like that. I had one. She used to tell me,' he insisted as other members murmured and chuckled.
"House Speaker Dr. Kendal Major injected, 'We know that you're joking with that.'
"However, Miller said he was 'serious with that'.
"'I tell her I get tired, man,' he continued, laughing. 'My hands hurting a little bit... give me a break.'
"After a comment from a sitting member inquiring whether he was joking, he reiterated, 'I am telling you the truth. One thing I don't do is lie.'"

Xenophobe
Now Miller has doubled-down on his sexism and misogyny. Strikingly, he managed to sound like a sexist and a xenophobe in one breathe.
"If my sister marries a foreigner, I expect for that foreigner to take her home to his country and support her."
One can imagine a cartoon of a man grabbing a woman by her hair dragging her into a cave, with the words "Home, Sweet Home" in a frame on the cave wall, as the man roars and brags, while beating his chest, "If she doesn't do what I say, I'll beat her. I is man."
What Miller is saying is that women should do exactly what a man wants. It is the man who has the agency and the will, while women are to be passive. Miller seems to believe that women should shut up and do what the man says, with as little choice as possible.
The fact that women and men are both breadwinners in most of the West and increasingly in other parts of the world today seems irrelevant to Miller. He lives in a world which no longer exists, just like most sexists and misogynists, upset that the era of men subjugating women is fast slipping away.
Miller also seems woefully out of touch with the reality of the modern Bahamas where the primary breadwinners in most families are women. Today scores of Bahamian wives and partners are providing more income for their families than are their male counterparts.
The clearly insular Miller also seems to ignore the reality of globalization, a significant feature of which is the movement of human capital. Today, educated and professional modern couples are deciding together where they want to live and raise a family.
Millions of men around the world have moved to their wives' home countries, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it is the woman who may have a higher paying job or that her home country may afford a family a better quality of life.
Should these men pack up and return to their home countries? Of course, that would be absurd, as absurd as Miller's ranting.
There are many Bahamian men who have moved to their wives' country. Would Miller have them all pack up and return home?
Moreover, there are many fine men who relocated to The Bahamas after marrying Bahamian women. They have contributed significantly to the country in their professions ranging from medicine to the foreign service, and they have been generous in their community service. Should these men also pack up and leave?

Befuddling
What makes Miller's comments even more, to put it politely, befuddling, is that in The Bahamas overwhelmingly more women are attaining tertiary degrees. This is true at COB as it is at tertiary institutions overseas.
A report by the Inter-American Development Bank dramatizes a critical developmental challenge, which Miller's unenlightened thinking will not help.
As reported in The Tribune: "Almost two-thirds of college and university-educated Bahamians have moved abroad to seek jobs in developed countries, costing this nation a sum equivalent to 4.4 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP).
"The so-called 'brain drain' was highlighted in a newly released Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report, which noted that 61 percent of tertiary-educated Bahamians had left this nation for jobs in Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) member countries.
"The study, 'Is there a Caribbean Sclerosis', which attempts to determine why economic growth in The Bahamas and five other regional nations has been stagnating, effectively suggests this nation is losing its 'best and brightest' minds to other economies.
"This, in turn, has major implications for the productivity, innovation and creativity of Bahamian firms and the wider economy, all areas where it is suggested this nation is not as competitive as it might be.
"The IDB report's authors, Inder Ruprah, Karl Melgarejo, and Ricardo Sierra, summed it up thus: 'The Caribbean countries have lost more than 70 percent of their labor force with more than 12 years of schooling through emigration.'"
This brain-drain which is making the country less competitive and helping to stagnate the economy is made up mostly of women. There is much that needs to be done to attract these women to return home to offer their talents and expertise.
One such measure is the proposed constitutional change. Bahamian women will be able to automatically pass on their citizenship to their children as is the standard practice in the vast majority of countries.
Bahamian women living overseas, thinking of returning home, would not want the added hassle of a potentially drawn-out and cumbersome process to pass on citizenship to their children born overseas.
Bahamian women at home and abroad must largely be appalled by the thinking of Leslie Miller, who jokes about beating women and who seems to think that a woman is a mere appendage to a man, with little to say about where she should live and help to raise her family.
The Tribune story continued: "The IDB study gives no explanation as to why 61 percent of Bahamian tertiary graduates head abroad, although the likely reasons include the fact many of them stay overseas when their college degrees are completed; the narrowness of the Bahamian economy and opportunities at home; and a lack of information about openings in The Bahamas.
"Still, the findings have worrying implications for The Bahamas, as they indicate an entire generation of entrepreneurs and top-level managers may be heading abroad, never to return. And with Baha Mar set to create 5,000 extra jobs, and other major investment projects coming on stream, this nation needs all the top-quality labor it can get."
Leslie Miller and those of a similar view may live in the past as much as they wish, and keep their heads and minds buried in the sands of yesteryear. In so doing, they will not only retard progress for women. Their views may also help to keep the country back in terms of economic growth, innovation, entrepreneurship and the fuller emancipation of women.
o frontporchguardian@gmail.com, www.bahamapundit.com.

