by MARKUS WAMBIA
Now that Grand Secret Keeper Manasupe Zurunuoc has left government (at least temporarily), secret papers are easier to leak. It was important that we finished celebrating Grand Thief Michael Somare’s 80th birthday and saluted him like he was the best founding father any country ever had. Now it’s time to come back to Planet Earth and get a reality check on the Legacy of Michael Somare, whose main theme is that he was a liar liar well before Peter O'Neill came along and convincingly corrupt. Where he didn't take initiative to dip his hands into the PNG Treasury or seek out 'hamamas payments' from Rimbunan Hijau (owner of Vision City and The National), his family, particularly Lady Veronica and Arthur, put pressure on him to direct more PNG public funds into the Somare family treasury.
Let’s take a look at the bills for Somare’s 2011 hospital stay for heart bypass surgery.
What did it cost and what was the cost breakdown? We all know that Singapore is expensive, and we might expect that the immediate family members would be close to Daddy, but what is now revealed (see the pdf linked to this article) is beyond belief.
Here are some highlights. Please note that these are only running costs and not the total cost of the Somare Singapore extravaganza:
- Hospital Bill (Raffles Hospital): K761,345.21
- Portion of hospital bill reimbursed by Aspac Contruction Ltd: K167,414.02.
Sir Michael, of course, wasn’t flying here and there during all that time in the hospital and one would expect that Lady Veronica and other close members of the family would be loyally present in Singapore the whole time and at Sir Michael’s bedside. So how in the world did the Somare team rack up this kind of Air Niugini bill?
- Air Niugini: K575,257.90
Those who remember history know that the reason Michael Somare left the Pangu Party which he founded before independence to form the National Alliance because his handpicked successor Chris Haiveta ended up tricking Somare and Somare furiously vowed to destroy Chris Haiveta and his new Pangu Party (which he did). So why do we have a personal payment to Chris Haiveta related to Sir Michael’s hospital stay to the tune of K9,825.62? Did Haiveta even see Somare or was he busy doing personal business deals in Singapore at government expense?
And then we have Mr Richard Gogo, who managed to get a personal payment of K143,200.09. And Mr Paul Bengo with his K84,789.20 reimbursement. Mrs Seki Karingal got a cool K191,224.81 personal payment, while Mr Rodney Kamus made off with K104,733.79. Prof Isi Kevau? Let’s give him K63,435.57.
On top of all that, there are the payments to our fine constables who provided “security” to Sir Michael in one of the safest countries in the world. Constable Rodney Eminoni who received K87,081.42. There was Constable John Keai who got a handsome K70,135.68 and Senior Contable Ekonia Puki received K70,135.68. Hello? As the attached pleading for funds states, the money was running out as of 3 August and more was quickly needed. The money train was still rolling along feeding a full house inside.
The Somare family themselves weren’t about to let a luxury life in Singapore escape them while all their friends and wantoks were enjoying a very rich holiday at public expense. For example, ir Michael himself got a personal payment of K478,756.63. This is on top of his regular salary. It is on top of his hospital bill. What in the world was he paid so much money for, when it is clear that all the side expenses of his hospital stay, namely every Tom, Dick and Harry who wanted to poke their heads into the hospital room while Sir Michael was asleep and say “hi” got handsome cheques? Of course, if Sir Michael was going to get over K400,000 for lying in bed, Lady Veronica had to have her fair share too: K171,825.34. The perpetually sour faced Betha made off with K192,583.14, while Paul Somare, who is not one of Sir Michael's children but a grandson, got K76,350.60.
Corrupt Arthur Somare? Bizarrely, it appears that he didn’t receive a toea related to the Singapore extravaganza. Neither did Sana nor Dulcie. Did they not bother to go to Singapore, or what? Or for some unknown reason did these 3 siblings decide to be honest?
The running grand total of this Singapore sling as of 3 August was K3,718.981.82. The total cost? We almost don't want to know, since the Grand Thief spent another 4 months in the hospital after the accounting you see here was prepared.
The Somares and their buddies live high off of public funds while tens of thousands of our people die every year of preventable disease, rural aid posts are nil stock in drugs.
Let's not forget the nearly K1 million "compensation" hush money payment that Peter O'Neill made to Sir Michael in August 2015. The greed never stops in PNG.
For shame, Somare family. However, the simple fact is that most of the Somare family, starting with Sir Michael, long ago lost the capacity to feel any shame. The best we can do as concerned citizens of Papua New Guinea is to put it into the public record so the world can see, now and for many years to come, the sad proof of your sinful pillaging of Papua New Guinea.