SDP is not Mekere Morauta’s retirement fund, nor the SOEs the Somare’s honey pot

By PNG Echo.

The Prime Minister hits back at his critics
The Prime Minister hits back at his critics

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

Is this alliance forged under the premise that ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend?

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.

Leader of the Opposition, Don Polye
Leader of the Opposition, Don Polye

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.

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4 thoughts on “SDP is not Mekere Morauta’s retirement fund, nor the SOEs the Somare’s honey pot

  1. Susan, former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta is the best prime minister PNG has ever had, much better than the current PM. Can you investigate and write about the current PM. I am sure you will have many things to write about the current PM than Sir Mek and Grand Chief Somare. Let me give you some tips, the NPF saga, termination of top cops, UBS Loan, management of LNG revenue, Pacific Games expenditures, sale of Tolokuma mine, closure of OK Tedi Mine, disbanding of Task Force Sweep, sacking of chief magistrate, Paraka case, the recent vote of no confidence deferral, and many more.

    • By all means Joel, go ahead and write your own article on the subjects you’ve outlined. Be sure to send me a link – I’ll be happy to criticize. As for Sir Mek – there are those who would disagree with you.

      • Susan, why don’t you write about those tips that Joel highlighted??? Anyone of those would be an eye opener for your readers..I love reading your work…

  2. My attitude to Mekere M changed after he took the fisheries portfolio when he or his close family were running a fishing business – such action I could, at a pinch excuse in someone with minimal education but not from one as well educated and experienced in governance as Mekere is. That having been said it is I think unfair to blame Mekere for the economic situation at the end of his term as he was left an enormous black hole and an almost dysfunctional public service from his predecessor and he actually did a pretty good job of turning the economy around. That having been said, the whole PNGSDP saga looks like being a financial winner for lawyers instead of those for whom it was set up – the long suffering voters of the Western Province in particular.

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