By the Shadow Attorney General &
Minister for Justice, Kerenga Kua
Monday 20 MAY 2019
The Shadow Attorney General and Member for Sinasina Yonggomugl, Kerenga Kua calls on the Minister for Police and the Commissioner to abide by the law and follow the Constitution to ensure peace and harmony prevail in the lead up to the next session of Parliament next week (28 May 2019) and beyond.
Mr Kua said, “You are the enforcers of our laws and should not be taking political sides. I thus implore the Police Minister Jelta Wong and Commissioner Gari Baki to uphold the integrity of your respective Offices so that you truly represent the interests of the people of this country at this critical time when our Prime Minister is facing the real possibility to be ousted.
“The best way to do this is to ensure your police men and women observe the oath that they have taken to first and foremost protect the people and residents of this country and not just members of parliament on the side of Mr O’Neill.
“I make this appeal in light of Prime Minister’s manipulation of the core of our systems of government through various means including political appointments to independent state institutions, making it difficult when it comes to upholding democratic principles and executing mandated duties and responsibilities. Over the course of the last seven years we have observed a sense of apathy akin to rigor mortise set in at the National and Provincial levels of government.
“State owned entities like Kumul Petroleum Holding Limited today answer directly to Prime Minister O’Neill who sadly is not interested in the People of Papua New Guinea. This means that public documents that should be readily available to the public are now taken off government websites. The lack of transparency has meant that Mr O’Neill’s use of this public entity’s resources goes unchecked.
“Additionally, institutions like MRDC (Mineral Resources Development Corporation) that only exist because legislation permits it to hold landowner equity no longer report to landowners on how their monies are being invested and whether they are getting right returns of their investments.
“Other organisations like the National Gaming Board has a charter to redistribute funds to different sectors in this country. For the benefit of our people Gaming Board should publish projects that it has funded that lead to improving the lives of the people of this country.
“The functions of the Central Supply and Tenders Board has been so eroded that contracts are being issued without due process.
“It is therefore timely that I take this opportunity to congratulate the independent state-owned institution, the Ombudsman Commission for finalizing and releasing its Report on the UBS loan recently to the Speaker of Parliament for tabling in accordance to Section 23 (OC Act). I acknowledge the statement by one of the three OC Commissioners, Richard Pagen, that all persons implicated in the UBS loan have been given the opportunity to defend themselves and he pointed out that this fact is also reflected in the Report.
“I must point out that according to Section 23 of the OC Act, once an OC Report is handed to the Speaker of Parliament, he has 8 days upon which the Report must be tabled in Parliament.
“With this scenario in play, it is very important that the Minister and Police Commissioner cooperate so that democratic processes take their required course. The Police must assure people and residents of PNG that they are not politically compromised and will ensure law and order prevails,” said Mr Kua.