MOU doesn’t need UK nod

| 24/06/2011

(CNS): The government will not need approval from the UK to do business with the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), even though it is a state owned firm. The Governor’s Office confirmed Thursday that the MOU the government has signed with CHEC “does not fall within the ambit of external affairs as contemplated under section 55(1)(b) of the Constitution. As such, UK consent or approval is not required.” Queries had been raised in the wake of the announcement by the premier that he had signed an MOU with the state owned Chinese company that the deal would need FCO approval. In particular, the PPM member for East End, Arden McLean, had said that this was a foreign government and a communist country.

During his budget reply in the Legislative Assembly earlier this week the premier took aim at the opposition members for suggesting that he was doing something wrong by entering into a deal with the firm. He said they were showing their ignorance when they criticised him over doing business with a communist country. He told McLean, “You can’t catch communism like a cold,” and said that the UK and the USA, as well as many other countries, were doing business with the Chinese.

“Everything and anything is being said by the opposition to ‘blaggard’ everything we are trying to do,” the premier said when he closed the budget debate.

Despite the extensive media coverage to the contrary and questions about the firm, the premier denied there was anything going wrong in Jamaica with the work CHEC was doing there. The premier said he had a letter from that country’s contractor general denying there were any investigations going on. He added that he believed there was nothing wrong with Cayman doing business with the firm and he wished they could do a lot more.

The premier has signed a preliminary deal with CHEC to develop the cruise berthing facilities in George Town on a 49 year concession and to construct a cruise berthing pier in West Bay that will service the Turtle Farm. He has also signed a separate agreement to renovate the Spotts jetty, where work is expected to start next month.

During the Finance Committee session on Thursday the premier denied that the $3 million which has been advanced by CHEC to do the work at Spotts needed to be added to government’s anticipated costs for interest payments on public debt. The opposition leader, Alden McLaughlin, pointed out that the recently signed MOU states that if the Cayman Islands Government and CHEC can’t reach an agreement on the details of the George Town and West Bay cruise developments, the government will reimburse the Chinese firm for the Spotts work.

Bush angrily rejected the need to do that and said were it to reach that point he would bring the deal to the Legislative Assembly and make the arrangements, but he said it was not adding to the financing arrangements for something that had not yet happened. He said it was his goal that the cruise talks would move fast and that things would be in place soon and he did not need to put the $3 million on the financing appropriations as it was not a loan.

The premier has stated that he hopes to move to a framework agreement with CHEC for the cruise berthing projects to be underway by November.

See MOU with the premier and CHEC below.

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  1. anonymous says:

    but I heard Arden reading out something on radio to say this was not so. You mean Arden don't understand what the government can do and cant and he was a Minister! Scary and he wants to be premier like his friend in st kitts or st lucia?

    He dont know what he talking bout or he was just trying fool people. one or the other.

  2. Ray says:

    What does it say about our leadership that they are willing to conduct business with a company that apparently has legal issues,  workmanship issues, kick-back issues, etc. in multiple countries? Then they claim to be concerned about what the outside world think of our country.

    • Doomed says:

      The Cayman banking due diligence procedures are some of the highest standard in the world. How come the same standard is not applied to the Government contract with the Chinese, particularly when our beloved leader is an ex-banker?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe one of the big drug companies can invent an MOU inhibitor.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My mother always told me"that you are judged by the company you keep"

    Isn't it strange that when the premier came back from one of his overseas trips he cancelled an MOU with a company who was going to build the new dock in George Town and now has a new MOU with a company who is known for giving bribes to government officials.

    XXXX In his speech last night the premier said to try and find something that he has done that is illegal.

    Now is a good time to start…

    • Anonymous says:

      It's time for the UDP members to understand that if they continue to back the premier that they will never be re-elected.

      You are judged by the company you keep and it's time for them to understand the people of Cayman do not want to have their country  given to Mr. Dart or China.

  5. Forelock says:

    An advance payment to a contractor for Works not yet performed is indeed a loan until its value is earned as the contractor does the Work.

    • Geo says:

      Well well on a beginning to see that all ppm says is not gospel. People need to start scrutinizing what these so called opposition members tell on a because they are masters at spinning the story to their advantage.

  6. anonymous says:

    Whats wrong with doing buisness with a communist country? if it is so bad then lets do away with Cayman Airways flying the Cuban route.And why are the USA the EU and others doing buisness with China?,Arden is just too dark and ignorant,thank God he is not our premier!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Answer: We shouldn't be doing business with a company found guilty of bribing public officials for the sake of winning a contract. It casts suspicion on our Premier for entering into a contract with such a company.

       McKeeva's reputation is already questionable due to his being a Director of First Cayman Bank when it collapsed.

      How many people in West Bay lost most of their life savings in that one?


    • Anonymous says:

      11: 50, you are so right, he is in the dark, the rest of the world must be laughing at how stupid some of us are.

      China is all over the world developing, they  not only got the money to do so, they have the technology.

      Therse boys are trying every trick in the book to remove UDP.

      They have no back up plan, just tearing down as they go along, no one is going to trust them with the running of this country again, who will bring in money here, with their attitude.

      • Anonymous says:

        MOU is for design, construction and operation of these facilities. The last part is the most regrettable and objectionable component. Pouring concrete doesn’t require any special technology, but inviting communist admirals to run your ports for 50 years requires a special kind of stupid that only the blind would allow to happen. It has nothing to do with UDP or PPM, it has to do with learning from history and wanting not to regret this radical shift in global alliances that has been thrust upon us without any consensus.

  7. Swine says:

    Of all of the places in the world for our premier to stand behind in regards to no corruption being present in development deals with this company, he chooses Jamaica? No wonder Cayman is on the express lane to Hell!

  8. Anonymous says:

    How can you expect transparency from a dictator.

    His past record says it all – treat the people like mushrooms by feeding them on sh–t and keep them in the dark.

    He thinks we do not know what is going on however he forgets that the rest of the nation are not the fools he and his followers are so it only a matter of time when he meets his "Waterloo".

    The will of the intelligent god and honest Caymanians will prevail.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need to have a premier who can read well and understand what he is reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    "he had a letter from that country's contractor general denying there were any investigations going on"  Oh well, of course, a letter – with a stamp and everything – from that guy…uh…what's his mane? Anyway, it must be legit then.