Sanguma, sangoma & the derivation of words

Marape, seeking 'stability', appoints Basil deputy

James Marape and Sam Basil
James Marape and his new deputy prime minister Sam Basil


PORT MORESBY – Davis Steven has been moved from his position as Papua New Guinea’s deputy prime minister to be replaced by Sam Basil, consolidating Basil's political career and retaining the national planning ministry.

In a document seen by PNG Attitude, no mention was made of Steven or why he has lost the country's second top job.

However, prime minister James Marape’s statement that he saw a “need for political stability and delivering key government priorities” could provide a clue, especially the words ‘political stability’.

Marape mentioned this aspect a second time saying that the changes he’s making “will consolidate stability (and) enhance leadership at the political level to drive key policy priorities.”

Although Basil had previously disappointed many of his supporters with an extraordinary decision to flip over to Peter O’Neill’s side of the aisle as the former prime minister’s shine was fading, there is no doubting his political acumen and capability as a minister.

In addition to Basil, the other changes in the ministry are:

Sir Puka Temu to health minister, ceding his responsibilities for Bougainville Affairs to Marape

Former health minister Jelta Wong to civil aviation

William Onglo in the new portfolio of energy minister, which Marape called “critical” and said “will coordinate the development and implementation of benchmark policies to deliver (electric) power to our villages, regions, towns and cities”

Leka Gure from civil aviation to labour and employment

Walter Schnaubelt is the new Minister for Culture, Tourism and the National Museum

Marape’s new cabinet includes ministers from the National Alliance Party, the United Resources Party and the United Labour Party.

Yesterday the PNG Ombudsman Commission referred Temu to the Public Prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office.

The Commission said the charges against Temu relate to his alleged "failure in upholding his duties and responsibilities of office" but no other details were provided.

Gulf Provincial Administrator, Marc Orisuru Avai, was also referred to the Public Prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office. 


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Ian Poole

Er, no, Keith. Sir Puka's electorate is at the eastern end of Central Province.

Lindsay F Bond

This year it is said, 'Bulolo lacking decent services'.

"Our MP has turned a blind eye on the cries of the Bulolo-Wau people."

OK, maybe it's not to question the DSIP money with respect to 'highway' roads as to question the National Department of Transport 'priority roads', 125 kms with planning advice perhaps not updated since 2014.

Now Sam Basil is not the only MP staring at gaping holes in essential roads (Oivi area of Oro Province is another). Yet, it begs questions of what attention to need, what policies are proposed and what clout is exerted for the people of the electorate?

PNGs has many movers and shakers inclined on their own paths. "Making a difference" is what some hope for, so once more, Sam?

Meanwhile, as of long ago, "Just a shrug of the shoulders and keep walking."

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