Arnold Amet under Scrutiny
As Chief Justice, he was highly regarded and respected by the people of this country and overseas. Sir Arnold was seen as one of the pillars of this nation. Ordinary people used to think of him simply as a good man, a good Papua New Guinean.
When he retired from the Judiciary, he provided consultative services to the public and private sectors because his views on the Constitution and laws of PNG were highly regarded and respected.
When Madang MP Sir Peter Barter decided to quit politics due to health reasons, Sir Arnold was asked by Sir Peter to take on the challenge to represent the people of Madang.
Sir Amet accepted the invitation and announced to the people of Madang and PNG that he was to contest the 2007 national elections. Mixed reactions were received. While many applauded the decision, there were some who felt that for someone like Sir Arnold, he should not enter into politics.
For they argued that politics in PNG was dirty and no place for a man like Sir Arnold to spent the rest of his life in. His critics believed that he would compromise his standing in the community, if he went ahead and entered politics.
Sir Arnold contested and won to become Governor of his beloved Madang province. A few years later, and like his predecessor, Sir Peter Barter, he left the Governor’s job to become a state minister in the Government.
As Attorney General and Justice Minister, he is the Chief legal advisor to the Government, a role he seems to take up with enthusiasm. Like everyone else, we have watched him perform. And we have to say it. It takes but two acts to destroy the standing Sir Arnold has enjoyed in PNG. The first act, in our view, was the sacking of the Acting Public Prosecutor Mr Jimmy Tamate, a man regarded by a lot of people as a very brave and good Papua New Guinean.
We are of the view that the removal of Mr Tamate was in total disregard for common decency and honesty. We say that Sir Arnold has thrown his well-earned reputation into total disrepute and disrespect.
Mr Tamate, we are told, would be the lead prosecutor in the leadership tribunal hearing into the misconduct charges against Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.
The other act, in our view, is the appointment of Mr Camillus Sambua to replace Mr Tamate. We have nothing against Mr Sambua, for we are told that he is a very qualified lawyer. It is his relationship with the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare that is a worry. We are told that Mr Sambua is a nephew to Sir Michael. Is this true?
Is this what politics does to good people to lose all self respect, dignity, morals, values, ethics and all that they stood for only to appease their political masters who are now in all sorts of trouble? Is this what politics is doing to Sir Arnold? Sir Arnold, these acts have now created doubts in those who once trusted and believed in you.
Having said that, we believe Sir Arnold is still a decent man. The recent saga, we believe, is an opportunity given to him by God to stand up, look directly into the eyes of evil and say NO to political corruption.
Eought is enough, we say. We know that there are other likeminded Members of Parliament who will stand beside him, even if they do not make their stand public, for obvious reasons.
We implore Sir Arnold to think about what sort of a legacy he wishes to leave behind for his children and grand children? Or would he rather send them down to Australia to live, like most? Think it over Sir Arnold.