NOOSA – James Marape, Papua New Guinea’s former finance minister and appointed leader of its 'Alternative Government', has alleged police have been instructed to investigate “convoluted charges” against him and other highlands leaders who recently defected from the O’Neill government.
And he has accused his former close friend Peter O’Neill of “working to freeze Hela and Southern Highlands accounts and vindictively look into possibilities of suspending these provincial governments”.
“May I say we don’t subscribe to threats and intimidation,” he wrote in a statement on Facebook.
“This is a revolution of mindset, we will not be subservient to individual and corporate capitalist greed anymore,” he said.
Marape said his consistent advice to O’Neill to change the law so Papua New Guinea could gain greater value from its resources had fallen on deaf years, and that led to his resignation from the governing coalition.
He said he is comforted to know that many leaders share his view “to rise up and take back PNG’s natural resources and add value to them”.
“The wind of change is surely blowing. The war of alleviating poverty from our midst will be going on for a long time but I believe it will be won and soldiers are needed in this long war.”
Marape said PNG is rich in assets yet poor by all the measures of development and he holds O’Neill responsible for this as his “mindset submits to corporate and individual business interests”.
On the 'Alternative Government' he now leads - a new coalition of 50 MPs, just short of the 56 needed to form a government – he said it offered “a truly authentic Melanesian leadership style where decisions at all levels are consensus- and system-based instead of individual inclinations”.
Marape said good members of parliament remain with the O'Neill government, many more than the six he needs, and he asked the public and MPs “not to bash them”.
“These MPs are going through moments of mental discernment and I am one hundred percent sure many of them will make it right at their own timing because circumstances vary amongst MPs, so let us respect their rights,” he said.
“The new generations of leaders want to truly make the wealth of this blessed country and we rally to the catch cry of Honourable Garry Juffa, a great peer and compatriot of mine, who has been preaching ‘take back PNG’ since 2012.
“Our country has oil, gas, gold, copper, nickel, timber, fish, coffee, copra, oil palm, vanilla, and edible organic agricultural produce [and] we have cultural, geographical and bio diversity for both recreational and niche tourism, yet we have been poor since 1975.
“This is a revolution of mindset, we will not be subservient to individual and corporate capitalist greed anymore,” Marape said.