A Malaysian firm interested in investing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has made it clear that they want to make money here and has warned against “those other Chinese people”.
“St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an unpolished diamond. We can see plenty of opportunities here. Thank God it’s Malaysians [who have] come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines first,” Stanley Too, chief of strategic corporate planning at Monspace said on Saturday at a ceremony at which his firm donated five cars to the local constabulary.
“Let me tell you, if those other Chinese people come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I tell you what will happen: they will buy all your houses then rent it to you, they will buy all your food then sell it to you at a very high price, they will buy all the shops and rent it to you at a very high price,” Too said.
“Monspace [is] coming into St. Vincent and the Grenadines with one objective: we want to make money together with St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Too said that his company makes money from tourism, therefore, safety and security is a major concern.
“It doesn’t mean that I am afraid, I am worried about St. Vincent and the Grenadines security. I am here. Basically, I can go out at night, walk to the shop and buy something, back to the hotel, I don’t feel scared,” he said at the event at Police Headquarters in Kingstown, which was attended by the top brass of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.
Former Member of Parliament Rene Baptiste who is a lawyer for Monspace, lobbied for the donation of the vehicles: five Toyota Aygo cars, each said to be worth EC$90,000.
Too said that when Baptiste asked him to donate one vehicle to the police force, he asked himself why donate only one.
He said that in his eyes police officers are heroes, adding that they don’t earn much but contribute to their countries.
“Any police in any part of the world, they are worth to be respect (sic).”
The Malaysian said that he has spent more than 12 months studying the eastern Caribbean, to decide which country to enter first.
Have thoroughly assessed the economic situation, including the demographics, Monspace decided that SVG will be its first stop in the Caribbean, Too said.
He said he feels that security in SVG is better than New York and London, adding that in June when he was in London, a terrorist attack prevented him from returning to his hotel.
“You see, the country is advanced, but compared to St. Vincent, I can wear a shorts with sandals, walk at night, go to the shops, buy things. This is called a happy life, this is called the place that would attract people come to visit.”
Too said that his company has spent more than eight months looking into a resort.
“… we are looking at the near future we will get into St. Vincent and we will do business together with St. Vincent people and to attract more people [to] come to St. Vincent to do travelling and also to attract people to come to invest in St. Vincent.”
He said that while he did not know Baptiste for a long time, she demonstrated her love for her country when she asked Monspace to donate a vehicle to the police force.
“This requires a lot of guts, you see. In front of a person you don’t know for a very long time, you ask that, it shows that you really love your country and you are really prepared to lose your face value to do things for your country.”
He further said he was touched by the pledge of acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Colin John that the police force will take care of the vehicles.
“You promised me that these vehicles will be very well maintained and I give you my word, you well-maintain these five vehicles, I will sponsor another 20 electric motorbikes, with one condition, take care [of] it well,” Too said, adding that sometimes a motorbike is more efficient.
He said he deliberately chose electric motorbikes because in terms of cost and maintenance, it is much cheaper.
“Of course, please do allow me some time to evaluate. I want to see whether you deliver your promise or not,” Too, however, said.
He said Monspace is a small company from Malaysia that specializes in e-commerce business.
“We have an e-commerce mall that has 16 million active users. We are involved in property development,” he said, adding that the company also owns a five-star hotel in one of the most famous tourism spots in Malaysia.
“We hope that we can bring our research experience, our research skill and our technology into St. Vincent and the Grenadines and from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we move out to other countries in the east Caribbean,” Too said.
He said his company truly believes that most Vincentians are sincere and honest and are waiting for more opportunities to be better entrepreneurs.