Bush still backing CHEC

| 04/05/2012

cruise ship at port_0.JPG(CNS): The premier has said that he is going to pursue the negotiations with China Harbour Engineering Company as government’s partner for the development of cruise berthing facility in George Town despitethe comments of the Overseas Territories Henry Bellingham that he had concerns over the proposal. McKeeva Bush insisted on Tuesday evening that the Chinese were still offering the best deal and that the UK did not like the idea of Cayman doing business with the Chinese as they would bring too much money, meaning the FCO would lose control. He said the deal would not need to be retendered and he would be speaking to the auditor general and the new CTC chair.

During his appearance on Cayman 27’s "The Panel" on Tuesday, Bush said the Cayman Islands was going to get a lot out of the CHEC negotiations, much more than what GLF would have given.

Bush said KPMG were on board examining the proposals and that it would come before Cabinet and he said he was still hoping he would have an agreement by September. In the face of Bellingham’s comments about the need to get the port project back in line with best international procurement practice, Bush said that the UK only needed to worry about value for money.

“The important thing that England should be concerned about … rather than them not wanting the Chinese here, is whether at the end of the day value for money has been had … (sic) and that’s what we are doing and what that’s what we are going to show. At the end of the day our country is going to get many more benefits than would have had under any other deal,” Bush said on the TV show.

“We have got a good deal for this country. What are they talking about with this process?” he asked. “At the end of the day, is Cayman going to get a better deal? Will we have value for money? Those are the questions and we have not got to that point yet,” he said as he justified the selection of CHEC as a potential partner.

Bush dismissed the issue of the tendering process as he said that others had not been tendered properly.

However, a request for proposals was circulated shortly after the UDP came to office and rejected the Atlantic Star proposal, which had been placed on the table under the previous administration.

The Port Authority received around ten bids and DECCO was identified as the best potential deal. When the negotiations broke down, however,government moved on to GLF Construction, which was identified as the second best choice.

However, when the premier opted to reject GLF, a decision which was eventually to cost the public purse more than $2 million, he moved on to CHEC, which had never participated in the original tendering process.

Defending the failure to get any projects off the ground despite some three quarters of the UDP administration being completed, Bush blamed bureaucracy.

“We can go out and get people … we wine, dine them … make them feel good about Cayman, finally get them here, get them to announce a project, then the bureaucracy takes over … and the governor gets into it and puts a civil servant he wants in place … that’s what takes the time … it’s the bureaucracy; that’s what I complain about a lot."

He said that the world was looking at Cayman and if we continued to build laws that “bounce people away” Cayman would continue to suffer.

Bush said he tells the governor all the time about the need to get people to work as they are losing their homes. “Don’t come and talk to me about regulations," he said. “There is far too much regulation … to do what? To prove that this country is going to make money out of it?” the premier asked.

He lamented the process and wondered what it is “they” (meaning the UK) needed to know when they said they were not satisfied with the procurement process.

“At the end of the day, they need to know that this country will not lose money … and their contingent liabilities will be less. Or is that they don’t want to seeus to get ahead?” he asked rhetorically.

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  1. SKEPTICAL says:

    It no longer matters what Bush wants in relation to the CHEC deal – the FCO is sitting on his shoulder, and he can’t do anything without their say so. It’s a bit like the little reins they had for small children, in the old days, when they first learned to walk – they prevented them from running off and getting up to mischief.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Can someone send me the cv of Mr Bush so I can ascertain just the amount if expertise he has in financial matters. If KPMG have been called in surely they ought to have been called in,
      or other financial advisors, months ago.
      As far as I am aware this clown has no financial expertise at all and yet he is in charge of negotiating with millions of tax payers monies. We have seen that his track record is a disaster, akin to First Cayman Bank.
      What makes him think he is in any position to compare one deal with another. Just why did he not consult with experts prior to overruling the Port Authority. The aroma of this matter is only surpassed by that of the dump and the resulting Matrix fiasco where the public purse was raided once again.

  2. village idiot of Absurdistan says:

    I am still waiting to hear what or how they plan to replace the per head revenue that the CIG currently collects when it is diverted to repay CHEC. This is a sizeable sum of money that government coffers rely on. 

