Goodbye Marpi

March 22, 2012

Beautiful Marpi may soon be the site of a huge 1 million hectare development to be built on private and public land if the Governor and Department of Public Lands Oscar Babauta and Willie tan have their way. It was announced that Tan Holdings and  Sunshine 100 will erect a "mini city" and five star hotel.  

A similar Sunshine 100 "mini-city" was built in Manila by the same investors who have developments all over the Philippines and China. Perhaps this is what the people of the CNMI can look forward to.

Maybe this is the hotel that Fitial and Tenorio have set their eyes on for the casino. Certainly this investor could afford he $10 million fee. Perhaps the pair (Have a Fit Fitial and Temper Tantrum Tenorio) put the cart before the horse, which would explain their over the top reaction to the Senate killing the Saipan casino bill.

Sunshine 100 also partnered with  Willie Tan's Lien Thai Holdings to develop property in China. Willie Tan was Fitial's employer and received notoriety as a labor abuser, having received the largest fine that the U.S. Department of Labor ever filed against a company. Tan was known for his garment factories that underpaid Chinese workers and violated OSHA laws.  Tan also was a co-conspirator with Jack Abramoff and Fitial in some seriously underhanded schemes. Tan funded sky boxes that Abramoff used to bribe members of the U.S. Congress to vote on legislation that would favor his clients.

Fitial with pal Tan and investors in China September 2011
In September 2011, the governor, his wife Josie and Marianas Visitors Bureau Marian Aldan-Pierce took a junket to China to meet with Willie Tan and Sunshine 100 investors. The Saipan Tribune reported the trip as a "personal trip":
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial left yesterday morning for Shanghai, China, on a personal trip that will also include attending a tourism conference set for yesterday and the launching of additional charter flights to the CNMI on Thursday, the administration said.

“Although Governor Fitial is on a non-government funded travel, he plans to attend a tourism related conference that will be promoting the CNMI as a tourist destination for Chinese travelers,” Demapan said.

While the governor is in Shanghai, “Fitial will also make himself available to any investors that may express interest to do business in the CNMI.”

“In these challenging times, Governor Fitial continues to embrace all potential investments that will prove beneficial to enhancing and reinvigorating our ailing economy,” he added.

The governor also received an invitation on Friday from Century Tours-Shanghai and Tinian Dynasty Hotel to the Sept. 22 launching of additional charter flights from Shanghai to the CNMI via Sichuan Airlines.
The Free Paper World News article states that the deal was forged during this meeting. A rough English version of a Chinese news article states:
"Sunshine 100 Real Estate Group and the Luen Thai Group is a strategic partner, the Luen Thai Group, together with the United States to visit the Governor Saipan sun 100, is due to Sunshine 100 Real Estate Group and Luen Thai Holdings intends to develop Saipan International Airport , real estate, tourism and other projects, it was revealed in many ways the two sides have reached consensus on the terms of cooperation."
According to Chinese newspaper, the governor portrayed Saipan as "washing with blue skies, emerald blue waters and fine white sandy beaches, west of the Philippines, the Western Pacific resort Few a tourist destination can provide all the requirements of all travelers, Saipan is one of the world-class shopping, dining, sightseeing, activities, here is the amazing rich and different, and therefore, 'like living in Saipan in heaven.' theory."

World-class shopping in Saipan? Of course, there was no mention of the failing CUC, CHC, and disastrous economic state of the islands. . .

The article mentioned that Fitial sent a letter to his hosts calling them, "his new family". He is the letter:
To all my new family in Liuzhou:

My wife Joise and the United States on behalf of the Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth of the people, for you this weekend, especially yesterday we visited the beautiful Liuzhou hospitality provided during the deep appreciation and gratitude.

Our beautiful city's commercial and residential layout was very impressed, especially in front of the 11 river bridges, they can provide convenient and safe entrance, connecting the town of Liuzhou.

However, we were most impressed by the Liuzhou the unique synergy, which helps to unite all the people of Liuzhou, Liuzhou, Guangxi for joint efforts to make a powerful industrial city. This particular synergy sun in Liuzhou 100 management staff become the most prominent, and I again express to them my deep respect and sincere congratulations.

Full respect of the

Governor Ben Fitial

After the September 2011 China trip, Fitial was in the Philippines.  In October 2011 he was back in China with five other territorial and state governors to meet with Chinese officials to discuss investment and economic opportunities.

Fitial and pal Willie Tan October 2011 toasting Century Tours bringing additional flights to Saipan
Luen Thai photo

It was after the October 2011 China trip, that the governor made international news in his announcement to lease land to the Chinese military. Chinese Military News quoted AFP:
In a statement released Saturday, Fitial said his island-lease offer referred to land in uninhabited islands which "can be leased except for military purposes." 
Fitial pitched the Northern Marianas as a prime destination for Chinese tourism, real estate development, agricultural, education and technology investments.

In his statement, Fitial said the acting governor of the Chinese province of Yunnan, Li Jiheng, planned to make an exploratory visit to the islands, while Anhui Governor Wang Sanyun said he was committed to a partnership.
Asia Business News covered Fitial's October trip and meeting disclosing that the governor pushed for casinos and other businesses. He told the governor that the CNMI was the only island in the region approved for the casino industry and plugged shipping industry saying that the CNMI was exempt from the Jones Act, "which allows foreign flag vessels to enter CNMI ports which are free of U.S. Customs duties."

The idea to lease land to the Chinese military caught the attention of international news and United States Government. The Underground News Network reported on the deal and on Fitial's gangster-like history:

The "mini city" is proposed to be built in one of Saipan's most pristine tourist areas. Early last year residents objected to power poles being erected there. When outraged residents inquired, Governor Fitial told them the power was for the cemeteries and for "security and safety".  No mention of a proposed development deal with Willie Tan and Sunshine 100 was revealed at the May 2011 public hearing held to discuss the power poles.

But, of course, in the CNMI hearings are mostly meaningless shows. The vision that the public has for the islands is irrelevant to the wheeler dealers like Have a Fit Fitial and Temper Tantrum Tenorio.  Fitial, the guy who brought (and profited from) the guest worker program, the garment factories, and now casinos will get his way. Saipan, with so many crumbling or vacant buildings will add a new development that, like the Tinian Dynasty, will struggle to survive. Tinian Dynasty fails to pay its foreign worker employees on time and owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes to the CNMI.


Captain said...

This will indeed be interesting. Among many other things, where will the labor come from to build this?
It is also highly unlikely that CUC could produce enough power (and reliable power) to support a "mini City". What about water and sewage?
This "mini City" would have to build it's own power plant and sewage treatment plant that is EPA compliant.
It would also have to drill it's own water wells.
There are just so many things that may just make this NOT cost effective to build to the extent that it is portrayed at the present.
We may all find that after all is said and done, this will just fade away.(as in other cases.
Hopefully this would happen before too much damage is done to that area and the environment.
The biggest problem with this one is that Tan is involved and is well aware of Saipan infrastructure and the elected criminal ways.
I do believe that there may be a Casino built up there on the site if this Casino bill is pushed through.

Anonymous said...

That video is a classic! This governor's a disgrace to the people of the NMI. We're a big joke all over the world.

Anonymous said...

The guv and Lang cut deals and that's why they are bat-sh*t crazy that the casino bill got shot down. There's no way a mini-city can be built anywhere on Saipan.There's no infrastructure, To destroy the tourists spots and natural beauty of Saipan for some kickbacks for two old has-beens is ludicrous.