Staying afloat in Melanesia: is PNG on its way to bankruptcy?
Speaker Silence Corruption

Peter O’Neill has a straightforward way out of this mess


SUSAN Merrell, in her comments on PNG Attitude, has neatly illustrated how she, and presumably others who support prime minister Peter O'Neill, willfully misunderstand the nature and intent of the criticism directed towards him.

This criticism is not motivated by his politics, or even his distinctly hazy grasp of economic fundamentals: it is about his complete unwillingness to submit to the rule of law.

If, as he is consistently maintained, he is concerned about being "fitted up" by various un-named political enemies, surely this is a compelling reason to allow the police and judiciary to examine his situation forensically and, in so doing, vindicate him entirely?

It is possible that he is innocent of anything more than being grievously misled into signing documents that he should not have signed.

A very busy minister could be relatively easily misled into signing or approving something whilst not understanding its full implications.

That is not a crime, merely an example of bad judgement.

The heart of the criticism of Mr O'Neill is that he refuses to do what any honest citizen would surely do, which is to assist the police with their inquiries.

By all means hire the best legal team you can get but don't then use them to explore every possible avenue to avoid even fronting up for an interview.

Protestations of innocence don't sit easily with such behaviour; they merely arouse suspicion that Mr O'Neill has something to hide.

As for critics claiming to represent the silent majority, I have not seen such claims.

Anyway, the so-called silent majority never existed and doesn't now. It merely is a rhetorical device of politicians, not a reflection of reality.

Mr O'Neill can disarm his critics at a stroke, merely by sitting down (with his legal representatives beside him) to discuss the allegations against him with the police.

It's as simple as that.


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Daniel Kumbon

They seek her here
They seek her there
But she is right under your nose
Ask for her hand
And go for a waltz
Or a dip in the North Sea
She will take you there

Jaffie Amani

Susan, remember that a warrant of arrest can't be serve unless there is evidence.

The evidences to arrest the PM was based on his signature that authorised the letter to release payment to Paraka.

I think you don't understand how the court system in PNG operates in regards to the warrant of arrest and your comments are misleading due to you have been dining from the beast table.

Robin Lillicrapp

There can be no clearer signal than that visible now on the political landscape. With the prolonged spin doctoring from the incumbent PM to the apparent posturing of pretenders to the throne, the evidence of conflict and instability is manifest.

Probably the most genuine efforts to contain and steer public thought toward reform is now coming from the massive PR campaign from the students enlightening mindsets in every province.

I think this has the potential of effecting real change in any fresh electoral process.

May it be so.

Chris Overland

I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the legal advice quoted by Susan Merrell.

The problem is that no ordinary citizen would have been able to pursue the course of action advised by his legal representative and simultaneously shut down the anti-corruption organisation pursuing him, as well as effectively nobble the police by appointing a "friendly" police commissioner who promptly shut down the supposedly out of control anti-corruption branch of his own force.

Even allowing for the fact that scurrilous and baseless allegations are sometimes made about politicians, the public have all too often been confronted with the spectacle of politicians using parliamentary privilege to loudly protest their innocence and then, in subsequent legal action, being found guilty as charged.

If Mr O'Neill had simply relied upon the advice detailed by Dr Merrell, then no-one could accuse him of doing other than exercising his lawful rights.

However, his concurrent use of the powers conferred by his office in the manner that he has, creates an entirely reasonable suspicion that, notwithstanding his protests of innocence, he clearly has something to hide.

If, as he has repeatedly asserted, the allegations against him are either fraudulent or based upon erroneous information or otherwise have no substantive basis in fact, then it makes no political as distinct from legal sense to delay airing the matter.

That Mr O'Neill has not done this and has allowed the situation to escalate to the point where people have been shot by police for simply seeking to protest at his actions in this matter, simply reinforces the widespread belief that the allegations are soundly based.

Paul Oates

So is Ms Merrell saying that if the warrant of arrest was withdrawn, the PM would then be only to happy to answer questions put to him by the police fraud squad?

If that is so, why not say so in the first place?

If it is that simple, then why go through the charade everyone has so far gone through so far and cost (one assumes), the taxpayer so much money and everyone so much angst and life threatening responses?

So who is now responsible for all this mayhem one is given to enquire of Ms Merrell, when the answer was that simple?

Ahem, I say Ms Merrell, are you listening?

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