The Leader of the Opposition and Member of Parliament for Marco City, the Hon. Michael Pintard attempted to speak about the actions of the Minister of Labour and Immigration and Member for Carmichael, the Hon. Keith Bell in regard to the release of Chinese nationals working on the renovation project at the British Colonial Hilton in the House of Assembly on Wednesday. His attempt was thwarted by the Leader of Government Business and Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe along with House Speaker, the Hon. Patricia Deveaux.
While debating the Governor General’s Volunteer Society Bill, Pintard said, “I’ve addressed the issue of the bill before us. There are other matters that I wish to address on behalf of the Bahamian people and the people of Marco City. I reserve the right to do so.”
It was at this point that Wilchcombe stood on a point of order and was recognized by the Speaker, Pintard refused to yield. A shouting match ensued and the House was adjourned to Monday.
Minister Bell read a statement outside of Cabinet on Tuesday defending his actions. He said that it made no sense to detain the workers while their specialized skills are needed on the hotel renovation project.