After controversial remarks regarding COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program
On Tuesday, April 14th, Douglas Singh resigned as Chairman of the Social Security Board (SSB) and Director of Belize Telemedia Limited and Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. His sudden resignation came on the heels of an interview in which he candidly expressed his frustration with Belizeans over the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program. Throughout the telephone interview, Singh made inflammatory remarks against the applicants who applied for the relief fund. It is alleged that his resignation is tied to that audio leak.
Singh’s statements quickly drew ire on social media as the expletive-filled audio made its rounds. Many have spoken out, deeming his words “disrespectful and disparaging” saying how he speaks “about our Belizean people is intolerable!” The recording has Singh first saying that ‘It’s hard to listen to people complain when they’re being given something for free”, further stating that “those getting help are lucky.” Singh called on the media to make a balanced report, and asked citizens to dial in and note how other countries are telling its citizens it “will take weeks, months…[and that their] systems are collapsing.” Whereas, according to him, the Relief Program has people working 24/7 to try and disburse payments as quickly as possible.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
====================SSB Chmn Forced To Resign, Outrageous, Insulting Interview Leaked
Chairman of the Social security Board Doug Singh has abruptly resigned as chairman of the Social Security Board, the Elections and Boundaries Commission and as a Director of BTL. It happened just a few minutes ago in a letter to the Prime Minister.
In it he writes, quote, "I will not allow the greater purpose of your national efforts in this crisis to be undermined by any personal expressions made by me." End quote
And here's what he's talking about. Singh granted journalist for Belize Breaking News Aaron Humes an interview earlier today about the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program. The 19 minute interview was riddled with expletives and characterised many unemployed who were applying for relief as entitled and undeserving freeloaders.
Singh was recorded without his consent - and has requested that the interview not air on the news, which is legally within his right. In it he seems to be giving Humes background - but it clearly demonstrates strong biases and gross characterisations of persons in need who have been told by the government to apply. He said of them, in creole and we're translating, quote, "yeah they are desperate, but is' not like they were earning any money, so a lot of them that hogging weren't entitled to anything!" End quote.
Humes said he had not intended for the interview to get out, but it seems he sent it to his newsroom - and someone there disseminated it.
The remarks are so objectionable that Singh had no options and wasted no time. He resigned within an hour of it going viral. But, the damage has been done, and government now has a lot of making up to do with this program that has received 62,706 applications and has processed 7,247 applications for payment. Approximately 7,500 additional applications are currently being processed and should be ready for approval, in stages, between this afternoon and tomorrow morning.Channel 7