    Can anyone shed light on what will replace the lost revenue or the equivalent austerity measures that will be implemented to balance the books?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mac, please, for pity's sake go home and take a long nap, then when you wake up get someone to write your letter of resignation and you can put your mark on it. You'll feel a lot better, I can assure you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    "During his appearance on Cayman 27’s "The Panel" on Tuesday, Bush said the Cayman Islands was going to get a lot out of the CHEC negotiations, much more than what GLF would have given."

    Hmmmmmm.  I wonder if he meant "he" instead of "the Cayman Islands"?


    • Anonymous says:

      He meant the local Caymanian contractors will get lots of work. unless you are one that don't want to see caymanians get anywhere in life, so you wouldnt understand Mac's statement. 

      • SKEPTICAL says:


      • Anonymous says:

        Sure, there will be plenty of work….at a rate of $17 a day. 

        Chinese Port workers make about $519 per month which is about 4 times the near-slavery national average for urban workers.  There is no overtime, and only one or two days off per month.  Health? Pension Plan?  Yeah right!  

        Feel free to compete with that, if you want!

        "Wah?!?  Too low?  No fair?!?  You go home!!"  

        "We bring in Chinese to do work!!"  

  5. Polly Tricks says:

    First, we heard all the same nonsense with the Cohen deal.  That cost us half a million.  That is nothing compared to what a bad port deal will cost us.  And Mac has shown a complete lack of business acumen during this term in office.

    Second, right now we cannot allow anything to go through without very careful and transparent due process while there is a cloud of corruption hanging over Cayman and over this government.  Before these investigations came to light, any neutral observer would have very serious concerns about how the CHEC deal was handled, with the knifing of GLF, the way the deal was rushed through despite poltical and business concerns, the complete lack of transparency.  Now with the ongoing corruption investigations, we simply cannot accept Mac's word and his judgment any more, most of all a when it is in respect of a deal with so much money at stake and so much money changing hands.

  6. Out of TOUCH says:

    He was told this wasn't happening but he continues talking junk. Something is very wrong with this man. John Bull will straiten him out very soon. Stick around.

  7. Deepdiver says:

    One of the (many) things that worries me about this 'great deal', and I have not seen addressed, is what happens when we get a 50 year old facility handed back to us? I have to imagine that the whole thing will be in a rather worn out condition and in need of a HUGE reinvestment (or need to be torn down and replaced). WHO do you suppose will have to pay for that?

    How many 50 year old waterfront buildings do you know that are in good condition without continuous maintenence (of which I am afraid CHEC will be little inclined to do given they are prepared to abandon it at end of lease)?

  8. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    Mac is doing this at his own risk even though the UK said it would be retendered. What does he expect to accomplish with his bluster? He needs to step aside until he gets a green light to come back when the coast is clear if it ever clears. If UDP people can't see this then they deserve to get their clocks cleaned. They have a clear choice, go over the cliff with their leader or do what's best for the country. There is no middle ground.

    • Anonymous says:

      EYE ON THE ISLAND, Stop lying to the Caymanian people. UK did not say anything like you are claiming…nice try though!. Bellingham mentioned that he was only  concerned with the procurement of the port.

      He would be a hypocrite to suggest that we should go out for tender, when at the same time His Chancelor of the Exchequer ( The  Coilition Government) is now  urging China to invest in the UK in their transportation, energy and utilities. Please, can you  show the Caymanian people, where these jobs are going out for tender?

      Let me say this, the world has changed, we have to change with it. 90% of countries have no way to personally further, finance their  infastructures..therefore they end up partnering with the 10% countries with cash flow to continue to keep up with technology and their  infastructures.

      These deals cannot be paid off in no 30 year plans anymore. And i wish the ones that preaching that we will burdon down our grand and great grand with these debts….wold stop it.

      A country's  infastructures never ceases. Tomorrow should we need a bridge , a larger  airport, more high ways, more schools, courthouses, housing for PWD, NRA, larger hospitals. and i could go on.

