In came Ernest Patnett from the village of Teakettle, a close associate of Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar, followed by Michael Hulse from the Village of Roaring Creek; both known in their respective Villages.
But there was a third; Ralph Huang; hailing from Georgeville also in the Cayo South constituency; a virtual unknown. However, It seems that at least 1300 residents out of the 2200 UDP Cayo South voters knew him well enough to place their x beside his name. The slogans on his T-Shirts read “This Ralph is for real” suggesting another Ralph out there that is not real; But after the convention votes were tabulated, the victory went to Huang by a handsome margin.
By Monday, the primary question became “Who is Ralph Huang”? The question has led to many postings on social media; namely Facebook, clearly the result of many google searches, to try to find some tangible link with the national psyche.
Ralph Huang is said to be Belizean businessman, renting Happy Restaurant in Cayo and with business interests in the Free Zone, and abroad.
Also, it is not his first stint in UDP politics as he ran against Elvin Penner and lost in Cayo North East conventions some years ago. But what has social media abuzz is the relationship that an international investor who calls himself Lord Neil B. Gibson, claims he has with Ralph Huang?
It is clear that Gibson’s website and Purported Business interests in Belize endorse Huang’s candidacy. A pre-election release from the Company states:
Lord Gibson claims to have worked closely with Huang over the past 5 years and have contributed financially to Huang’s political campaign.
It appears that the company sees Huang’s win as beneficial to its interests in Belize, stating “our organizations have had ample opportunities in the last 5-years to analyze our future economic benefits and objectives of the various economic executions into the country of Belize. We have found Ralph’s honest insight and practical approach for future country growth, with our country’s desire to invest into Belize.”
It further states that Huang’s qualities ” ensure our organizations future commitment to execute our organizations’ to invest into the country of Belize.”
In January of 2012 Lord Gibson announced that Belizean businessman Ralph Huang had teamed up with First Interstate Group, and Lord Neil B. Gibson. The announcement also said they have arranged for a 40-acre parcel of land valued at approximately $700,000.00USD along the Western Highway to be donated to a “tropical storm resilient” housing project; all done with the approval of the Belizean Government. In January of last year, 2013, Gibson made another announcement; that his “Belize Energy Company, plans to introduce ultra clean energy independence to the country of Belize with a proposed 20 megawatt base load electricity utilizing Hydrogen Fuel Cells.”
It identified Belize Energy as one of several new partnerships between Handels Securities and the DayDra Holdings Group that will offer outstanding career opportunities for the country of Belize. But One month later, in FEBRUARY of the same year (2013) the Central Bank of Belize issued a warning on Gibson’s company… The Central Bank warning is very clear; Handels Securities!
Yet, a letter has surfaced, purportedly written and signed by Minister Erwin Contreras, sent to Lord Gibson, dated March 24 countering the warnings.
It states“…we did a separate investigation into allegations made against Handel’s Securities Ltd and found them all to be false claims. I personally sat with the chairman of the Central Bank of Belize and Mr Gibson, and we were told by the Chairman that the Central Bank was investigating Handel’s Bank & Trust Co Ltd. an international bank licensed in Belize, for alleged wrong doing, not Handel’s Securities…. we would be happy to speak with anyone regarding this matter.”
Interestingly, the warning still remains on Central Bank’s website. But On a Lord Gibson website he offers “that the partnership has been working closely with the Honourable Erwin Rafael Contreras, Trade Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection.”
By December of last year, 3 months ago, Lord Gibson rolled out another huge plan for Belize; State of the art Medical centers for villages.
“The Government and I are in full support of LNBG, LLC in their vision and efforts to help build new state of the art medical centres in different areas of Belize for the best service for our people’s health and welfare,”
This, purportedly, from another Minister Contreras letter on Gibson’s website. So, in 2012, a Tropical Housing Project for Belizeans; in 2013, A Hydrogen Fuel Cell 20 Megawatt Electrical Facility; and in December, State of the Art Medical Centers across Belize. In July of last year, 2013, Channel 5 ran a short story on Lord Neil Gibson stating
“The only problem is that Lord Gibson is a fraud, and he is using the fantasy ideas to develop a website with videos and articles to fool potential investors into swindling their money.”
Interestingly, a video introducing the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electrical generation Plant also refers to Ralph Huang as Deputy Minister of Trade, under Minister Erwin Contreras, substantive minister! And now, according to a video circulated on facebook, with Ralph Huang’s victory “Ralph, with the help of Lord Neil Gibson and LNBG LLC, was already building roads and doing his part well before the convention.
Now he can do even more.” In an interview with LoveTV, Ralph Huang told the reporter “Yes, I do know the man and he is a very wonderful person and he is my friend and we do have business together abroad the country.”
Huang admitted that Lord Gibson contributed to his campaign expecting nothing in return. When asked “Do you know if he is assisting any other ministers or any other standard bearers or any potential standard bearers?” Ralph Huang responded “No comments; no comments on that topic there.”