Monday, September 05, 2011

Somare’s bill put at K3.7 million

FIVE-year-old Iluh Kara, dressed in her mother's Manus traditional bilas, was at the Jackson
International Airport yesterday morning to welcome home her bubu and East Sepik regional MP Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. Iluh presented Sir Michael with a basket. Iluh's dad is the son of Sir Michael's only sister, Rosa. 
Nationalpic by EKAR KEAPU

THE state has paid K3.7 million to keep Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare in Singapore's Raffles Hospital and for related costs, The National reports.
The actual hospital bill is less than K1 million but travel and accommodation expenses and sustenance allowances for his family, minders and visitors blew up the amount to K3,718,981.82.
An amount of K67,703.52 was still outstanding as of Aug 29.
All the expenses was borne by the Prime Minister's Department, which does not have any allowances within its budget for the medical expenses of the prime minister, deputy prime minister and other ministers of government, department sources said.
Sources also said Prime Minister Peter O'Neill had directed his department to transfer all future expenses to parliament and to have parliament reimburse the department's expenses so far.
At any time, there had always been three security officers and a protocol officer in attendance at the hospital as well as Lady Veronica, press secretary and daughter Betha Somare and personal assistant Seki Karingal. All their expenses were met by the department.
This came to light as the Grand Chief jetted in on an Air Niugini commercial flight from Singapore yesterday morning to an emotional welcome at the Jackson International Airport.
It was important that Sir Michael was in the country to attend tomorrow's sitting of parliament. To miss it would mean his third consecutive absence, rendering Sir Michael an automatic disqualification as the regional parliamentary representative of East Sepik.
The Grand Chief spoke briefly upon his arrival yesterday, looking frail but walking without assistance.
Scores of people, including Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio, who broke with protocol to be pre­sent personally to meet Sir Michael, wept openly when they saw the former prime minister who had been in a Singapore hospital for the past four months.
Sir Michael greeted the airport crowd and spoke briefly on health care, clearly avoiding the events of Aug 2 and the election of O'Neill as prime minister.
"The days ahead of us are tough but I am one of those who have proven to be a fighter and to make things work," Sir Michael said.
A strategy meeting is expected to be held by the Somare camp today for tomorrow's parliament meeting.
The topic of where Sir Michael would sit would feature prominently with expectations that he would attempt to occupy the prime minister's chair.


  1. I won't be surprised that the ill-stricken Michael Somare, will collapse and die on the floor of the National Parliament tomorrow, if the current pressure from the world around us increases!

    Has he been made aware that heart surgery done to such an aging person is very risky, especially 3 times?

    It is the "pressure" that will certainly increase the heart bit rate and whatever comes after that is the result!

  2. Anonymous3:51 PM

    That little girl is serving a leader who cannot serve this little lad and other tens of thousands of children every year who are pushed into poverty,crime,drugs,etc png wide.

  3. Georgina5:40 PM

    EN, your comments are harsh and cruel to say about another human being with failing health. How could you express such heartless and thoughtless comments openly. Would you tell your father the same thing if he was in Somare's situation? I sincerely hope not. Be kind to other people, there no harm in doing so.

  4. August10:43 PM

    thousands are dying around PNG becos of poor health facilities/services. some of them can't afford due to rising fees and here we are the state ones again has used K3.7 million robbed off hard working tax payers to pay for the rich prime ministers medication and unnecessary visits by other unknown criminal MPs. why can't they go on their own expenses? what a shame, fuck! If there was no corruption we would hav hospitals and better services like those in singapore and use the K3.7 million to bring better services into remote areas where there's no electricity, hospitals, schools and improve infrastructure. 36yrs after independence and where do we stand in the global community?

  5. august10:57 PM

    I support you Annon, its about time let the chief rest, its true he's known for getting us independence and he deserved respect for that but was he really prepared?... the K3.7 million could have been use to help eduate kids and fight poverty. my dad died becos of lack of high tech medical facilities that could hav saved his life and i had grow up the hardest way without the help of the fuckin corrupt government

  6. Anonymous8:25 AM

    If our governments can't provide facilities to treat our citizens in PNG, then it would only be fair if they seriously take on the responsibility and set up an 'Overseas Medical Referral Fund' for meeting all cost for our citizen patients being referred to overseas for specialist treatment or surgery.

  7. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Well Said EN. Georgina hundreds of thousands of people have died under Somare's reign as PM. He has done nothing to improve the health system. The operation he had in Singapore proves that he has no trust in his health system at all and so his people suffer of simple curable dieseases such as Urinary Tract infection! Does he care about them, was he kind, thoughful and full of heart when his people were dying? No, so I can relate to EN's comments.
    If my father was in Somare's position he would not be as corrupt as Somare is!!

  8. Anonymous12:20 PM

    And as for Independence that he deserves respect??? We should be celebrating Dependence because that is what we've been doing since Independence is rely on Australia for money!!!!! We're not Independent at all!!!

  9. Anonymous4:40 PM

    Somare, Its about time you lay back so PNG can move on with new blood. We have been suffering for a long while now. The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. It's funny how we address PNG as a rich Nation, yet our people struggles.