Nature hates a vacuum: The potential demise of Peter O’Neill

By PNG Echo

Papua New Guinea has entered very dangerous political waters.

6161009The courts were aware of this when they cautioned restraint after the hearing to stay the arrest warrant of Peter O’Neill. –

Yet both sides are going about, willy nilly, doing the very things that they were cautioned against and which may just land them with a contempt of court charge?

Disgraced  former Police Commissioner Sir Tom Kulunga
Disgraced former Police Commissioner Sir Tom Kulunga

The retired Police Commissioner, Sir Tom Kulunga, was recently convicted of contempt and received a sentence of seven months hard labour.   Not even this has deterred them.

The Prime Minister’s actions are easily explainable – he’s fighting for his very existence.

He’s using political manoeuvring to stack the deck for when he next appears in court.

For while he controls the parliament, he holds little sway over the judiciary – no doubt that’s why he’d prefer a Commission of Inquiry into the Paraka matter rather than leave it to the courts to test the evidence collected by the Task Force Sweep (TFS).

AG Kerenga Kua - dismissed
AG Kerenga Kua – dismissed

So the dismissal of the main legal advisor to government – the Attorney General, Kerenga Kua who hails from the coalition party, National Alliance, with a PNC party man (Ano Pala) is one that could have been predicted.

What’s more, O’Neill’s appointment of a new police chief, while necessary, was also a fairly obvious tactic, judging by what happened in the court when new Police Chief Vaki agreed to consent orders staying the arrest warrant.

No wonder the judge was confused and wanted convincing of the legality of the move (hence the adjournment). He must have wondered for which side Vaki was appearing.

Sam Koim - Chairman TFS
Sam Koim – Chairman TFS

Then there is the disbanding (threatened (?)) of TFS –  because they were “politically compromised” according to O’Neill.  But they also were the agency that collected all the evidence on this matter under the guiding hand of lawyer, Sam Koim – who has been removed (or so I’ve been led to believe).  Expedience may not have been the motivator, but it smacks of it.

Yet, having acknowledged all the political shenanigans, it is also to be acknowledged that Peter O’Neill is still Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and innocent until proven guilty

As such, the police are answerable to the state and its representatives: the government – and the top man is Peter O’Neill.  He still calls the shots.

What sort of a state can function when every new appointment of the executive government is put under arrest by a police force left to themselves to interpret the laws? It’s a recipe for anarchy.

Ano Pala - AG from PNC -
Ano Pala – AG from PNC –

Like the arrest (attempted ?) of Ano Pala, newly appointed Attorney-General?  What the heck had he done?  These charges have very little hope of sticking and are indicative of a rudderless police force who are becoming a law unto themselves.

Now this situation would be bad enough were the RPNGC a disciplined force. It’s not.


Armed Police
Armed Police

I am reminded of the gang rape of a teenager in Wewak, just late last year – the culprits were four on-duty police officers in the performance of their duties, one even a senior officer.   Being ruled by such a bunch of thugs would make Peter O’Neill seem very attractive again.

While O’Neill may (or may not) be a calculating thief, he has never been vicious or particularly malignant with how he deals with people – not so some of the others who would be lining up to take his place.

There are crimes of property and crimes against persons – The accusations against O’Neill have always been in the former category. I’d hate to see someone take his place who’d be physically abusive.

The demise of Peter O’Neil (if and when it arrives) will leave a vacuum that has the potential to be filled by someone far worse. This is my fear for Papua New Guinea..

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18 thoughts on “Nature hates a vacuum: The potential demise of Peter O’Neill

  1. Things have already surfaced, Peter O’Neill will never hid regardless of His Political Powers. One way or the other he will be held responsible in the near future. The peoples trust & confidence with O’neills government is now fading subsequently, otherwise the PM should step aside and let himself be investigated in the due process of Law.

  2. I am only interested in the legal fees or cost.
    Who met all these?
    If the Government did then can I know how much?
    LLG’s still waiting for their grants.

  3. I have a trust in Peter O’neil. He has graudually bring in some changes within the little space of time since he become Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. I think people should respect him and let the law of the land itself deal with him. Unlike other former Prime Ministers of the great nation, PM O’niel has shown the true leadership for the last 2 or 3 years..

    • Most dictators of the world bring change in only a short time. The strategy works because anyone who gets in the way is imprisoned or killed. Step back Bumpaii, and look at the ethics of the situation, not whether or not O’Neill is delivering the cargo.

  4. let there be peace and calm, only than we can articula clearly and make better judgement

  5. Regardless. the PM is meddling with police functions under the Constitution.
    All he had to do is allow the police to interview him
    What is he hiding
    Its suspicious

  6. Watergate Scandal: US President R. Nixon resigned because investigations of phone tapping of the Democratic Party led a trail to his office. He may or may not have given orders but he had to resign because the office that he held was being compromised & upholding the integrity of the office is much bigger then himself.

