In her first public address as chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP) D Gisele Isaac has criticised remarks made by one of the country’s foreign investors.
Speaking at a UPP rally Thursday night, Isaac said Antiguans and Barbudans must not blindly accept the disrespect meted out to them by foreign investors and the sitting Antigua Barbuda Labour Party.
Referencing the story of the nation’s first Prime Minister, Sir Vere Cornwall Bird Snr, and the “widdi-widdi” bush, Isaac reminded the cheering crowd that Antiguans and Barbudans living today come from a long and proud history of resistance.
“There was a time in Antigua & Barbuda when our people could not be bought, when we were not prepared to sacrifice principle,” she said.
She further said that while attracting investment is understandably important to Antigua and Barbuda’s economic development, government must focus on attracting the right kinds of investors and investments.
“I agree that our economy, like any other economy, needs investment, but I will never endorse investment at any cost or at any price.” “If we, people, are not careful to know our value, the cost will simply be too high,” she said.
“We want investment that provides not only work, but worth. Investment that offers not only a salary, but dignity. We want investors that see us not as desperate beggars but as human resources.”
Isaac’s criticisms were likely levelled at the controversial remarks made by Vice-President of the Yida International Group, Kenneth Kwok, during the closing ceremony for Antigua’s Sailing Week in April.
Kwok reportedly told the crowd of onlookers at the ceremony that those who stood in the way of their development would be “left behind in the ashes of the previous administration,” while the rest the country would “rise like a phoenix towards real economic prosperity.”
Since his comment, several people within the political arena have rebuffed Kwok for his remarks. Former leader of the United Progressive Party, Baldwin Spencer has even gone so far as to demand an apology from the Chinese investor. However, to date neither Kwok, nor government has responded to the call. Article courtesy http://antiguaobserver.com