Thursday 2 May 2019


In light of the last week’s mass resignation by senior ministers and governors from the O’Neill led Government the Opposition Leader Mr Patrick Pruaitch now calls on the Prime Minister to humble himself and concede as he has all but lost control of his own peoples’ realities.

Mr Pruaitch said the fact that two of the most senior ministers (Finance and the top legal advisor) have resigned epitomizes the total lack of confidence in the leadership of Mr Peter O’Neill.

“The lack of confidence in any of Prime Minister O’Neill’s words, promises and actions relate to his insatiable appetite towards ‘funds and cash grabbing’, which has been of concern and the source of discontentment among many of PNG’s most prominent and notable leaders over a significant period of time,” said Mr Pruaitch.

“I therefore commend the government MPs on your move against the government of Mr Peter O’Neill. I acknowledge in particular the courageous and admirable actions of both James Marape, and Sir Mekere Morauta as the Honorable Members who have fought honorable battles and have defended their people’s interest beyond their own self-interest, and today continue to face the raft of the Prime Minister’s well-oiled perception management machinery,” said Mr Pruaitch.

The Opposition Leader’s comments also emanate from a significant block resignation from PNC by Highlands region governors in recent days. Pruaitch added “a Prime Minister without a regional base is no Prime minister at all. The once powerful Peter O’Neill has now fallen out of favour with those mandated by the majority of the people of the Highlands region. He is all but gone!

“Peter O’Neill’s full frontal and systemic reign of manipulation and deception has caught up with him and may well have significantly eroded the basis and foundation of any credibility and integrity once tied to the honorable seat of the Prime Minister and the seats once honorable and trusted words and promises,” expressed Mr. Pruaitch.

He said, “In recent weeks the Honorable James Marape, Member for Tari Pori, a proud and distinguished son of the Hela People stepped away from his association with Peter O’Neill citing the Prime Minister’s lack of commitment towards the truth related to PNG LNG benefits owed and owing to his people of Hela.

“The O’Neill Regime has denied the Hela people what was rightfully due to them from the project for far too long. Sadly, what they reasonably secured through a negotiated process in Kokopo in May 2009 under a Somare Government – the direct equity interest of 4.27% in the PNG LNG Project, together with all other project benefits, is only being drip fed to them for no apparent reason.

“The negotiations on the PNGLNG project took us a record 18 months to conclude. So there is no reason that only a component of the overall work program for the PNGLNG being the clan vetting process should have taken the O’Neill government a full 10 years to conclude as the framework for the CVP work was fully developed back in 2010.

“The convenient excuse of the CVP is thus not plausible and acceptable anymore. After all how more difficult is this then delivering the actual PNG LNG Project and its corresponding and consequential transaction to materialize and commercialize the asset and give it value.

“The terms of the PNG LNG Project as the first mover liquefied natural gas project were sound and reasonably negotiated and secured with the corporate as is inferred by Hon. James Marape’s calls on the Prime Minister to give Hela what Hela secured and is therefore entitled to.

“Therefore I have great expectation for the second LNG project that it shall deliver infinitely better or significantly more value then a first mover project like the PNG LNG Project. I empathize with other leaders in the likes of Hon. Phillip Undialu, Governor for Hela together with his colleague Hon. William Powi, Governor for Southern Highlands Province in their calls to receive what is fairly and equitably theirs for their provinces and people as agreed upon with the then Somare Government.

“I still recall the chants of the great man Anderson Agiru and his Hela people as they marched towards the negotiation table to secure that interest, ‘No Hela No Gas, No Equity No Gas! Regrettably on the eve of Oil Search’s 90th Anniversary the Government nor its Corporate Partners, appear to be interested in honoring their joint commitments even though close to 500 ships have left our country with the valuable cargo of Hela Gas which shall be lost forever without value to the Hela People to foreign shores most frequently visited by the Honorable Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

“Peter O’Neill’s lack of integrity towards adhering to and honoring past collective and credible decision making processes of past PNG Cabinets (or National Executive Council) and Prime Ministerial commitments and government policies whether they be the matter of the creation of PNGSDP as a charitable trust designed for humanitarian purposes as revealed by official Singaporean Government documentation or the PNG LNG UBSA Beneficiary groups option to acquire the 4.27% direct participating interest in the PNG LNG Project has been the cause of much consternation and now confrontation between Honorable Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister. As is now glaringly apparent with the mass resignation of Highlands region Governors most notably are: Hon. Willian Powi of Southern Highlands, Hon. Phillip Undialu, Hela and the great Grand Chief Sir Peter Ipatas of Enga, together with Tongamp of Jiwaka.

As the five Governors look likely to stand together in absolute resolve with their colleague the Governor from Eastern Highlands to decry the PM’s lack of commitment to their region, they may well ponder what drives the lone and silent Governor that remains strapped to now a solitary Peter O’Neill.

Hon Patrick Pruaitch CMG MP
Leader of Opposition