Thursday, August 11, 2011

Somare: New govt fails to show ex-PM due respect


ANGORAM MP Arthur Somare is upset that while his father lay on his sick bed, the new government has quickly taken over power and "divided the loot", The National reports.
He said he was hurt because they (new government) had disrespected his father and had "started rummaging through things while he is still on the sick-bed".
"That old man (Sir Michael) spent his life for the good of this country but it seems that nobody cares or appre­ciates the work of such a man like him," he said.
Somare, who at times seemed emotional, said the Peter O'Neill-led go­vernment had gone through a phase that made things constitutionally chaotic.
He, however, declined to comment on the proposed sale of the K120 million Falcon jet his father used on his travels, as announced by Prime Minister O'Neill on Tuesday in parliament.
O'Neill had said the money from the sale of the aircraft would be better used on sectors such as education and health.
Speaking outside the National and Supreme Court yesterday, Somare said he had his own court cases to worry about and
he did not wish to comment on what the current go­vernment was doing with things that belonged to the people of PNG.
Meanwhile, the people of Madang are generally happy with the proposed sale of the K120 million Falcon jet.
A nurse at the Modilon Hospital intermediate ward, Sister Clancy Kom, was happy that the money would be spent on health and to provide free education.
She said the Falcon jet was a luxury item benefiting only a few people and should be done away with.
"Peter O'Neill knows what he is doing,'' she said.
"If the country can fork out such a huge sum of money (to buy and maintain the jet), where is the logic of such an exercise?
"Everyone here at the hospital is talking about that news and is overjoyed that someone finally has the guts to put his foot down."
Lesley Nailon, a community leader from Furan village, said he had to find a K3 flex card yesterday just to call The National office to express his joy.
He said he was die-hard O'Neill supporter and supported the go­vernment.
He said O'Neill had made the best decision yet to sell the Falcon jet.
Ray Kone, a youth at Sisiak was yesterday sitting among his friends outside The National's office discussing the news.
He said they agreed that enough squandering had been done by the previous government and now with the new government ma­king the cost-cutting chan­ges, it was definitely good news.
Many said the purchase of the jet never benefited the people directly and, as such, many government policies in the last government would never come to fruition such as the Vision 2050.
"We have been begging for a change and now we will see it," one betelnut seller at the Handy Mart service station known only as Bobby, said.
It was reported yesterday that the Falcon jet would cost K22 million a year to operate.
The jet had been used by the former prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, and his government ministers.
Other news that were widely welcomed by the people included the proposed free education, weeding of corruption through the re-introduction of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Bill, the implementation of 2011 deve­lopmental budgets by splitting the ministries of National Planning, Monitoring and Rural Development, revamping the Public Service Management Act to cut down on graft and corruption and to penalise those found guilty among others.

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