For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. ~ 1 Timothy 6:10
A recent political convention in Cayo South has shown exactly what politics in Belize is all about. A couple of months ago, a relatively unknown Taiwanese businessman began spreading money around the thirteen villages that comprise Cayo South. Few people took notice and no one would have thought, that given the extreme bad taste that the still ebullient immigration scandal has left in the mouths of Belizeans, that this just-come economic citizen would have even half of a chance. Who would have thought that any political party would have even dared to present another extraneous contender for standard bearer and possible parliamentarian? Boy did we ever misjudge the audacity of this crowd!
Belizeans are still grappling with the fact that the first Mennonite and the first Asian born persons elected to our government took extreme liberties with our hospitality and trust. Working in tandem, the two secured a Belizean passport in a record one day and delivered it to a South Korean fugitive who was at the time, sitting in a Taiwanese prison. There was an initial hullabaloo and many felt that somehow from somewhere, heads would roll. It has been almost six months, which by the way, is the statute of limitation for such a crime in Belize. Compare that to the statute of limitation for a misdemeanor crime like theft for example in some states. In California it is one year, in Florida it is three and in Texas, you can be arrested and charged for up to five years after such a crime is committed. The UK has no statute of limitations with regard to criminal offences and you can be arrested and taken to court for an indefinite time after any offence was committed. Why then is the statute of limitation so short for this egregious offense that Penner et al have committed. Something is obviously wrong.
Investigations are supposedly still on-going in our immigration calamity but many believe that they are merely stalling until the whole issue blows over. They must know by now however, that this ain’t going anywhere. The Belizean people are demanding justice and all their hemming and hawing and jawing and stalling has done little to quiet this cry for justice. While a few lowly public officers have been dragged over the coal and thrown under the bus, the two culprits most responsible have escaped even questioning from authorities. Penner is still living large off the public purse while Eric Chang has reportedly fled to safe sanctuary in his home country. His salary is still being deposited into his bank account. The patty wielding hapless mayor of Belize City is apparently clueless as to what to do; or is he? Many will remember that Darrel Bradley himself accompanied Chang and Castro on their shady and suspicious sojourn to Taiwan. Could it be that our bungling grafter knows more than he’s letting on?
But anyway, let us return to Cayo South, where our latest imported influence peddler has been able to purchase himself a standard bearer’s robe. The thing is that while Ralph Dellonney Haung has been under the radar of the rest of the country, it seems he has been rather active on behalf of a certain politician out west. His most ardent supporter is one Erwin Raphael Contreras, Minister of Trade in the cabinet of Dean Oliver Barrow. It seems that Contreras even bestowed not only his middle name but also his portfolio on our boy Haung. An old video circulating on facebook even introduces Ralph Huang as Deputy Minister of Trade, under Minister Erwin Contreras, substantive minister! This video is apparently several years old and was released long before Haung was elected standard bearer and by consequence caretaker for Cayo South. Could it be that Haung is in fact our thirteenth Senator?
Haung is supposedly sponsored by another foreigner, this one even more dubious and mysterious. One Lord Neil B. Gibson, who Huang describes as an international investor has emerged as chief financier for Ralph Huang? A cursory search of the internet reveals many stories about said Gibson but many of them suggest suspicions and warnings. Last July Channel 5 ran a short story on Lord Neil Gibson and ended with the conclusion that “The only problem is that Lord Gibson is a fraud, and he is using the fantasy ideas to develop a website with videos and articles to fool potential investors into swindling their money.” The website and videos now hail Ralph Huang as Gibson’s boy in Belize. The latest video states that “Ralph, with the help of Lord Neil Gibson and LNBG LLC, was already building roads and doing his part well before the convention.” The problem is, no one in Cayo South knows where these roads are. What they can attest to is that Ralph seems loaded with cash and has been quite free with his money leading up to the convention.
Ralph’s money has been quite the motivator since people came out and voted him in by what has been described as a “handsome margin”. It seems that speeches and manifestos and character or personalities are no long issues in Cayo South; cash money is! And Ralph has plenty of it. Belizeans should be concerned though, as to where all this money is coming from and what is the expected return. Internet warnings suggest that this current Lard will make Ashcroft look like a boy scout and while Ashcroft’s money might have been real and backed by genuine investments and interest, Gibson’s money has questionable strings attached.
The elusive Ralph Haung was cornered by a reporter and asked if he was indeed associated with Neil Gibson to which he replied, “Yes, I do know the man and he is a very wonderful person and he is my friend and we do have business together abroad the country.” When asked if the dubious Gibson had indeed financed his campaign Haung replied, “Yes, he contributed.” He was then asked what he believed Gibson wanted in return and Haung replied, “Nothing; he just simply wants to help the people of Belize…” Right! And the devil wanted to help Jesus when he said unto him “All this I will give unto you….” Luke 4:6
Belizeans, “beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. Not everyone who smiles with us is our friend. Not all money is good money. We cannot continue to sell our birthright for a few pieces of silver. We do not own this country we have only borrowed it from our children, let us take better care of it. May GOD bless Belize!
G. Michael Reid
Citizen of the world