Dear Editor – I would appreciate the opportunity to respond to the piece published in the Tuesday edition of the Star by M.R Junior.
Mr Junior, clearly you don’t know me well.
I find nothing to laugh about with this whole sad saga of SIPA and the demise of Mr Yow.
I certainly don’t laugh at the impact this sorry episode has had on the consumer, the grass roots Solomon Islander who have had to try and live with the increase in prices of basic goods caused by SIPA tariff increases.
I don’t laugh either at the damage done to our exporters, the lifeblood of the economy, by the tariffs imposed by SIPA that now makes them uncompetitive in the worlds markets.
I don’t laugh at the impact that the disgraceful level of corruption that has come to light during this saga has exposed, and the greed of a few to the detriment of the majority.
I don’t laugh at the instability introduced into our government by the actions of a port and it’s CEO
Finally, I certainly don’t laugh at the thinly disguised racism introduced into the arguments in recent times. In fact I feel decidedly sad about the whole thing.
And worst of all, all this was unnecessary.
Nobody argues that the ports didn’t need reform. Nobody argued that tariff increases were not needed to fund reform.
But the reform was originally designed to bring about a port of which we could all be proud.
One that was able to compete with the best in the region through its operational efficiency driving benefits to all citizens by bringing costs down through its improved effectiveness.
The correct number of operational cranes, a motivated and efficient work force, a port that would dock every ship on time, every time. But we didn’t get this did we?
So Mr Junior, I am far from laughing, but I can see light at the end of this tunnel.
I believe we can still get SIPA back on track with fresh leadership that is focused on the original agenda and we will still get there.
Then, maybe we can all smile.