Flowers: Don't demonize govt

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September 25, 2014

FML Group of Companies CEO Craig Flowers said yesterday people should not demonize or try to "kill the government" for making decisions.
Flowers was asked to respond to church leaders who criticized the government for going against the results of the 2013 gambling referendum.
The majority of voters in that referendum voted against the establishment of a national lottery and the regulation and taxation of the web shop industry.
"When the [government] makes decisions, they've been given the mandate by the people in the country to govern," he said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.
"If I do or say or act contrary to what you put me here to do, then at the end there is a judgment day for these things."
Several church leaders recently accused the government of "killing democracy" by going against the referendum results.
The Gaming Bill, which will regulate the web shop industry, was passed in the House of Assembly last week and in the Senate on Monday.
The opposition voted against the bill, charging that the government made a grave error in ignoring the will of the people.
Pastors Lyall Bethel of Grace Community Church and Alfred Stewart of New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church have encouraged Bahamians not to support any MP who votes in favor of the bill, in the next general election.
Flowers said he found the pastors' comments "farfetched and a bit overboard".
"If we have an election today, we may be surprised," he said.
"The PLP may win more seats than they had before. We don't know. But we can sit here and we can all say from any perspective or any point what's wrong.
"But there are a lot of people in this country and, if asked across the board by way of an election, we may be very well surprised as it relates to what the government is doing whether it is right for the majority.
"In a democracy we must try to have some other opinions."
Flowers said he sympathizes with the government whenever people bash it for going against the referendum.
"Over the years, I've always been, and traditionally people have known me as being, a very strong supporter of the PLP," he said.
"I have a reason for supporting the PLP; because as a little, young, black Bahamian in this country I grew up and understood [discrimination and racial issues] and all of these things. I was told as a young man growing up here that this country had a great deal for me.
"When your life has been impacted with that sort of background, that thrust me on my way to become who I am today. Certainly there are connections and navel string tying of self to the party.
"Now that didn't mean that [former Prime Minister the late] Sir Lynden Pindling and I did not have our share of ups and downs. But I'm still who I am as it relates to supporting the party.
"So when I hear negative things about the party, yes it bothers me. But that doesn't mean that I can't disagree.
"I disagree with leadership in the party on a lot of policies. Today when I hear people say that the government made a decision that was contrary to the wishes of the people by way of a referendum and that it was an opinion poll...I can only sit."
Flowers is considered one of the fathers of the modern web shop industry.
He is a trained airline pilot, something he said is the result of the PLP and its struggle for majority rule in the country.
He said the full story of the numbers business must be told so that Bahamians can get a true appreciation for the industry.

Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian

News date : 09/25/2014    Category : Nassau Guardian Stories

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