26 October 2012

First Turks & Caicos Islands Premier discusses his record in office

A national message from Michael E. Misick
(published in TCI News)

My Brothers and Sisters,

I address you today for two reasons.

Firstly, to place the tenure and record of my former government in its full and proper perspective.

Second, to ask you to support the Progressive National Party (PNP) team as they go full throttle ahead to win the November 9th general elections.

We as Turks and Caicos Islanders have much of which to be proud and many blessing to thank God for. As your first Premier and last elected leader, I am very proud of the accomplishments that we made during our six years in office in spite of the usual obstruction by the British.

You must surely remember that when we in the PNP won office in 2003, unemployment was high, tourism was struggling, there were very few foreign investments, virtually no money was being spent on public infrastructure and only the privileged few were getting free medical care, scholarships and land grants GDP was then $150 million, tourism arrivals were less than 200,000 and there were hardly and public parks and recreational facilities for young people to enjoy.

Shortly after the PNP assumed office, under my leadership and with an able, hard working team guided by God’s help, we were able to turn around the fortunes of our country.

We improved our tourism arrivals to one million visitors through our aggressive marketing which resulted in the Turks and Caicos Islands being one of the strongest tourism brands in the Caribbean.

We attracted billions of dollars in investments in the tourism sector like the Grand Turk cruise port, Seven Stars, Beaches Italian Village, the Regent Grand, and the Amanyara Resort just to name a few. All of this investment while the PNP was in office, led to the Turks and Caicos Islands having the proud distinction of being the most rapidly developing country in the Caribbean and this part of the world.

We also built sports and recreational facilities such as the Gus Lightbourne Stadium, the National Stadium which hosted the 2007 CARIFTA Games, the Bight Children Park, Horsestable Beach Park in North Caicos, the Community Centre in South Caicos, the Lighthouse Park, the over back park, and a many more.

We made sure every person that wanted health care got it free of charge, even if they had to be flown out to Miami to get the best care that money could buy. We spared no cost because we felt, and feel, that nothing is too good for our people. We built two modern world-class hospitals for our people, although we are not now happy with how they are being run and managed, and I could assure you that if we were still in office, they would have been managed differently.

We spent millions of dollars providing local and overseas scholarships to our young people to pursue a wide range of disciplines (doctors, lawyers, pilots, accountants, engineers, managers), to the extent where every family in every community and on every island in the Turks and Caicos Islands benefited from higher education. We can now proudly boast of having one of the most qualified set of people per capita, anywhere in the Caribbean and the world.

We also spent tens of millions of dollars investing in infrastructure, including roads and streetlights throughout Providenciales, deep water ports in North Caicos and Middle Caicos and paved roads throughout Middle Caicos and North Caicos including the causeway. We paved roads all through South Caicos, built a new clinic and began to build a new terminal. We also paved roads in Grand Turk and invested in other public infrastructure including new class rooms. In short, we increased the GDP from $150million to over $750million in six short years.

We were building institutions like TCI Bank, TCI New Media, TC Invest and the National Health and National Insurance Scheme that are so essential to any developing country. Sadly the British has destroyed some of the institutions but a PNP administration would be committed to rebuilding them. These institutions took good care of our people and some are still are taking, care of the sick and providing pension for our elderly in their golden years.

So, in spite of the naysayers, the facts speak for themselves. The PNP party under my leadership made some of the most significant economic and social gains ever in the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

I am therefore asking those of you who supported me over the many years, and who love me to this very day, to give that same support to Dr. Rufus Ewing and his team so that they can continue the good work that my team and I started.

We all know what happened. We know that because we were being successful and because we were moving our country towards self-determination, the British fabricated and used the PDM and others to fabricate corruption allegations and the ongoing investigation for their political purpose, simply to derail our progress and our plans.

The ongoing SIPT investigation and court case is nothing but a sham and a Ponzi scheme. No defendant can ever get a fair trial when the British governor and the British government have changed the Constitution and so many laws, such as a Hearsay Law, to ensure convictions. They have also handpicked judges who will do their bidding and in spite of the law and facts they have consistently ruled in the favour of the prosecution team.

However, I must point out this is nothing new for the British. They are masters at divide and rule. They have in the past done the same thing in United States of America, South Africa, Kenya, and other countries which were once colonies like we now are.

Fortunately for those countries the people had the courage to eventually kick them out of their country. The Turks and Caicos people have now seen after three years and US$60 million of the public money, that all of this was done to get me and others out of politics and to politically persecute us, victimise us and wrongfully criminalise us.

The PDM conspired with the British because they knew that because of the progress we had made and the love my people have for me, that I could not be defeated at the polls.
My people, we cannot afford to let the PDM win. A vote for the PDM is a vote to continue the British occupation of our beloved country.

We know the PDM leader and we know that after 30 years in politics he can't point to anything good he has done for our country, and so, if he could not do it when he was young and full of energy, what can he do now?

My people, don't be distracted by the third party PPP. They are agents of SIPT and the British who are only trying to do what they can to prevent a PNP victory. It is so ironic because the leader of the PPP has benefited from the PNP more than any other citizen. My Haitian brothers and sisters, you know I love you.

Remember who was there for you when Oswald Skippings and the PDM put your kids out of school. It was me and the PNP. Remember we made sure that your kids that grew up in Turks and Caicos Islands, although they were born in Haiti, were able to get Belonger status because we felt that it was the right and Christian thing to do. Remember who was always there to fight for your rights.

Therefore, my advice to you is, don't waste your vote on the third party PPP. Vote for your party PNP ALL THE WAY! Finally, this upcoming general election is one of the most important and critical election that we will ever have. This election will determine whether we continue to allow the British and their agents to dominate and occupy our country without any regard or respect for justice, equality or our human rights; or whether we will vote PNP so that we can continue on the road to prosperity and self-determination. A vote for the PDM and Oswald Skippings is a vote for the British and Slick Rick! So on Election Day, I encourage all of you who are registered to vote to go out and vote PNP straight down the line. Don't share your vote. We want all six votes. Touch Down! I miss you all and miss my home dearly and long to return one day in a free and just TCI. Until then, may God bless all of you and may God bless the Turks and Caicos Islands, the home we love so much.

Yours Always,
Michael Eugene Misick
Former Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands