ONLINE READERS COMMENT: PM do the patriotic thing, don't let Jamaican contractors build the new Parliament

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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Dear Editor,

The government has just released the architectural plans for the new Parliament building, which is to be erected at National Heroes Circle. The design plans were done by local architects and some time ago there were cries from local interests that Jamaican developers should also construct the building. I, however, am happy to be controversial about this matter and would strongly suggest that the government do no such thing. In fact, it would be an unpatriotic move to have Jamaicans build it. It is to our shame that we can't trust one another but we can only “tek sleep and mark death”.

Jamaican developers are notorious for cost over-run, delays, and poor, shoddy workmanship. Many are lacking in integrity and are greedy. A friend of mine who migrated to the US years ago has been sending his hard earned money to a developer to construct his retirement home and has been cheated blind by the so-called, professional construction company. I can also speak personally about how I have purchased a newly constructed home and after scraping together what seemed like my entire life savings to acquire the house, I now have to be scraping again for money to remedy all manner of issues with the place, including problems with the newly constructed sewage. Not even the four corners of the house seem secure as moisture seeps through the walls during heavy rain. I won't even speak of the fixtures in the house as most have had to be replaced and one light switch was installed upside down.

Just today, I listen with grief as an office attendant spoke of her woes with a contractor she hired to renovate a house that she managed to acquire after years of sacrificing and saving. Unfortunately for her, she was na´ve enough to pay the unscrupulous character before he completed the job. Now he won't even answer her calls and she is understandably worried.

Another example of the shoddy workmanship by local contractors is shown in how our roads are constructed. Our roads never seem to be able to last a year and are, for all intent and purposes, dry-weather roads as they shell out as soon as it rains and are once again, riddled with potholes. Where can we go to get redress from these scoundrels? They seem to care not that they are wasting the country's very scarce resources that could be used to educate our children, pay teachers, police and nurses or equip our hospitals, fire stations and schools. For that, I say that they are an unpatriotic lot.

I think the Prime Minister should allow our local contractors to assist a foreign developer with constructing the new Parliament building but they should not be in charge. I dare say that their loyalty is for their own pockets and, sad to say, they have none for their own country, in which, I presume they and their family reside.

J Bartley

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