Mr Malone’s statement came during the December 14, 2021, virtual sitting of the House of Assembly, while delivering debates on the 2022 Budget.
Currently, the tri-party Opposition is made up of Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) along with Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) of the National Democratic Party (NDP), senior legislator Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) of Progressives United (PU) and Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) of Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM).
“This is the worst time to be a Member of the Opposition because you have to opine even when you have no reason to… you know my heart goes out to them,” Hon Malone said.
“I rather be here doing and making sure lives are changed, lives are improved, as opposed to finding something of which you can opine about,” he added.
Meanwhile, through 2021, the VI Opposition has been accused of using distractive and divisionary tactics to put the Fahie government in a negative light.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), during the August 23, 2021, debates on the Investment Act 2020 said members of the Opposition were well aware of certain sensitivities of the topic, yet used sensation to get attention.
“Some of the Members of the Opposition know that once they say that, and it gets in the news, it will resonate in the people’s ears as something negative and further try to put the government in a negative light,” he said.
“Which is what about 50% of them are doing from the Opposition on the street daily, giving their twist to things,” the Premier added.
Hon Fahie further called on Opposition Members to “have the right decorum” even when they disagree during the sittings.
“We cannot be like in the days of marble when we feel like we are losing; we take up all of the marble and leave the marble game. We are doing the people’s work, and there will be times when there will be disagreements, and we have to ensure that we handle them accordingly,” Premier Fahie stated.