UPDATE: Questionable Radical AstraZeneca ‘Purchase’ Attempted

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Host of Brasstacks
The following was extracted from a comment posted by Walter Blackman to respond to BU commenter Bush Tea on another blog Nation Publishing MUST Do BetterBlogmaster

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Maloney OUT, Bostic IN

A contributing factor to a high level of cynicism by citizens directed at government is the lack of transparency attached to selecting national awardees. The exercise is regarded as an opportunity for the sitting government to reward party faithful. The same with appointments to SOEs. The 2021 National Independence Awards was no different although some deserving Barbadians received recognition.

A few of the awardees caught the eye of the blogmaster.

Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic and the COVID 19 team received the Order of Freedom of Barbados award. On the face of it one would have opined well deserved, BUT a question must be asked. Minister Bostic admitted he was unaware the role his ministry played in the mysterious attempt to purchase AstraZeneca Covid 19 vaccine through a third party at an outrageous price – see Mark Maloney Scammed!. The signature of his [Bostic] Permanent Secretary Janet Phillips is affixed on a ministry letterhead authorizing the transaction – see US Court document . Janet Phillips is also listed as receiving the national award as a member of the COVID 19 team. Should the two have received such high national recognition in the circumstances? The blogmaster’s position is if we are serious about changing trajectory to build a quality society as the newest republic, these are opportunities our leadership must seize to send the right message to the citizens. It is the only way to rebuild trust between actors in civil society.

Barbadians have not received a satisfactory explanation from the government regarding the Mark Maloney Scammed matter. Why a local businessman whose substantive profession is construction, importing cement and racing cars was involved in brokering a deal with a Miami based entertainment company to procure vaccine is beyond the pale. It is unfortunate our government continues to ignore calls from citizens for a satisfactory explanation. Fortunately for Bostic he is one of several Barbados Labour Party (BLP) sitting members of parliament who have decided to quit elective politics and will not have to subject himself to defending the indefensible on the campaign trail. 

Another name of interest is Juanita Thorington-Powlett. She is one of those public servants appointed to the board of directors of Clearwater Bay company – See Four Seasons Project: Public Servants Must Serve Taxpayers NOT Politicians. In light of the unfavourable comment contained in the Auditor General report about a ‘write off’ of $124 million, it begs another question. How do you award someone who has fiduciary responsibility for a company that attracted such a negative note from a key oversight agency?

The treatment of the investment in Clearwater Bay needs to be further explained. The investment in this government-owned company was recorded at a value of $124 million investment in prior years. It represented an investment by Clearwater in the Four Seasons Hotel project. The value of this investment remained unchanged on the books of government for several years even though the property on which the investment was based was significantly impaired.

Leigh Trotman, Auditor General

Finally there is Peter Odle, a BLP faithful. Our national awards will not garner respect if the body of work of awardees is open to question marks – see Foreign Investor Unable to Have Case Heard Against Hotelier Peter Odle

There are many names on the list that would have failed the smell test if proper due diligence was done. The Mark Maloney Scammed matter reminds us due diligence by government is not a prerequisite for informing quality decisions. Good luck to Walter Blackman who is on-air trying to highlight the bigger issue of a failure of our governance system and lack of integrity of players involved. Instead of being unanimously congratulated, he has been attacked daily by the politically motivated and ignorant.




Another Heather Cole Column – Republic or Monarchy?

Whoever has the gold makes the rules”

John Hart

Medieval Kings were created by wars and conquest and passed on their titles to their descendants. There are no kings in Western democracies. The majority in Europe are ceremonial relics of antiquity so it is highly irregular that successive governments in Barbados have created a strange phenomenon where they elevate men to the position of kings at the expense of the public purse after Independence legally ended colonialism. Perhaps it is intended to complete the gratification of the island being called Little England. It has been done decades ago for the Williams brothers and is now being done for Mark Maloney by the previous and present Administration.

The present Administration is now in the habit of sayings one thing and doing another. In theory, the Prime Minister says that she is moving the country to Republic status, notably with only a few cosmetic changes in the current system. In practice, this is not what has been happening. We have all been witness to a series of events starting with the last Administration, all of which seem bent on elevating one man in a position above all Barbadians by way of lucrative contracts and secretive sweet heart deals. In other word the making of a king. There was Coverley peppercorn deal, the Grotto, being on the board of the Central Bank, Chairman of the Boards of LIAT, the Government’s agent to buy vaccine that resulted in a scam and the list is not complete.

As far fetch as it may seem, is the change to republican status only an illusion? As act of cognitive dissonance as one writer called it a few days ago of saying one thing yet doing another.

