New Year’s Message By Deputy Prime Minister Minister of VROMI William Marlin

Fellow St. Maarteners,

And all those who share this beautiful island with us.

Season’s Greetings!


The dawn of a New Year is a special gift of life and we should treat it as such. It is a blessing we cannot take for granted. Each New Year, indeed, offers us a fresh opportunity to reflect on the preceding year, re-set our priorities, renew our spirit and revitalize our souls. We make resolutions at the beginning of each year as a statement of intent to meet some personal and collective goals, which unfortunately sometimes remain unfulfilled because we do not always match our good intentions with a sense of purpose and commitment.

When we look back on the year that has just ended, we cannot but first and foremost count our blessings, as individuals and as a nation. Not only are we alive today – by the grace of God – but, as tough as the year has been worldwide in terms of the economy, we have done more than survive and some of us can even say they have thrived.

But not all is well in our own corner of Paradise. There are still too many of us really and truly living below the poverty line – if we were to draw that line realistically. There are still too many of us who are yet to taste the benefits of our tourism economy. There are too many who are unemployed; who remain bound to short-term contracts; and who can hardly make ends meet.

When this government came into power almost half-way through the year, we promised to work for the people. For me, that promise is NOT a political slogan; it is not another empty promise by politicians. I understand the cynicism with which the public meets such statements because for too long they have lacked content and commitment on the part of those who rather than serve the interests of the people they are sworn to uphold, lord it over the same people and serve their own narrow, personal interests.

On taking office as your Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of Sint Maarten and to champion the interests of Sint Maarten to the best of my ability.

Championing the interests of St. Maarten means one and only one thing for me: putting the interests of the people above everything else. That is what working for the people really means. It is an oath which I took and which I intend to keep, come rain, come sunshine, so help me God.

Fellow St. Maarteners, residents of our beloved island.

For us to progress as a nation, as a Caribbean people, we must acknowledge the fact that government alone does not have ALL the answers. It is critically important for each and every one of us to put in our best effort, so that together, we can reach for the skies.

I believe in the talent, the versatility and the resilience of our people to make things happen, to build a virile, harmonious, forward-looking and forward-moving society which would be the envy of the world. We have all it takes to achieve that. We are a proud and hardworking people and I will not allow anyone to turn us into beggars in our own land.

I look forward to the New Year with a lot of excitement and determination. In 2013, I will continue to work relentlessly to ensure that the public-private partnership upon which this island was built is revitalized and strengthened.

There is a time for politics and a time for governance. This is a time for good governance. For respect for all institutions of government; for fairness and transparency and for amends to be made so that we can bring back into the mainstream all those who may have been marginalized for whatever reason. In fact, good politics is nothing if not taking good care of the people’s business in a manner that benefits the people themselves and not a few who believe that power is a ticket to enrich themselves at the expense of the general public.

As we begin this New Year, my prayer is that you and your loved ones will be in good health, and prosper in all your endeavors. May you find joy and fulfillment throughout 2013.

Happy New Year from my family and me, to yours!