PNG’s POLITICAL and administrative elite had failed to deal with widespread corruption that is becoming a major killer in the country.
So said Joint CEO of Nasfund, Rod Mitchell, addressing a business ethics symposium at Divine Word University inMadang.
Mr Mitchell accused political leaders and the elite of paying lip service to the fight against endemic corruption.
“Attempts to deal with corruption through the political process and by the elites have been almost non-existent, with paper-thin commitment to meet this serious challenge head on,” Mr Mitchell said.
Six Commissions of Inquiry, costing millions of kina, were held in the last ten years but there had “not been one successful prosecution despite the serious matters being raised.
“The inertia of dealing effectively with white collar and high level corruption has been shown in the recent high profile Taiwan-gate and US$40 million Singapore scandal where matters were simply ignored, with the only moral outrage being that these matters had dare surface.”
Mr Mitchell said similarly, the Ombudsman Commission had come under intense political pressure. He said the attempt to kill Chief Ombudsman Chronox Manek last December was met with embarrassing silence.
He said the abuse of parliamentary democracy was a worrying trend, compounded by the trend to stifle debate in parliament by using the speaker to rule questions out of order.
“Similarly, parliamentary business is too often adjourned for lack of quorum or lack of house business – all very hard to understand in a country that continues to face exceedingly difficult social challenges.”
Mr Mitchell said the recent controversial reappointment of Sir Paulias Matane as governor-general left nothing but further suspicion in the minds of many people.
He said in this case “expediency overrode clear open process.
“And, of course, the recent adjournment of parliament now means that the constitution on the minimum number of sitting days, has been breached for the second time in as many years.”