      So tell the Caymanians how we are going to pay for all this, before our grand and great grands come aound.  vision is what we lack, open your eyes, broden your minds. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    WOW! It sames to me that Bush is the ONLY person in Cayman that wants this deal.  Most of the locals do not want this deal.  Why are we allowing Mr. Bush to call ALL the shots for us and is trying to tarnish Image in the real world.  Why are WE the people allowing this man to destroy our relationship with the UK? It sames to me that he wants to put Cayman on the Independence road.  He is alledge to have done some wrong and some illegal acts, so then how did it get to this point?  He is just throwing EVERYTHING out there, but is not admitting to these wrongs. Is this his last desperate move? Come on someone please ARREST this man before he completely destroy our beautiful Islands.  Where are the people with power, we need the NOW to legally kick this man out!! he comes in like the Mafia, with his croonies to control the show.  Who died and made him god? He needs to GO! and its needs to be NOW!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe the word is "seems" . Seam is like a seam in the floor .. Sanding seam roof etc. Just saying …

      • Anonymous says:

        Standing seam roof, just sayin…

      • Anonymous says:

        Why are you giving a lecture about "seams"? Theposter said "sames". They are both wrong of course but if you are going to correct another then please ensure that you are correct in your criticism. Just saying…

    • Anonymous says:

      I AGREE!

  10. Anonymous says:

    If the CHEC deal is anything like the Cohen deal (and the Premier said that was a good deal and if he had to do it over again he would), then thank God the UK is watching over us.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is the world's second largest navy both in terms of personnel and battlefleet tonnage (with annual PLA defence spending expected to surpass the USA by 2035).  The Chinese Government has openly indicated that it is seeking to develop a true blue-water fleet and is establishing port alliances to facilitate that capability.  The first Chinese aircraft carrier, the Ex-Varyag is expected to enter PLAN service this year.  There are 25 destroyers in service including five modern Type 052C destroyers (equipped with stealth radar and the new C-602/YJ-62 supersonic anti-ship or land attack cruise missiles).  There are 47 frigates in service.  There are also 90 amphibious warfare ships including the Yazhao class, Yukan Class and Yudeng III Class (these are big ships between 210-77m each).  Submarines play a significant role in the development of the PLAN's future fleet.  This is made evident by the construction of a new type of nuclear ballistic missile submarine, the Type 094 and the Type 093 nuclear attack submarine.  These will provide the PLAN with a more modern response in the form of a seaborne nuclear deterrent.  The new submarines will also be capable of performing conventional strike and other special warfare requirements.  As their experience grows and ambitions expand from theYellow Sea 5, 10, 20 years from now, their globally accumulated materials will be flowing from global markets in earnest.  Millions of tonnes of iron ore, grain, soy, corn, and millions of barrels of oil are expected to flow through these waters via new Panamax vessels.  Consider where a friendly Cayman port might figure into a global defence strategy with years of control still on the clock?  The man from West Bay says we will get a free cruise port; but does he know the game we are actually playing?  Do you think the Chinese will care about whether the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association will like our port?!? 


    • Anonymous says:

      Or maybe they just think there is a great amount of money to be made in it….just like every other company (Chinese, American, Caymanian or otherwise) who has tried to negotiate the port deal (and negotiate it to their own advantage). Not everything is the plot to a John Grisham novel………or needs to be dissected by the NSA….sometimes profit is the only motivator needed.

      • Anonymous says:

        When liners struggle to retain 50% occupancy rates at today's giveaway pricing – explain the business rationale for building a superport to service less than 1% of the liner market (and no new mega liners planned for next 5 years+)?  Do you actually believe the Chinese are drooling at these stats?  Their rationale has nothing to do with Oasis of the Seas (and are happy to let you think that if you want).  Rest assured that they are at least 20 moves ahead of our chief negotiator on this one!

        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe they envisage a Chinese specific cruise line based in Cayman?  They may wnat to move the 1% upward.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mr Bush said “meaning the FCO would lose control” who would the present control go too and what would they be allowed to control?

