Former minister Devant Maharaj yesterday expressed disappointment with comments made by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young, regarding his complaint to the Integrity Commission about the alleged procurement of the management services of Sandals Resort by the Government. In a statement, Maharaj asked what made his complaint unpatriotic and "even traitor-like."
Asking whether citizens are not allowed to question the actions of the Government or use constitional provisions to investigate national issues, Maharaj claimed that Young's reaction, "is deeply disturbing for the freedom of expression in our democratic society." Maharaj agreed with Young about the proposal for the construction of a Sandals Resort in Tobago being at the initial stage and no decision being taken on the project.
However Maharaj claimed Young did not indicate, "how Sandals was selected in the first place." He asked if this process differed from one taken by the Urban Development Corporation of TT when , "it employed a transparent and public Request for Proposal for a Port of Spain hotel." This hotel is being proposed for the site of the former agriculture ministry headquarters in St Clair.
Maharaj said while Young said Government has publicly committed from the onset to provide full details about this project, " the public is still awaiting these details." He reiterated that all his complaint did was ask for an investigation into how Sandals was selected, "as it appeared to be hand-picked by the Administration without any procurement processes."