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'Return $7.2M before hospital is renamed'-Rajah A. Smith

Independent, At Large Candidate Mr Rajah A. Smith, opposes renaming Peebles Hospital after outgoing Premier. Photo: VINO/File
Rajah A. Smith (right) was at the time a guest of Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline’s Honestly Speaking, aired live on Wednesday January 16, 2019, when he voiced his objection to the renaming of the hospital, in patronage of Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith. Photo: VINO/File
Rajah A. Smith (right) was at the time a guest of Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline’s Honestly Speaking, aired live on Wednesday January 16, 2019, when he voiced his objection to the renaming of the hospital, in patronage of Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith. Photo: VINO/File
Rajah A. Smith believes that renaming the Peebles Hospital in honour of outgoing Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (pictured here), would in fact be a travesty
Rajah A. Smith believes that renaming the Peebles Hospital in honour of outgoing Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (pictured here), would in fact be a travesty
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – At-Large Candidate, running as an Independent at the upcoming Polls, Mr Rajah A. Smith, believes that the renaming of the Peebles Hospital should not be done arbitrarily by the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government and should instead be a matter for public discussion first.

In fact, Mr Smith believes that renaming the Peebles Hospital in honour of outgoing Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), would in fact be a travesty—at least until he is able to recover the $7.2M, that was lost to BVI Airways.

Political Gesture

The Independent Candidate was at the time a guest of Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline’s Honestly Speaking, aired live on Wednesday January 16, 2019, when he voiced his objection to the renaming of the hospital, in patronage of Premier Smith.

The At Large Candidate told Skelton-Cline—and radio listeners—while he is supportive of Dr Smith’s contribution to the Territory, the outgoing Premier was in fact being rewarded for major financial blunders, including the $7.2M still to be recovered from BVI Airways

“We need to get that back and then we could see what happens, we need to get back that money,” Mr Smith insisted.

He said, too while Dr Smith is among the finest Premier’s the Virgin Islands (VI) has had, the hospital had already been named in recognition of a prominent Virgin Islander.

Belongs to the People

According to Mr Smith, perhaps a ward in the Hospital could have been renamed after the outgoing Premier but in any cases these are matters for public discussion first.

“I think we don’t have enough public discussion…the general public should have a say,” Smith said and reminded that the various facilities, such as the Peebles Hospital, do not actually belong to the NDP but rather the people of the VI, collectively.

“We need to have public discussion and debate going forward,” he said.

Host, Mr Skelton-Cline, while not opposing the renaming of the hospital in the manner proposed, objected to its timing, calling it a political gesture.

Blunders

According to Skelton-Cline, several decisions would have been made by the NDP administration that would have had financial implications for the Treasury and the $7.2M was one such blunder but at the same time, “I think he (Dr Smith) has certainly made his contribution both privately and publicly….and I am always in favour of naming our stuff after our people.”

Should the motion be approved, Mr Skelton-Cline said, he would laud the move and that his only concern was, “about the optics and the timing of it…they (NDP) are making it very political given the current climate.”

According to the Honestly Speaking Host, he would have preferred to see some time elapse before making any such move and he would have been a proponent.

He said the politicizing of the issue has created a cloud, “where they should not have been a cloud.”

 

10 Responses to “'Return $7.2M before hospital is renamed'-Rajah A. Smith”

  • Read (18/01/2019, 12:26) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply
    the man speaking good
  • Big question. (18/01/2019, 12:55) Like (14) Dislike (20) Reply
    Rajah, If we elect you to office would you be able to have it returned? What would be your strategy in achieving this? As you raised the subject we need answers from you.
    • fred (18/01/2019, 14:15) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
      This is outride rude. Rajah did not squander $7.2 mil. The Premier did so let him squeeze it out from somewhere. Why the premier don’t handover some his assets like them land and house to the crown as payment of the 7.2m? Then he can name the hospital after himself.
    • @Big question (18/01/2019, 14:51) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
      I don’t think your question is relevant as Mr. Smith wasn’t the one to misuse the money so why should he be the one to have it returned??

      Also, what I understand he is saying is before we rename the hospital in honor of Dr. O. Smith we should at least have a closure for BVI Airways.

      I could be wrong..
  • Something Else (18/01/2019, 13:48) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    I love the name "Peebles Hospital " I use to think people were saying "People's Hospital " Until I saw the spelling and know the history . "Peebles or People's " are all appropriate .
  • Gandalf (18/01/2019, 15:40) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Claude - that is the first time I ever listen to you and you actually make sense. Too political right now to rush that through. In time he will be honoured.
    • Ok now (19/01/2019, 13:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      He has already been honoured. Didn't he receive a medal (OBE or MBE or something) from the Queen for his services in the field of medicine?
  • ABC (18/01/2019, 18:54) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ndp biggest problem is they always get caught in bad timing
  • Damon (18/01/2019, 19:18) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with rajah smith .. as a Doctor, Dr. Smith did a great job but him at the helm did our country a great injustice.. renaming Peebles hosp in his honor is an insult to some extent to the people.. I agree with naming say a hospital wing after him but not the hospital.. seeing that name will invoke negative emotions such as anger and the like.. that name will be a constant reminder of the man whose party squandered our hard earn monies and no accountability for it.. there should be a vote cast among the people for this renaming..pay us back n then maybe...
  • juy (19/01/2019, 19:54) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    YALL CANT LEAVE THINGS ALONE..JESUS CHRIST MAN BOUT RENAMING AFTER A COMPLETE FAILURE AS A POLITRICAN..PLEAEEESE


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