read more »


News Article

March 13, 2014
Violence against women: Leslie Miller and the PLP's veil of silence

Approaching International Women's Day, the country witnessed a day of infamy in the House of Assembly, one of the most repugnant moments in the chamber in living memory.
Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller boasted, emphatically and unequivocally, that he had inflicted violence on, assaulted and brutalized a woman. In a 105-word horrendous analogy Miller noted, as reported in this journal: "'That's like beating your wife or your girlfriend every time you go home. You just beat her for looking at her. I love ya. Boom, boom, boom. I had a girlfriend like that.
"'When I didn't beat her she used to tell me I ain't love her no more cause I don't hit her. But seriously I had one like that. I had one. She used to tell me,' he insisted as other members murmured and chuckled.
"House Speaker Dr. Kendal Major injected, 'We know that you're joking with that.'
"However, Miller said he was 'serious with that'.
"'I tell her I get tired, man,' he continued, laughing. 'My hands hurting a little bit... give me a break.'
"After a comment from a sitting member inquiring whether he was joking, he reiterated, 'I am telling you the truth. One thing I don't do is lie.'"
Miller "entertained" his colleagues with braggadocio and misogynistic machismo. He twice said that he was serious. He said that he was telling the truth. He said that he doesn't lie. He could not be clearer. There is no way to misconstrue the remarks.
Equally infamous, many of his party colleagues erupted in laughter. Recall that this was before Miller later claimed that he was joking, making the laughter even more contemptible.
Laughter
Aside Miller was Central and South Andros MP His Excellency Picewell Forbes, the country's high commissioner to CARICOM, shaking uncontrollably with laughter, throwing his arms wildly in the air, howling his enjoyment.
A few weeks ago Forbes told Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell on the floor of the House that he had "some different views" with him about LGBT issues.
With Mitchell generally voicing the views of successive governments, was Forbes disagreeing with government policy and non-discrimination of gays and lesbians?
It is clear from those remarks and in his delight in Miller's woman-beating story, that Forbes represents an antediluvian mindset. In his public career he has proved an intellectual troglodyte. He is not alone.
Sadly, revealingly, Forbes was also not alone in his raucous snickering at the horror of a woman being brutalized.
What particularly tickled his funny bone and that of certain PLP colleagues? Was it when Miller sighed: "I tell her I get tired, man. My hands hurting a little bit... give me a break." At that point Miller insisted that he was telling the truth.
How long is it into a beating before one's hands start hurting "a little bit"? How long before one's hands start hurting a lot? What is the equation of brutality? Is the victim supposedly to feel more loved the more she is brutalized: "I love ya. Boom, boom, boom"? Miller's comments packed more than a punch or a punch line.
As deafening as the laughter, the misogyny, the nauseating sexism, was the silence, not just in the moment, but more egregiously, the veil of silence of the PLP in the weeks after Miller's revolting statement.
Miller's story of brutality was repugnant enough. The aftermath is as disturbing and as revealing. It was a week before his comments gained notoriety amidst a gathering storm of disgust and rebuke.
Outrage
The outrage on social media exploded, with a Photoshopped image quickly going viral of Miller beating a woman on the ground, surrounded by PLP colleagues, including three female MPs, standing aside laughing. Comments on Facebook are running heavily against Miller, with the PLP's silence equally condemned.
An audio of Miller's repulsive comments was placed on YouTube. On March 8, nearly 630 people had listened to the comments, that number climbing the next day to approximately 1,500, climbing approximately another 400 by the following night to around 1,900, and climbing still.
Having plunged the PLP into a quandary, Miller made matters considerably worse. Instead of humility and restraint in his defensive words and offensive tone, he has appeared belligerent and bullying, continuing to offend. His exercise in damage control has been slapdash, ineffective, unconvincing.
The speaker of the House said that he believes that Miller was joking. Many do not share the speaker's opinion. They take Miller at his first words. Why did it take him approximately a week and enormous pressure before he addressed his remarks?
