The main opposition New Democratic Party has dismissed as “a feeble attempt by the ULP to distract”, claims and social and mainstream media comments that the design of the proposed hospital the NDP unveiled on the weekend are taken from an Internet game.
At a rally focused on healthcare in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday, the NDP unveiled the design of the hospital, which it said will include a helicopter service and will cost EC$75 million to build.
The party said that it will construct the hospital if elected to office in elections later this year and is already exploring financing.
But sometime after the designs were uploaded to the social networking website, Facebook, a mock design, purportedly from Farmville, a game on Facebook, began making the rounds, accompanied by the claim that the NDP’s design was copied from the game and modified.
Speaking on his weekly radio programme on Monday, NDP president and Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace, said he had heard some radio announcer claiming that the design was copied from Farmville.
“I wouldn’t describe their comments as particularly meaningful, but designed to cast doubt…” he said.
“People who have some of the most basics in commonsense would recognise that it would be futile for us to do something like that. It is so stupid and silly and far from funny,” Eustace said.
“What I want to say about it though, anybody who wants to see the layout done by Stewart Engineering over the last six months as this project was designed are free to come and see the designs. That will be the proof. You can see the layouts of the design…” he said
Glenford Stewart, an engineer and former minister of works under the NDP administration, owns Stewart Engineering.
“And I am proud of him and proud of our party and him for sticking with the issue. The layouts are there for all those who want to come and see them. So all those who are making these comments, I think you should exercise a little more reserve,” said Eustace, who said he will make the designs available at his party’s headquarters on Murray’s Road.
Separately on Monday, I-Witness News asked the NDP to respond to the claim that it had copied the design.
Many persons have accused the ruling Unity Labour Party of instituting the claim, and Cummings, said, “Only a party bereft of ideas and desperate for attention would stoop to such a level.
“The work that has gone into this by an opposition party has left them bewildered.
There is much more we will reveal on this in due course,” said Cummings, who is also MP for West Kingstown.
Opposition spokesperson, Sen. Vynnette Frederick also responded to the I-Witness News request for comments, saying:
“To say that this is a concept from Farmville is nothing more than a feeble attempt by the ULP to distract from the fact that they have been outdone.
“The NDP is proposing not only a state of the art facility, but a well thought out approach to tackling the health care system and the problems identified by the current ULP government in its damning 2014 Report on Healthcare in our country.
“It is nonsense of the highest order and desperation from a government that is afraid to call an election date, a government that is not capable of running on its record, a government whose time is up,” Frederick said.
During his radio programme, Eustace
described the “attendance and the spirit and energy as something fantastic” and thanked Stewart Engineering for the time it spent on the designs.
“I think there was great appreciation when it was unveiled at Calliaqua on Saturday night,” he said, adding that he had received more calls and kudos about the rally than any other.
“And I believe that people are happy that we are addressing the issue of health in a meaningful way, and to spend a meeting, a public rally focusing only on that matter gives you an indication of our interest and our determination to do something about health in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Eustace said.