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Mar 11, 2011

House Speaker debates with Said Musa on questioning tourism stats

Emil Arguelles

While the Prime Minister got to stand and speak solo for several hours during the budget presentation, the room wasn’t all quiet. There was no debate, but it sure had the appearance of one when the area rep for Fort George asked for tourist arrival figures and dollars for 2010. But instead of the ruling party, it was the Speaker of the House that became testy with Said Musa.

Said Musa, Area Rep., Fort George

“I don’t see the honorable Minister of Tourism or…”

Emil Arguelles, House Speaker

“There is provision honorable member for an acting.”

Said Musa

“Well will the honorable minister say the number of tourist arrivals in Belize for the year 2010? The number of stay over visitors and the number of cruise ship visitors for 2010?”

Gabriel Martinez, Acting Minister of Tourism

Gabriel Martinez

“Mister Speaker, Belize’s Tourism Industry was hit hard by the global economic downturn in 2008—the effects of which lasted throughout 2009. However, statistical data for the 2010 illustrate a slow recovery for the industry based on certain key indicators. Overnight sector: in 2010, there was an overall increase of two point five percent in overnight tourist arrivals compared to 2009. There was a four percent increase in three of Belize’s major market sectors, namely: the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, respectively. The number of overnight tourist arrivals for 2010 totaled two hundred thirty-eight thousand, one hundred and sixty. Although this figure is less than the pre-crisis figures of 2008, it shows that the recovery is underway.”

Said Musa

“Will the minister agree that these figures show a significant reduction from the high of 2005?”

Emil Arguelles

“Honorable member, the facts will speak for themselves. He has stated the numbers.”

Said Musa

Said Musa

“Mister Speaker, it’s a simple question. Why he no want answer it? Mister Speaker. I was asking a follow up question, Mister Speaker. And if you will disallow that, it gives me the opportunity to ask, why is it that you also disallowed the question that I was asking the Prime Minister which is to state the unemployment figure for the end of 2010? I know you referred according to the letter to standing order 21-9 which speaks about the figures are available from official publications. In fact Mister Speaker, there are no figures available since 2009 for eighteen months. No unemployment figure. So I can’t see why the Prime Minister cannot answer the question.”

Emil Arguelles

“Ok. Honorable member for Fort George, yes I did disallow that because like what the rules say is like you have point out, questions must not be asked for answers that are available in public official records. I follow the rules, if the records are not up to date, that is not my concern. My concern is following the rules that were written by your W. H. Courtenay forty-five years ago. You had a chance to change that at any point you wanted to. In any event, I almost never allowed this question because those figures are also able to be found in official publications. But since I did not want to disallow all your questions, I allowed that one.”

Said Musa

“With all due respect, can I make the point that I was asking for the figures for 2010. That is not available in any publication.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for “House Speaker debates with Said Musa on questioning tourism stats”

  1. Lindsay Howard says:

    So, what ARE the unemployment figures for 2010 and why aren’t they on-line?

  2. Disgusted! says:

    What a F@#%ING SPECTACLE is the house pf representative including all the ghetto ministers and the speaker of the house. Emil Aguelles is a bias SON-UVA-B!%CH and a puppet who is controlled by dean barrow. Just like the other paid ghetto puppetsin the spectator gallery. Shameful and Disgraceful!!!!!!

  3. ivan says:

    ignorant speaker of the house,wat more could we expect,same as dean barrow,of course he has to cover all the mess we are going through, tatz for wat he’s being paid for.

  4. chabelli says:

    Mr.Speaker who owns the Matalon Building and why are you fronting????? you are embroiled alsp Madam Speaker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Lucas says:

    All I am going to say is this. Mr. Speaker: NO MESS WITH MUSA. if you care not to have your proverbial bottom trashed.

  6. yc316 says:

    it is very clear the mr speaker is bias and is well paid by the UDP. he works for the PM. what can u expect.

  7. check it out says:

    he wants to follow rules now, how come he neva follow City Council rules when he tief di sidewalk on Coney Drive for his Matalon Building

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