|Corrupt past brought to parliament, |
As the parliament bell rang this morning both Government and Opposition MPs turned out with a good representation of 70% in attendance.
The opposition through deputy opposition leader Hon. Sam Basil did not waste time during Q & A on the floor of parliament as he made reference to the Commission of Inquiry set up by Rt Hon. Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare in June 2006 into the Investment Corporation Fund of PNG including the new Pacific Balanced Fund that reported a write off a write-off of shareholder funds amounting to K37 million. The staggering amount is part of 11 terms of reference relating to Administrative and Financial Management Procedure, Appointment of Trustee, Managers including other issues.
Member for Bulolo and Deputy Opposition Leader Hon. Sam Basil asked Prime Minister O’Neill when he was going to provide directions as per the findings and Recommendations of the COI Report into the Investment Corporation, and Investment Corporation Fund to various authorities and state agencies, be implemented?
He further added that many persons implicated in the ICPNG saga were currently appointed to many State Owned Enterprises further retracting the PM’s grand statement during his maiden speech;
“We are serious about stamping out corruption at all levels and all sectors of our community. No entity including persons involved in corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors will be spared” End of Quote”
Hon. Sam Basil emphatically declared on the floor of parliament about the K37 million belonging to employees, cooperatives, churches, students, youths, business groups and individuals had to be compensated and demanded a directive from the PM to stand up to his grand maiden speech about stamping out corruption at all levels, with the best line no entity including persons involved in corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors will be spared.
The defining moment came when Deputy Opposition Leader Hon. Sam Basil went on inform the PM that one of his current-serving Minister was implicated in the findings & recommendations of this Commission of Inquiry with quote’
18.104.22.168 Terms of reference 1 (c)
• Privatization Minister Pok acted illegally when he gave approval under Section 61 of the Act for a K2.5 million advance to Illimo when he had no power to do so.
• Privatization Minister Pok again acted illegally when he gave blanket approval for future advances to Illimo when he had no authority under section 61 of the Public Finance Management Act.
• Privatisation Minister Fabian Pok acted illegally when he gave approval under section 61 of the PFM ACT on 22nd March 1999 for the sale of Illimo to Peak Perfomance Feeds Limited.
A clearly stunned Minister Fabian Pok broke in by claiming that something that happened 15 years ago was brought on to the floor of parliament. He further claimed that he was cleared when no progressive or status report on the commission of inquiry indicate otherwise.
The PM responded;
“It is not my job to investigate something that was done 15 years ago. That is the job of the Ombudsman Commission. If the Ombudsman Commission see fit that someone be prosecuted that there are appropriate channels to follow.”