United Workers Party – To distract the public from their borrowing of $1 Billion in 2 years and their disastrous decision to borrow $200 Million to rehabilitate the old St Jude Hospital, the SLP is currently pushing a narrative that US$20 Million meant for St Jude Hospital was suspiciously transferred to an account in Panama.

These are the facts:

  1. The main contractor for the new St Jude Hospital project was Overseas Engineering and Construction Company or more commonly known as OECC.
  2. OECC is a Taiwanese construction company that was incorporated in Panama in 1998.
  3. OECC’s operation is mainly focused on the construction of government aid and humanitarian aid infrastructures designed to improve the living environment, also create jobs and contribute to increased economic growth.
  4. OECC’s bank accounts are based in Panama.
  5. OECC is owned by Overseas Investment & Development Corporation (OiDC), which was established in 1995 to assist the Taiwan government in enhancing its bilateral relationship with countries it has diplomatic relations with and to fulfill its international obligations.
  6. The new St Jude Hospital project which was started by the UWP Administration was financed by the Taiwanese Government
  7. As part of the terms for receiving the loan for the project, it was agreed that a Taiwanese construction company would have to be the main contractor
  1. Like with most development projects, the financing institution pays the contractor directly therefore funds associated with the project do not necessarily come into the consolidated fund. Example: the Caribbean Development Bank currently finances the Millennium Highway Project. Payments for this project are made directly from CDB to the contractor in charge of the Millennium Highway.
  2. For the HIA project the method of payment is the same as the method of payment for St Jude Hospital. The loan is with Exim Bank and the Contractor is OECC.

Instead of publishing propaganda, the Government should focus on the multitude of issues facing the country like the out of control crime situation, the high cost of living, the deplorable roads, the shortage of medication and basic supplies at our hospitals and health centres islandwide and the increasing sense of desperation and hopeless that citizens currently feel.