  13. Anonymous says:

    How you say 5% in Chinese…?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Honestly – how can you make such accusations? Your opinion on why this is the best deal for cayman is one thing and yes you are entitiled to it and to express why. I'm not complaining about that. But this finger pointing- no filter- verbal out pouring is ridiculous. I'm also hesitant about Cayman doing business with this company for various reasons. Many people are, this isn't new. To say however the hesitation on part of the FCO is because they don't want us to get ahead or make money is absolutely ridiculous. It reminds me of a child stomping their feet and saying stubborn and naive statements because they don't want to listen to anyone else. Do you have any regard for professionalism or public opinion? Take the advice, consider it, counter (if you can) and above all, act in a favourable light.

    • Anonymous says:

      In fact it is indeed very much a child stomping their feet and saying stubborn and naive statements because they don't want to listen to anyone else. Surely Cayman has not forgotten what happened when this man stomped his feet for the Cohen loan???? The ONLY difference here is the magnitude and possible consequences of this deal compared to the Cohen one. Sorry, Mac, we really need to stay above board with this one, OK? We understand how much that hurts but that's just the way it's going to be. And thank you for stepping in Mr. Bellingham and Governor Taylor. 

    • Anonymous says:

      So you think Bellingham flew all the way out here just to have a meeting with the Governor?

      Talk about blind.

    • Stiff-Necked Fool says:

      Have to – money train!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Lord help us before it is too late. This man is hell bent on destroying this country.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Remind me again, which Government is in power? Which Govt. passes Laws & Regulations? Which Govt. has the power to repeal and /or amend existing Laws and Regulations.

    Reminds me of a dog chasing its tail because it annoys him.


  17. ListenCaymanians says:

    People, Native Caymanians and Expatriate Caymanians, The Premier McKeeva Bush is no fool trust me.  He may not have Graduated from Harward but I can tell you one thing, he has a belly full of sense.

    Tell me, why should any person not accept a best deal thatis good.  Caymanians  who have internet and can read and understand well….. I say wake up you are in a dream>  Some may not like what I am saying and I hold a British Passport.  I have lived on this Island for at least 40 years.  I have seen the bad come and the good come, but now the worst is the UGLY part of both.  That is destroying Cayman.

    Before listening to idle talk please spend some time reading.  Read the message above, enquire from people with knowledge, do not indulge in idle talk, because there is someone who knows more than you.

    Caymanians are very passive people, but sad to say you are loosing your culture and herritage for allowing outside people to dictate to you.  If they had any say in their country, they would not be in yours, think about it.  Also these people are setting you up to fail, but only a few recognizes this.  Cayman I believe you are winding down to the end of your rope, and if you do not be yourselves you will be like anyother Carribean Country who their representatives fought for so much power and damaged the country.   The Premier is doing an excellent job.  If he was not I would have vacated my home on Seven Mile Beach and gone back to the cold harsh unsafe world out there.  About the FCO and the Governor not being in favour of Cayman and wanting it to fail and fall.   You Caymanians and Expatriate Caymanians be the judge of that.   For many years I would hear people  of this Island speak of how England treated them so bad.  I would sometimes wonder about back then, but now I have the opportunity to see what they were talking about.  Stop being a fool Cayman, stop doing things to make you be on international News Papers.  Oppositions who do not want to listen I say it is very sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just saying…..

      Obviously you didn't graduate from high school. "He may not have Graduated from Harward"  In case you didn't know it is Harvard, now Harward.

      "you are loosing your culture and herritage"  It is losing and heritage.

      Finally, yes Mac has a belly full of something, but it isn't common sense.



    • Anonymous says:

      "The Premier McKeeva Bush is no fool trust me.  He may not have Graduated from Harward but I can tell you one thing, he has a belly full of sense"

      Trust you???  Why?   Maybe that isn't "sense" in his belly!

      "Caymanians are very passive people, but sad to say you are loosing your culture and herritage for allowing outside people to dictate to you."

      Yes, a lot of us Caymanians tend to be very passive, but I'm sure not letting YOU dictate to me!

      "The Premier is doing an excellent job.  If he was not I would have vacated my home on Seven Mile Beach and gone back to the cold harsh unsafe world out there."  

      The Premier is not doing an excellent job.  Quite the contrary.  Who gave you this information?  How much are you going to ask for your home?

      I have seen the bad come and the good come, but now the worst is the UGLY part of both.  That is destroying Cayman.