With Miller having taken nearly a week to backtrack, many concluded that either he did not understand his offense or that he was mostly engaging in damage control or some combination, none of which speaks well of his mindset.
Especially for many women, his eventual apology was too little, too late. It has often been said of misogynists that they simply don't get it. Had Miller's comments not come under scrutiny, he may never have apologized.
An expression of remorse is typically the response of someone who appreciates that they have offended others. But when Miller first took to the floor of the House to address his prior comments, contrition was not his first impulse.
Incredibly, he raged against The Nassau Guardian for reporting his remarks. He threatened to return fire to Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner who had upbraided him earlier.
A number of the male PLP MPs who laughed a week earlier at his claim of beating a woman cheered on as he promised to deal with Butler-Turner if she persisted in her criticism. Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe suggested that Butler-Turner should apologize to Miller for having criticized him!
Revived
The exchange revived misogynistic remarks Miller made during the 2012 general election in reference to Butler-Turner.
In 2014, Miller's misogyny went even beyond his prior sexist remarks, with his mea culpas growing in proportion to the political heat he was taking.
Full contrition is unconditional: "I was wrong and I am sorry." By contrast, Miller played the victim. His apology was conditional.
He bemoaned: "Unfortunately, the media choose to highlight certain words without executing the entire story and truth... that's how papers are sold and unnecessary drama unfolds. This is common in our society, but unacceptable on all [sic] levels. I will continue to challenge anyone that tries to assassinate my character, especially on such a sensitive topic.
"To anyone that my analogy may have offended, I sincerely apologize. We [sic] are one Bahamas, let's make an effort to put politics and hidden agendas aside and live that way."
It's mostly the media's fault. My words were taken out of context. I'm angry that they reported exactly what I said. Let's put politics aside and love each other. Odd, that the latter is not his modus operandi when he is viciously attacking his opponents.
His is the language typical of faltering damage control campaigns. There was the classic conditionality and half-apology typical of such public relations: "To anyone that my analogy may have offended ..." May have offended?
Miller has condemned himself and assassinated his own character by the rank misogyny he spewed and by the fuller and unconditional apology he could not bring himself to offer.
He can go on wildly blaming others. But it is he and he alone who is responsible for the position in which he finds himself. The more he attacks others in this debacle the worse his position.
Miller has done irrevocable damage to his public standing. He has significantly damaged his party. Still, it is the party that is doing greater damage to itself by remaining coldly silent.
There is the silence of the men of the PLP including Prime Minister Perry Christie. There is the silence of the women of the PLP including Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin, whose words rang hollow in commemoration of International Women's Day.
Historically, silence in the face of racism, sexism and homophobia have suggested a certain complicity with those who would dehumanize others with the most repugnant remarks, as did Miller.
Had an FNM MP uttered Miller's contemptible words, Christie and a host of PLP men and women, including Griffin and her female colleagues, as well as possibly Miller, would have lined up to vehemently assail the FNM in question.
The PLP's silence is more than hypocrisy. It is vile and nauseating.
Sadly, where are the apologies of those PLP MPs who laughed along with Miller? Having failed to apologize, they are even more complicit in the misogyny and the sexism, as is the PLP generally for refusing to rebuke Miller.
Following the 1987 general election, widely thought to have been fraudulent and underhanded, Miller noted, "All's fair in war and love", an idiom suggesting that in love or war or politics one does not have to abide by certain rules of fair play or ethics.
Surely Miller was being "serious about that" back then, just as perhaps most Bahamians view him as having been deadly serious in his more recent comments.
o frontporchguardian@gmail.com, www.bahamapundit.com.

read more »


