By PNG Echo.
Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill has hit back at the continued and sustained attack on the government by former Prime Minister Mekere Morauta, saying his…
…ongoing stream of hate and malice is all about the former Prime Minister trying to undermine the Government to keep control of the Sustainable Development Program (SDP) money…
He went on to say:
[Morauta] thinks that if there is a change of Government he might get to stay on and keep spending the money belonging to SDP [Sustained Development Program associated with compensation for the OkTedi mining environmental damage].
The Prime Minister, admonished the former Prime Minister, now retired politician, for playing politics from outside the parliament He said Sir Mekere was
… a failed Prime Minister who initiated Papua New Guinea’s lost decade
(Sir Mekere’s Prime Ministership from 1999 – 2002 was followed by that of Sir Michael Somare lasting until the political coup of 2011 and is no doubt the “lost decade” of which O’Neill is referring.)
An unholy alliance
In spite of the recent alliance between Morauta and Somare, where they teamed up to criticize the government’s UBS deal, the fact is, Sir Mekere Morauta, has never been an admirer of the politics of Sir Michael and stood in opposition to him for most of that decade.
More recently (2011) he made a scathing attack on Sir Michael’s government and especially the performance of Sir Michael’s son, Arthur Somare on inheriting the IPBC from him. He said:
As Minister, Arthur Somare regarded the SOEs [state–owned enterprises] as toys to be owned to glorify his image,… It seems that the IPBC and its SOEs were seen as the Somare family “honey pot”
Morauta was scathing about the abortive deal done by Arthur Somare that, arguably, was the precedent that made the UBS deal necessary and he questioned “the motives of the borrowers.”
It is therefore a considerable irony that these two have become allies against the government – with the Grand Chief even willing to play second fiddle to Don Polye (the Leader of the Opposition ) – a man he never trusted to deputize for him while he was Prime Minister.
Given that Polye has had an alleged hand in so many corrupt deals, that these two strange bedfellows (Somare and Morauta) would happily fall in behind him while claiming to still have altruism as their only motivation, would need a complete suspension of all disbelief.
It all smacks of self preservation and the protection of vested interests.
These government’s accusers do not have clean hands and neither do they have a right to lifetime stewardship and control of governmental assets (however controversial or fiercely fought for) and/or the right to expect that the Prime Minister position should be a sinecure or something that can be gifted to their children.
All of this belongs to the people of Papua New Guinea.