This may be all speculative, however, what is fact is that for every asset given to Mark Maloney, there is a corresponding loss to the livelihood of present Barbadians in terms of assets that can earn revenue, to reduce taxation, to pay workers and revenue to provide for health care if the assets are put to good use.

The wealth present and of future Barbadians are also tied up in these assets so it is mind boggling why time and time again, the government is bent on giving them all away to one man. If this is what is happening, it is beyond logic that any sitting prime minister of Barbados would agree to such for financial contributions to their party or even worse if that person has sinister information on the Prime Minister. One might question what gives Mr. Maloney the audacity to approach government with these schemes and one must also question the integrity of persons elected to service who have the same audacity to misuse the funds from the public purse. It is instances like these that are the precursor to rampant corruption in any country.

In the quest for Republican status, one must not forget that the Crown owns a considerable amount of lands. The government has not mentioned what the status of the crown lands will be in the transition to a Republic. Literally, in a Republic land must belong to the people first and then their representatives. It will not like Crown land that did not belong to the people. In this grey period of transition what will happen to those lands will more be given away? Is there an existing list of crown lands to be viewed by the public?

Land is a scarce and expensive commodity in Barbados. The average man in the streets may not even be able to afford a 5,000 square feet plot of land a $25 per square feet. If he can afford it, then comes the difficulty of building a house on the said plot of land. It makes one wonder why the government of Barbados is continuously giving away this asset to a Billionaire who has already made his fortune as the expense of the public purse. Why can’t everyone else be able to enjoy their luxuries especially someone who sit in the majority 95%?

The latest acquisition that we now know of is that the 27 acres of land at Chancery Lane has been given to Mr. Maloney through a partnership with the government and is in the process of developing it at the disadvantage of the persons who live nearby. It was simply too good for them. There has been a video making its round on social media. This could be 235 lot of 5000 sq ft each for middle and low income housing!

One hopes that the Prime Minister realizes that with only 166 sq miles available, that this unnecessary giving away land is not sustainable. One may therefore have cause to wonder, if when the lands runs out will Mr. Mark Maloney will be given ownership of the beach and the sea.

If Mr. Maloney wants to be king, he has a choice, try his hand in elected politics since the Prime Minister already has her exit plan in place or start a war to conquer the 95%.

Mark Maloney Scammed!

Thanks to Bajan Citizen for producing relevant links to the latest story making the rounds about Mark Maloney being scammed out of US10 million dollars purported to be a payment for 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on behalf of Barbados and two other governments.

The blogmaster has two questions:

  1. On what basis was Maloney’s company Radical Investments Ltd selected to broker this transaction.
  2. Is the government out of pocket because of the errant transaction.
  3. How does being out of pocket USD6.7 million affect Maloney’s financial state to continue to do business.

Mark Maloney Says $12M COVID Vaccine Deal Was A Scam

The case is Radical Investments Ltd. v. Good Vibrations Entertainment LLC et al., case number 9:21-cv-81761, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Radical Investments Ltd. is a St Lucia registered company owned by Mark Maloney. 

He appears to have been swindled out of $6.7 millon USD from the governments of St Lucia, the Bahamas and Barbados who contributed money to buy COVID vaccines for their citizens.

“In April 2021, the Governments of Saint Lucia, The Bahamas and Barbados initiated a bulk purchase of AstraZeneca vaccines, as the minimum purchase from authorized suppliers was one million (1,000,000) vaccines.”

St Lucia contributed $7.3 million EC

Mark Maloney is deputy chair of the private sector group put together last March to fundraise and acquire more vaccines.

It is not clear what due dilligence Mr Maloney did before entering into this commercial arrangement with Good Vibrations Entertainment LLC. If you were looking to purchase pharmaceuticals would you do business with a company whith a name that connotes mechanical sexual services, and with an address at 21218 St Andrews Blvd Suite 318 that is a mailbox in a UPS store where 175 other fly by night companies also have their “headquarters”???

All Baloney!

The recent uptick in conversation about the awarding of government contracts to construct houses in Barbados has caused many tongues to wag. A quick search of the web easily found articles of which they are many many many more criticising the relationships between the government of Barbados and Mark Maloney of Preconco fame.

  1. Is this just more politics as usual?
  2. Is this a case that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown?
  3. Is it true despite all the rubbing shoulders, conversation and consultations that the more things change the more they remain the same?
  4. Can we now officially declare that 6 is half dozen and duopoly politics from a homogeneous political class is real?

All Maloney!

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