News Article

July 15, 2014
BEC union renews demands for Leslie Miller's firing

Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard yesterday called on Prime Minister Perry Christie to either fire Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller, or ask him to resign over allegations of interference in BEC's disconnection process.
"I am not playing politics at this point," said Maynard, who previously called for Miller to be fired.
"I do not have time for that. I've said what I said and we leave it to them. It is too much interference.
"You have got to be able to do the job you are paid to do without interference."
Miller, who has been railing against BEC employees who he claimed allowed the corporation's delinquent accounts to mount by giving "breaks to their friends", was accused by a manager in a report obtained by The Nassau Guardian of cherry-picking whose power is disconnected.
The BEC report reveals that as of July 8, 2014 the corporation's managers would not take action to disconnect Jones Communications' supply, as the disconnection of the supply in May resulted in Miller immediately instructing officials to reconnect the supply.
As reported in yesterday's Nassau Guardian, as of July 8, Jones Communications Ltd. owed the corporation $106,007.56 collectively on its three accounts registered with BEC, according to a disconnection notice.
The manager said it appears disconnection exercises are a "waste of time".
Maynard said he previously asked the executive chairman to "cease and desist" from interfering with employees carrying out their duties, but to no avail.
He said that if the employees at the corporation were allowed to do their jobs, BEC would be on better financial footing.
"This is something that has been going on now for a year and a half, that I know about," he said.
"I have said since I was president that if the staff was allowed to do the job, BEC would be fine, and who is supposed to be off would be off."
In the July 8 report, another manager advised the senior manager that the credit and collections department was processing the disconnection work orders for Jones Communications.
In response, the senior manager said successive attempts to disconnect the account were unsuccessful as "my people were turned away by the chairman".
After it was recently revealed that Miller's family-owned businesses owed nearly a quarter of a million dollars, Miller said because some businesses employ dozens of Bahamians, the corporation prefers to work with them, rather than disconnect their supplies.
Maynard asked who is instructing officials to reconnect the power supplies of single mothers whose power is off.
"Who looks out for them?" he asked. "Where do they get breaks from?
"I keep telling you, I am the real 'potcake'. I am looking out for the small man."
In the report, the manager also advised that a disconnection list be sent to Miller so that he could approve which customers he feels should be disconnected.
Maynard said he agreed with the manager.
"You tell us who to disconnect and then we'll go out and do it," he said.
"It saves my membership from getting cursed out and having problems with that.
"And it saves me from getting into problems with him.
"I will not continue to tolerate him talking derogatory to the staff. I will not continue that."
Maynard also questioned how Jones' bill was allowed to accumulate to over $100,000.
Miller has not returned repeated calls from The Guardian since Sunday afternoon.

read more »


News Article

August 02, 2014
Leslie Miller and the constitutional referendum

Dear Editor,
I wish to respond to Leslie Miller's recent comments about the proposed constitutional amendment bill.

Thank you for allowing me space in your newspaper to share my view.
Miller's comments on this constitutional amendment demonstrate precisely why it is that we NEED such a Bill. Where has he been for the past half century?
The bill is aimed at eliminating gender discrimination. Miller was quoted as saying: "If my sister marries a foreigner, I expect that foreigner to take her home to his country and support her." I've got news for you, Miller. The year is 2014. Women can actually get a job and support themselves and, in many cases, even a family without requiring a man to do it for them.
Miller continues his ignorant and narcissistic statement with: "If I get married to a foreigner, she is coming here with me." Apparently in the Miller home, the wife has no say in the matter, indicating how useless the female of the species is.
Shame on you! Wake up and smell the coffee, Miller.
- In Shock

read more »


News Article

August 06, 2014
Griffin defends Leslie Miller over 'personal view' on bill

SOCIAL Services Minister Melanie Griffin yesterday defended Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller against criticism of his "personal view" on one of the Constitutional amendment bills...

read more »


News Article
Miller says he never intended to accuse Bowe of murder
August 16, 2013
Miller says he never intended to accuse Bowe of murder

Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller said yesterday it was never his intention to accuse businessman Dion Bowe of the 2002 murder of his son, Mario Miller.

"When I speak, I speak with sincerity and I speak with truth," Miller told The Nassau Guardian...

read more »


News Article

September 17, 2014
Miller threatens hotels 'out west'

Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller yesterday warned the "the three hotels out west" to pay their outstanding electricity bills by the end of the week or face disconnection.
Miller said they collectively owe the corporation more than $30 million.
He said BEC is struggling with a fuel bill that exceeds $100 million.
Miller initially made his comments while a guest on the More FM radio show "Real Talk Live" with Ortland Bodie.
He repeated them in an interview with The Nassau Guardian, but did not specifically name the hotels.
When asked if Baha Mar is among those with delinquent accounts, Miller said, "All of them. All of the hotels out west".
Miller said BEC can no longer allow the hotels to remain delinquent.
"It is imperative that we now try and collect as much as we can from the major hotels in this country," he said.
"They owe us an enormous amount of money that we need to collect.
"Right now, we are in a very, very tight situation with our major [fuel] supplier.
"We owe them in excess of $100 million right now and we've got to come up with about $55 million to enable us to get our next supply of fuel.
"I am asking those major hotels, they know who they are, to assist us in getting these funds to enable us to defray the cost for the fuel.
"If not, we are going to be in serious trouble. We do not want to revert to getting funding, but we are in a tight situation right now.
"We are asking all of our customers to assist us as best they can, but the hotels are the ones that have some big money outstanding.
"It is time now that they come and sit with us and give us the checks that are necessary to enable us not to turn them off.
"If not, I think this week, we are not going to have any choice except to send the message that the woman in Bain Town and in the Grove is no different from the hotels.
"In fact, she should be given more preference than the major entities."
In June, The Nassau Guardian revealed that Miller and one of his family-owned businesses collectively owed BEC nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
After that revelation, one of Miller's relatives made a $100,000 cash payment on the account.
Despite his own failure to pay his bill, Miller has repeatedly threatened delinquent commercial consumers.
Miller said the hotel owners and management will run to the prime minister and deputy prime minister to reverse his decision if it comes to that, but BEC has to take action.
He said the corporation was drafting letters, requesting that the hotels meet with BEC officials and come to terms.
He said those letters were expected to be sent out yesterday.
"If we do not get a response, we will make a decision to terminate their services until they come in a deal with us," Miller said.
"I realize they are going to run to the government, the prime minister and the deputy prime minister, but I see them really as being no different from ordinary Bahamians, who are catching eternal hell in this country."
He said he understands some hotels are experiencing financial challenges.
But he insisted that those hotels must pay something and arrange a payment plan.
When contacted for comment, Robert "Sandy" Sands, senior vice president, administration and external affairs at Baha Mar, said the hotel does not discuss its internal affairs.
Pressed on whether Baha Mar has outstanding arrears with the corporation, Sands declined to comment.
Calls placed to officials at Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort and SuperClubs Breezes were not returned up to press time.
It is unclear whether these hotels are among those that have significant arrears.
When pressed for specifics on the matter, Miller said, "All the hotels in this country owe us money, except for Atlantis.
"Atlantis is our best payer. Atlantis pays us in excess of $5 million per month, and I thank God for Atlantis," he said.
"They are the type of corporate citizen that is wanted and needed in this country. So is Rupert Roberts (Super Value owner).
"But the [other] hotels have become delinquent to the point where it is hurting the financial capability of BEC.
"When it gets to that point, you either sit with us, work it out and give us a check, or we will terminate the service."
Miller said BEC has no intention of requesting any funds from the government when it can collect on the more than $185 million in accounts receivables.
Miller has previously threatened to disconnect major hotels and large commercial consumers over their arrears.
It is unclear whether his latest threat will lead to disconnections.
Miller's renewed threat came a day after he announced the corporation is in the process of purchasing six new generators.
He did not say how much the generators will cost.
BEC has been plagued with a series of failed generators, forcing it to load shed this summer.

read more »


News Article

July 31, 2014
Miller urges everyone to pay BEC bills

Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller said yesterday the corporation's accounts receivable is $185 million.
Miller told The Guardian several weeks ago that money owed to BEC was in excess of $130 million, with about 75 percent of that owed by residential customers.
"We are asking our customers to assist us by trying to pay," he said at a press conference.
"We find ourselves in a precarious situation where we need to generate about $40 million this month to enable us to defray our cost for our fuel, because right now we are at our limit with our fuel supplier, which is $120 million.
"Our accounts receivable right now is $185 million, with the government owing us in excess of $30 million, so we need everyone to please, try to do the best you can in paying BEC and getting your bill up to date, including myself as chairman and everybody else in this country," he said.
"We are all in this boat together by the way. No one is different from [anybody] else. You have some of the major hotels in the country owing us millions of dollars.
"I'm talking about in excess of $15 million in some cases and they are telling you that the capacity isn't there for them to generate the funds at his time -- 'you have to work with us if not we have to lay off some Bahamians'."
The Nassau Guardian revealed recently that Miller and his family-owned businesses owed BEC more than $200,000.
The day after the story was published, Miller's family made a $100,000 payment on the bill.
There is no indication whether the remainder of the bill was paid or when it will be.
Outage
At the press conference, Miller also said the corporation is working to prevent any further service disruptions from occurring in the country.
On Monday, thousands of BEC customers in New Providence were without electricity for most of the day.
"[We] are far removed from the past when customers would have experienced rolling black-outs and load shedding in the hot summer months," Miller said.
He added that Monday's outage was not the result of an issue with BEC being unable to meet the demand for electricity, but rather its ability to transmit and distribute that electricity.
The latest blackout came less than a month after an island-wide outage.
Miller said the investigation into that outage was completed by PowerSecure, a leading provider of utility and energy technologies, and will be made available to Cabinet soon. He declined to share the results.
Miller also took issue with complaints made against the government's use of the company to lead the investigation into the July 3 outage.
"You [are] raising hell because we brought someone here to look at the system?" he asked.
"But the lights went out. If your lights went out for a whole day and people were suffering, would it not be prudent to bring some people in to take a look at the system?"

