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Bird quits govt to ‘preserve my dignity’

| Thanks to Academia Nomad

Marape's K340 000 wrist watch
Timely reminder to the Australian people about where their aid money goes: PNG prime minister James Marape addresses the Australian parliament this week sporting a K340,000 ($US90,000) Audemarc Piguet wristwatch

WEWAK - I will not be the lookout, standing guard while the riches of Papua New Guinea are plundered. My conscience will not allow it.

I remained in government hoping that this government would solve our cost of living crisis, our power crisis, our FX [foreign exchange] crisis, our law and order crisis and our employment crisis.


As a strong advocate of good governance, the recent revelations regarding PM Marape's involvement in the Paraka and Connect PNG payments are too compelling for me to remain in government.

While I have nothing personal against PMJM, if I remain it will mean that I condone high level corruption and that I approve of powerful people selectively engaging contractors with family links.

While a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty, leaders are not ordinary citizens and therefore we must be held accountable to much higher standards.

Our people expect higher standards of responsibility from leaders in the stewardship of public funds. Especially from MPs and more so from the PM.

And the people are right to expect higher standards on matters such as this because we are custodians of the public interest.

I have been uncompromising on transparency and governance at the provincial level and my people of East Sepik expect me to maintain the same standard at national level.

Holding public office is a sacred trust and our ability and attitude to be prudent and honest in the use or public funds is critical. We are not just project managers.

I had no prior knowledge of the Paraka payments or the Connect PNG payments until the details were made public.

If I remain in government it will mean that I support these types of behaviour. This would go against everything I stand for.

I remained in government because I was committed to the work on elections, GEWE [Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment] and provincial government.

I also felt Sepik people owed a debt to PMJM for standing with GC [Grand Chief] Somare in 2011. After supporting PMJM three times to be PM, that debt has been repaid in full.

I have had many disagreements with the government on issues of ethics, philosophy and management but this latest revelation is difficult to reconcile.

The prosperity of the country cannot be measured by the success in one or two districts while entire provinces are going backwards. Provinces are collections of districts that must complement each other.

Public funds are being weaponised to favour certain districts to the detriment of our country. PNG needs a new formula for growth and equitable sharing of the nation’s wealth.

I hope PM Marape can see the importance of protecting the sanctity of the chair he holds and step aside and clear his name in a court of law.

If he can stand down Hon [Justin] Tkatchenko for using words unbecoming, if he can ask Hon [Aiye] Tambua to step down pending serious allegations from his wife and daughters, then our PM ought to be consistent and step aside in light of the serious and compelling court documents that reveal his purported role in the Paraka payments.

I have personally advised our PM on what I think he should do and I hope he finds it in himself to do the honourable thing.

I take responsibility for being one of 100 plus MPs who voted for this government and I share the blame for the lack of movement on the key issues I mentioned before.

By leaving government, I hope to preserve whatever dignity I have left and serve our people from the opposition benches.


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Renate Dii

The government is implementing this new education reform (SBC) and wanting education standard. Educators are trying their very best out there in bringing about the standard in education. Researchers are doing research and writing thesis about the obstacles and challenges faced in this new reform. But those implemented it are destroying it again in one way or the other.
East Sepik governor Allan Bird is very correct in the approach he took. I salute you.

Lindsay F Bond

What road to follow? Only that of truth, timely told, tenaciously trot.

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird is reported as saying “the contract was awarded to a company that had no experience in constructing roads, but was involved in equipment hire.”

So who was and is responsible? Question is not will one minister (or more) step down, but how soon.
See: https://www.postcourier.com.pg/sepik-highway-contract-failed-says-bird/

And of current news, clues and views,
See: http://www.pngblogs.com/2023/12/james-marapes-missteps-openly-exposed.html

Henry Sims

Alan, leave the governing party by all means, but stay in parliament to make noise which must be heard.
May goodness ultimately prevail for my Papua besena, but it will take plenty effort by the likes of yourself.

Lindsay F Bond

Noting: 'Public funds are being weaponised'.

Add: Have been, and for too long.

Come on PNG, ol bikman don't sigh about equitable sharing. It's a matter of rigour.

Bernard Corden

Marape's Audemars Piguet wristwatch would accessorise a wardrobe of elegant Ermenegildo Zegna suits and a collection of fine antique French clocks.

I wonder if he likes Gustav Mahler.

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