      Yes.  We're seeing the ugly part now.  That's why we're hoping he steps down.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Elio has stated that by the third year of operation, the Port Authority will have to be giving up $9.00 from each cruise passenger fee to the Chinese. He has also stated that we will not be increasing the fees. That means a significant revenue loss for Port Authority and thus Cayman.

    Couple that now with the excessive retail component of the Chinese proposal(Elio says 50,000-60,000sq ft on the second level, but has yet to reveal what the massive unidentified grey area of 100,000+  sq ft on the first level of the Chinese plan is) which will surely see our merchants suffer, and the introduction of this very large construction company who has the financial backing of Communist China into competition against our local contractors and anyone with half a brain can see that Cayman is going to lose all around.

    I wonder who is benefitting from a deal like this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Who is benefiting?

      Well lets see, one example:

      If we dont build the Port, the cruise ships won't come – and that can't be good for the Merchants.

      If we build the Port the cuise ships will come – and that has to be good for Merchants (even if it requires them moving into this 50000 sq.ft retail space you talk about.

      FYI These cruise passengers dont buy at the first shop they get to. I've seen them walk from the Dock to West Bay road. So just because retail shops are put closer to the Dock – wont stop others from getting business.

      • Anonymous says:

        Can you guarantee the cruise ships will continue to turn up for another 50 years?

        Get real, Havana and at least six other planned cruise destinations in Cuba are about to open up to US citizens.

        If you were Carnival or any other large cruise line where would you prefer to go?  Cayman, which is expensive and not on any direct routing from the USA, or Cuba, which is a short run from Miami and cheap. Sounds like a no-brainer (and no cruise ships in George Town) decision to me.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wrong – People are on a cruise to experience new things. Having a variety of destinations is an important marketing tool, Cuba, port 1, then Cuba port 2, etc.  is completely lacking in "sex" appeal from a marketing standpoint. Cayman has a wonderful geographical location on the way to Jamaica, near the Yucatan and is as a "must see" "want to do" destination among cruise passengers.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Even if it requires them moving into this 50,000sq. ft retail space"!?!? That tells me that you agree that the closer a business is to the port, the better it will do. And you are right! But then you contradict yourself with the FYI comment.

        The fact is that we already have sufficient numbers of retail shops to service the cruise passengers. Our shopping destination is George Town. We do not need to create some "fake" town on the port for tourists to shop in. We already have the real thing! All we need are two piers and a properly designed pick-up/drop-off for tour bus/taxi.

        You sound like a desperate individual trying hard to justify the unjustifiable. Is that you Mr. Solomon?  

    • Neo Survivor says:

      … And this "deal" with CHEC is a committment by the Caymanian people and government for 50 YEARS.    How can this be construed as a sound business decision??    That, plus the 100,000 sq. ft.  Chinese toehold?  

      1.   It wouldn't benefit the local retailers, but ruin them

      2.   It wouldn't benefit the government's revenue, but decrease it

      3.   It wouldn't benefit the local restauranteurs, but damage them

      4.   If construction by CHEC in other countries is an indication, it wouldn't benefit local contractors

      5.   My Grandchildren will still be paying this debt


      Seems like a no-brainer to me.    Is this good for the Cayman Islands?   I don't believe so.   We would actually prosper more with no cruise ship landing at all.    I am frightened for Cayman, and frightened for those who can look at the evidence objectively and STILL elect to go forward with this "deal".    Oh wait, silly me………… I forgot………  supporters and detractors alike, what we, the people, think doesn't matter.    Apparently, even though the FCO have declared that the landing project will be retendered, THAT doesn't matter either.  

      Good thing we have coconuts to eat.   Yum. 

    • Anonymous says:

      With current proposal we cede sovereign control of our marine affairs and the Chinese get to run the whole operation for 50 years.  I wonder whether they will care if some American Cruise ship like Oasis of the Seas is scheduled to call on this port the same day one of their new navy's vessels submarines or frigates wants to call here?  The Chinese don't do anything for free.  Is there anyone that truly believed Bush has the intellect to outwit the chessmasters in Beijing on this deal?!?