Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare reacted angrily to comments by Bulolo MP Sam Basil by threatening to “kill” him, The National reports.
Opposition MPs became angry and agitated when the speaker ignored their call for a vote on a motion to adjourn Parliament.
After Speaker Jeffery Nape left the chamber of parliament, and as the mace was taken out, Basil fired off some insulting words at government MPs, saying in tok pisin “yupla olgeta kaikai pekpek blong Arthur”.
This angered the prime minister, who pointed at Basil and said: “Mi warnim yu nau. Yu go arasait mi bai kilim yu.”
Members of Parliament and the media who heard this were stunned that the prime minister would use such language.
Angry Morobe MPs including Governor Luther Wenge and Markham MP Koni Iguan slammed the comments, saying Morobeans did not deserve this from the prime minister.
“My life has been threatened. We do not expect that from a prime minister,” Basil said.
Wenge said the prime minister had stooped so low with those comments.
“We, Morobeans, have supported Somare for a long time. This time around we will not,”
The prime minister told journalists later that people should not take it literally that he would kill Basil.
He said what he meant was he would campaign in his Bulolo electorate to make sure he (Basil) was not returned to Parliament in 2012.
He admitted that he was hurt by Basil’s comments at his son, Arthur.
“Mi man mi gat feelings too,” he said. “What I meant was I’ll go to the polls and fix him up. I don’t kill. I’ve never organised gangs. I always fix them at the football field (political arena).”
But some MPs said the words used by the prime minister were inappropriate and inflammatory, given the recent situation in Bulolo involving two ethnic groups.