read more »


News Article

March 27, 2014
Miller says two BEC employees held hostage

Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller said yesterday two female employees of BEC were briefly held "hostage" by a group of men in Pinewood Gardens as they attempted to disconnect a customer's electricity supply on Tuesday.
Miller said the women visited the home, but were forced to stay in their vehicle and called for assistance after the men locked the gate of the property and repeatedly threatened to "smash their faces in with a rock".
"The gentleman picked up a rock -- and when I say a rock, I mean a big rock -- and told her he would smash their faces in if she was to disconnect his light," said Miller, at a press conference at BEC's headquarters.
"...Five men in the neighborhood then went to the gate and stopped them from leaving the gate and they were threatened.
"One man said he would go home and get his nine millimeter and kill all two of them if they came in his yard and turned off his light."
Miller said BEC supervisors and the police responded and assisted the women and the matter is now under investigation.
Police confirmed that two men were arrested in connection with the incident.
The women, although shaken by the ordeal, were unharmed, Miller said.
He said BEC disconnected the customer's electricity supply pending the outcome of the matter.
Miller said BEC employees in the field have been harassed, threatened and assaulted in past years, but there has been an increase in reported incidents in the past few weeks.
He said in the last three weeks at least three employees reported they were threatened, and in at least two cases rocks were thrown at them.
Miller said while the corporation understands times are hard, BEC instructs employees to disconnect households and it is nothing personal.
He said accounts in arrears where there is no evidence that a customer has made an attempt to pay a portion of the bill will be disconnected.
According to Miller, the average customer in arrears in New Providence has a bill at around $5,000.
"We are asking the public to please show some restraint, and to the men, show some class; you do not threaten women," Miller said.
"And you are now going to face the full extent of the law. And only God knows when your light will be turned on again, but it isn't going to be [any time] soon.
"Those men should be ashamed of themselves. They have no shame...I want to apologize to those two women."
There are 32 employees who disconnect supplies, according to Miller. He said six are women.
He said they have now been instructed to execute their duties in twos.
Miller warned that BEC would disconnect any customer who threatens and/or assaults a BEC employee.

read more »


News Article

November 14, 2013
Miller praises web shop operators

Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller last night defended web shop owners as Bahamians who have made the country proud and said they should not be degraded or compared to gangsters.
During debate on a compendium of anti-crime bills, Miller said he heard an opposition MP opine that web shop operators were organized criminals.
"The people who they refer to as... hoodlums or to use a better word, organized criminals, are well-meaning Bahamians who have made us more than proud," Miller said.
"I remember when I was in college, [FML CEO] Craig Flowers appeared on the cover of Jet magazine; that's a subsidiary of Ebony."
Miller said Flowers was the first black pilot to fly for a national airline in the Americas.
"That is the caliber of person that some would degrade and put a bad omen to his name," he said.
"I daresay that the other ones who are in that same business are generally decent, hardworking Bahamian businessmen who had the ingenuity, who had the background, who had the wherewithal to risk it all to go into a business that has been around for years.
"These good gentlemen have taken it to the next level, to another stratosphere. They have shown Bahamians that you should believe in Bahamians. That you can do what anyone else can do. I don't think we should degrade them."
Miller also admitted that he has gambler.
"I went to the barber yesterday (Tuesday) and a [man] tried to sell me numbers," he said. "I can't even buy numbers. I spent $20, and I didn't catch anything."
Miller also said web shop owners contribute to local charities.
On January 28, a majority of people who voted in a referendum on gambling voted against the establishment of a national lottery, and the regularization and taxation of web shops.
A day later, Prime Minister Perry Christie ordered all web shop operators to shut down their gaming operations immediately or face arrest and prosecution.
The matter then went before the Supreme Court and a legal battle is underway.
Miller did not comment on the case, but said web shops in the country employ thousands of Bahamians.

read more »