    More recently..Barry O’Farrell, NSW Premier
    Resigned because he accepted a $3000 bottle of wine from a company that was being investigate. This is also to uphold the integrity of the office he held so it will not be compromised.

    These are two examples of politicians who have integrity…

    But not here in PNG..
    There are many evidence stacked up against the PM. Don Polye is saying that O’neal had ordered and signed the letter for funds to be released to Paraka. This is supported by independent forensic experts from Australia who confirm that the signature on the letter is O’neal’s. O’neal now is playing the blame game & hiding behind the courts. He has said that the Task Force Sweep (he created) has been politically compromised. That’s not a good answer to disband TFS, he should have evidence to support his claims.
    When will O’neal have some sense in his head (if there are some sense left) to step aside and let investigations continue to save the integrity of the office that he holds.
    Well, I guess, only in PNG they say ‘you are innocent until proven guilty’. Our leaders are probably using this terminology to the extreme..
    God Bless PNG…

  7. O’neil is forced to do what he is doing because this is all politics. Agree if we loose Oneil, its scary who will become PM.

  8. Just heard a rumour, the PM had resigned and appointed Mr. Kuman as acting PM. Confirm/deny this. It may be rumour after all.

  9. Sir Julius Chan stood down from office during the Sandline Crisis – it is the finest example of integrity we ever had in PNG PMs history. Pter O’Neil is a new kid on the block – come on, get some advise from the old dog. I have lost my respect for O’Neil and I don’t think he can win back my respect for him; more people out there share the similar sentiments.

    • Julius Chan only stepped down because he was forced to by a large crowd of angry people who surrounded parliament. Obviously Hon. O’Neill needs to be shown the same kind of incentive.

      • I read that Australia also threatened to stop aid if he didn’t step down. However, Bougainville was a war – people were being killed in the fighting – human rights issues abounded, that’s far from the present situation in PNG today.

  10. I for one think that there is no reliable person in the government today that can lead this country like Peter O’Niel. He has done so many changes to the country and we have seen so many improvements. I am happy about his policy and the current government of the day. A warrent of arrest was served to the PM PO just because of some allegations that he approved payments. The evidence is so naive and is not of substance given that using the current technology any one can come up with the letter. Police are listen to a Dumped MP Don Polye who is looking for every oppportunity to de-stabilise the government and that is not right. They should look at the motive of the person who provided the evidence.
    The matter is now before the court of the land and people should refrain from doing unncessary protest. The ring leaders inside the protest have hidden motive. Person such as Noel Anjo is a failed politician trying to capitalise on this opportunity to seek political favor and leading people into wrong direction and chaos. People, the matter is before court which is just the same as before police except it is more legal and proper. Lets all wait for the court decisions. People do not take the law into your hand. I do not want innocent people to be scape goat in tomorrow’s politically motivated protest.

    • Unfortunately it is becoming clearer that all of Peter O’Neill’s changes are coming at a very high price. Overpriced classrooms, overpriced road construction, etc. One wonders how this infrastructure could be so overpriced. Not even the high cost of building infrastructure in places like Australia, but 3 times or more the cost of the equivalent infrastructure in Australia. The answer is becoming apparent and it is one word: “kickbacks”. We are being given change that involves pricy kickback each time into the pockets of one or more people working behind the scenes. Thus, a few in PNG are getting incredibly rich while the rest of us enjoy free education in empty classrooms, free health care in aid posts without medicines, and nice new triple price roads that Peter O’Neill is also making sure contains a long term maintenance contract, also at very high cost, that will continue to kick back money into the pockets of the top shots. Such high priced development being paid for by high interest bank loans or the proceeds from Non-renewable natural resources is unconscionable. It borders on being tragic. An initial K300 million for a short 4 lane highway on mostly dry ground from Lae to Nadzab? Obviously explained by a non-tenders process that subsequently allows high priced kickbacks. This “traim tasol” example was fortunately pushed back, but only after an outcry when everyone could see just how unbelievably expensive this road was. How can we continue to afford this, much less tolerate it? This is clearly the most corrupt government in the history of PNG with the most carefree stealing we have ever seen.

  11. People should wait and let the courts decide on wednesday. They are putting cart before the horse. PM PO going to the Police is same like him going to the court. If the court tells PM to go to Police he may do so. People should not follow failed politicians who are cohorts with dumped MP’s who organise protest to secure some political points. PNG should not be blinded and follow them. They are capitalising on this opportunity. Lets be responsible citizen and wait for courts outcome.

  12. Hell is waiting for peter o’neil for sure and all those corrupt politicians who are only there in haus tambaran serving their interests and not of those who have elected them. Greed and Pride is their god in this world

    God Bless PNG and its silent majority of innocent men, women, boys, girls and children of the Land of Unexpected or Expected !!!