Thursday, July 07, 2011

Abal confident of advice by AG

ACTING Prime Minister Sam Abal is confident of the advice provided to the government by Attorney-General and Justice Minister Sir Arnold Amet and his department, The National reports.

He said the advice given by Sir Arnold "is based on his experience as a former top lawyer and chief justice and cheap politics should not be used to degrade his integrity".

Abal was responding to a call by the opposition for Sir Arnold to be sacked for poorly advising the government on major issues of contention.

Opposition leader Belden Namah claimed "so many blunders are costing taxpayers millions of kina on legal advice provided to the government and parliament".

He said such advice had resulted in the government and speaker "jointly destroying the independence of parliament".

But Abal said Westminster parliamentary democracy "allows for freedom of expression and opinion and, of course, it caters for the opposition and its role in bringing issues and opinions before government".

While he had no issue with that, Abal said: "What I take issue with is their ability to allow their sly and cheap gutter political motives to engage, yet again, on a personality hunt.

"Sir Arnold is no doubt a man of integrity and public standing.

"He has been PNG's outstanding lawyer and has risen in much of his public life to the post of chief justice of PNG.

"He is a renowned and eminent jurist and scholar of the Commonwealth prior to him becoming a member of parliament.

"The people of Madang recognised this fully and gave him the mandate to serve them as servant leader in parliament.

" With full cognisance of his outstanding professional background and personal achievements, and contributions to legal policy development towards the progress of this nation, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, as prime minister, had full and total confidence in him and appointed him as attorney-general and justice minister in his cabinet.

"He is one of the PNG's proud knights in shining armour, someone we all must show goodwill and respect to.

"Many of us aspire to be like him. Not many of us can be like him.

"There is no reason for such a cheap, gutter and childish call by the opposition for Sir Arnold to resign from cabinet simply on narrow assertion that his advice to cabinet should all the time be true and correct in law," Abal said.


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