Regional

Robb slams media

Says he will not be ‘browbeaten’ by the press

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter

Thursday, May 08, 2014    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James

PRESIDENT of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) Nathan Robb has served notice that he will not be bullied by the media into making comments on issues that will project the chamber in a bad light.

In a stinging broadside against the press, he stressed that media personnel should not expect him to make personal comments, but rather statements representing the perspective of the chamber, whenever he is contacted.

"I make it clear, I am as accessible to the press as anybody, but I am not going to be browbeaten into making a statement that puts the chamber in a position that casts it in a bad light. If we are not involved, we are not involved, and you can't get me to say I am involved if the chamber is not involved," Robb argued.

"The press is here and I might not have been their favourite son, but I maintain it is not about me. If I am going to say something to the press which represents a position of the chamber, I have to be careful that I represent the chamber's position and not my own."

Robb, a prominent Montego Bay attorney, who was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the MBCCI at the Wexford Court Hotel last week following his re-election for a second term in office, has been criticised in some quarters for not being accessible to the press, and for his unwillingness to comment on "certain issues" pertaining to Montego Bay.

In his address at last week's meeting, he noted that in recent times he has earned the wrath of the media because of his refusal to comment on issues such as prostitution along the popular "Hip Strip" in the resort city of

Montego Bay.

He also disclosed that he was harshly criticised for refusing to comment on the flopped MoBay Nite Out, a monthly street festival, which was staged along Gloucester Avenue.

"So we have been castigated about the failures of the MoBay Nite-Out. The chamber was not a part of it -- not officially. Our members might have been a part of MoBay Nite Out, but the chamber itself was not a guiding light in it. How then do you expect me, as the president of the chamber, to speak to its failure? I can't. If I say I can't, don't vilify me because I say I can't. Why don't you accept that my comment is,'no comment'? You are insisting that I must say something," the chamber president argued, in an apparent jab at several media workers in attendance at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Robb who replaced Davon Crump as president of the 82-year-old chamber last year, was returned as president after staving off a challenge from the incumbent first vice- president, Gloria Henry,

34-24.

Following the elections of officers for another one-year-term, Sonia Clarke Bowen emerged as the 1st vice-president. She was elected unopposed, as Henry declined after she was nominated for the post.

Henry was, however, elected as 2nd vice- president while Angella Whitter filled the 3rd vice-president post.

In the meantime, three of the chamber's past presidents — Godfrey Dyer, Josef Forstmayr and Davon Crump — were included on the new board of directors.

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