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Chan hit by official corruption allegations

Sir Julius Chan - "“They can do whatever they like. I don’t have anything to hide"

| Source: PNG Bulletin Online

PORT MORESBY - The New Ireland governor and former Papua New Guinea prime minister Sir Julius Chan has been referred to the Ombudsman Commission, Police Fraud Squad and other official bodies for alleged official corruption.

In a joint media release, the members of parliament for Namatanai, Walter Schnaubelt, and Kavieng, Ian Ling-Stuckey, who is also PNG finance minister, said Chan, 82, had been referred by the presidents of five local level governments in the Namatanai electorate.

Joshua Soi (Namatanai Rural), Isaac Tosel (Konoagil), Augustine Topi (Matalai), Stanley Tunut (Nimamar), Ben Sakbua (Sentral Niu Ailan) and 65 ward councilors have filed complaints against Chan alleging gross abuse of office and serious breaches of Public Finances Management Act.

The complaint was submitted to the Ombudsman Commission, Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Police Fraud Squad, Auditor General Ofice and the Department of Finance.

Chan is accused of failing to complete acquittals for over K400 million royalties of Lihir mining monies, breaching the PNG Planning Monitoring Act and breaching a number sections of PNG’s Organic Law.

Responding to the allegations, Chan said he is not afraid by what is put forward to refer him to the Ombudsman Commission for leadership breaches.

He referred to Schnaubelt and Ian Ling-Stuckey as “two unscrupulous ankle-biters [who] have no decency and are desperate for power.

“They can do whatever they like. I don’t have anything to hide. As far as I am concerned, their childish postings [on social media] are simply a feeble attempt at revenge…. All of the points they raise are dead issues.”

Chan has been an opponent of the Ombudsman Commission since it was first proposed as a remedy against official misdemeanour before independence.

In his 2016 memoir, ‘Playing the Game: Life and Politics in Papua New Guinea’, he suggested the idea of an Ombudsman Commission was offensive because it implied the people do not trust their leaders and he argued that it hindered leaders from freely performing their mandated roles.

Reviewing the book recently, academic Michael Kabuni wrote:

“After the massive scale of corruption experienced in this country, I would have thought that Chan would eventually come around and argue for increased funding and staffing for the Commission so it could hold corrupt leaders to account.

“Chan has, however, never wavered in his criticism despite the systemic corruption experienced in PNG.”


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Robert Seneka

New generation of political must be driven by ethics and moral responsibility to redirect the country in the right path.

William Dunlop

There were very strong rumours about a very senior politician who, just prior to the PNG kina revaluation in the 1970s, drew down a very large sum into kina, thus enriching themselves enormously. I wonder. Em tasol.

Chris Overland

If Chan's attitude is typical of PNG politicians, then there is little hope for a competent and honest government ever arising.

People do not trust their governments or politicians for the simple reason that there is ample evidence that, as a class, they are untrustworthy.

Little wonder therefore that in the current crisis there is so little faith in what governments are saying or doing.

This helps explain the "vaccine hesitancy" which threatens to derail attempts to achieve a reasonable level of control over the pandemic.

People appear to prefer the risk of death or terrible illness over that attached to being vaccinated, even though the levels of risk involved with vaccination are vanishingly small compared to those associated with the disease itself.

This collapse in trust is deeply destructive of democracy and needs to urgently be reversed if we are collectively to confront the increasingly formidable challenge coming from the world's authoritarian regimes.

Philip Kai Morre

Not only Sir. Julius Chan but other provincial governors and MPs should be referred to the leadership tribunal, the Ombudsmen Commission, auditor general and police fraud squad for stealing government money.

We know who they are but we are watching things go from bad to worse.

Simon Davidson

When I went to Namatanai some years ago to work, I expected it to be a district of promise because it was the electorate of Sir Julius Chan. He was a founding father of the nation, a reigning prime minister and a national icon.

When I arrived in Namatanai, I was disappointed. It was small and looked like a ghost town. There was no bank. The airstrip was overgrown with bushes. The roads were filled with potholes. The electric supply was unreliable.

While Namatanai town was in shambles, Julius Chan lived in his palace at Huris.

I began to question the leadership ability of Julius Chan. In my humble opinion, he is one of those leaders who used his position of privilege to build his personal empire.

In Papua New Guinea, there is a trend in the lives of some leaders to serve as members of parliament for a long time but nothing on the ground to show of their accomplishments.

Sir Julius Chan fits in this category. He is a long time parliamentarian but there is nothing to show on the ground for it in his electorate.

He is the second leader to be referred to the Ombudsman Commission for misuse of royalties from Lihir Gold.

Peter Ipatas was the first one for squandering the royalties from Porgera gold mine. I hope such egomanic and greedy leaders are put in prison.

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