All fingers point to the PNGSDP

By PNG Echo.

The first section of this article will be old news for many. If so, skip it and go to the second heading – but for those who need context, keep reading because lately things that haven’t made sense, suddenly are starting to, and knowing the context sets the scene for the intricate web of treachery.

Environmental disaster and compensation

It was always blood money –

PNGSDP was set up to obtain legislative immunity from prosecution [for BHP] for environmental damage to a great river system, a human and environmental tragedy that can be even observed from the moon,

writes Paul Yabob

Sir Mekere Morauta
Sir Mekere Morauta

Sir Mekere Morauta gave BHP clemency… PNG did BHP a favour that it did not deserve.

It was Mekere Morauta’s sell-out deal that would guarantee Morauta a lucrative position well past his political career and…

To protect it [the PNGSDP Fund] with the change of government, he [Morauta] has been appointed to head PNGSDP,

explains Yabob.

And the fund has rewarded its board members well, with reportedly comparatively meagre benefits for the people of the Western Province where the incidence of Tuberculosis, especially the drug-resistant kind, is beyond alarming and something that the Fund could and should have tackled before now. Tuberculosis can be eliminated. This notwithstanding the late, great, eco-warrior Dr Nancy Sullivan wrote:

In 2010 PNGSDP brought $40 million of the Singapore fund back to PNG to fulfil its program mandate. But they spent $10 million on their own administration, and a further $1.5 million on Board fees.

So, after the sell-out deal, did BHP go scurrying back to Australia with its tail between its legs – no it did not. Dr Sullivan, takes up the story again:

BHP and its lawyers went about setting up the structures [for the fund] and drafting the relevant agreements.  BHP then told the PNG Government that to start up the fund in Singapore – so that interest is readily available and PNGSDP can sustain itself from the beginning – there would be no need for any start-up capital from PNG itself.  BHP LOANED PNGSDP USD$120 Million for the fund in Singapore.

And when someone gives a loan – they give terms to secure that loan. The terms BHP gave were that UNTIL the loan was 100% paid back, BHP would nominate 4 of the 7 directors on the PNGSDP Board.  BHP would retain a majority on the PNGSDP Board.

Since its inception 12 years ago, [article written in 2013] PNGSDP has been controlled by BHP through its Board…  BHP has never left PNG.

The Board members.

Lawrence Stephens
Lawrence Stephens

A lucrative position with PNGSDP was not only enjoyed by Sir Mekere Morauta but also by Transparency International’s Lawrence Stephens and neither he nor Sir Mekere blinked when a dubious character was appointed to the board by then Treasurer Don Polye with the board’s blessing.

Rex Paki, was about as controversial as you can get – where was the due diligence or the caution in appointing a man that over the previous 20 years had appeared before two Commission of Inquiries (Finance Department and National Provident Fund), two Public Account Committee Inquiries, and a Supreme Court case where he was severely criticised with the judges finding him “evasive and dishonest?”

Rex Paki
Rex Paki

In fact, Paki seems to be suspected of running a Paraka-like scheme but with accounting fees rather than legal ones where the Public Curator’s Office had paid RAM [his consulting firm] K1,561,062 (approx US$640,000), without the existence of a contract, proper invoices, or evidence that any work had been done, according to PNG Exposed

Nevertheless, here he was, in charge of millions of dollars belonging to the people of Western Province.

The irony is we have men like Stephens and Morauta being held up in the international media as anti-corruption warriors, but what did they do about Rex Paki for all these years?”

asks PNG Exposed

Good question hey?

Mind Mapping – the burning question of who and what’s funding anti government forces?

Who is funding, Koim, Damaru, Gitua, and anti-government, NGO and activists?

Lucas Kiap
Lucas Kiap

Well the biggest clue was when Lucas Kiap of the NGO PNG Anti-Corruption Movement for Change, publicly acknowledged a debt to Mark Davis, the spin doctor from PNGSDP who was unceremoniously deported from PNG for “playing politics” against the conditions of his visa.

Mark davis
Mark davis

 

It started me wondering and here are the links I found that connect the main players to each other. It appears that all roads track back to Mekere Morauta and the PNGSDP.

 

The players – the links

  • Rex Paki: He was appointed to the board of PNGSDP by the Treasurer, who was Don Polye at the time. He was also involved in the controversial Paga Hill Development.
  • Sam Koim: Racking up bills aplenty with no visible means of support. Sam Koim also was involved in investigating the Paga Hill Development.  Dr Kristian Laslett, who heads ISCI’s Papua New Guinea Research, claims that errors in the Task Force Sweep assessment are “seismic” and “can’t be put down to mere ignorance or inexperience. He suspected something more sinister. Supposing Koim’s support base was Mekere Morauta and the PNGSDP, then his reluctance to find any wrong doing in this matter starts to make sense.
  • Lawrence Stephens of Transparency International who has been a bitter critic of this Prime Minister but a staunch defender of Rex Paki whom he says has not been convicted so should be given the benefit of the doubt. Now there’s a hypocritical position. Stephens lost his job with PNGSDP when the state reclaimed OkTedi.
  • Mekere Morauta – the leading critic of the Prime Minister – must be worried that he will lose control of the fund and the lucrative fees he’s collecting.
  • Mark Davis, the spin doctor for PNGSDP – who’s still “playing politics” apparently.
  • Lucas Kiap – one of the protagonists of the unrest with a debt to pay to Mark Davis.
  • Kerenga Kua – linked to Rex Paki when the courts were informed that the invoices Paki was failing to produce could be found at his office.
  • Don Polye, appointed Rex Paki to the board of PNGSDP.

All of these people are interlinked. Could it be that what’s sustaining them all is the PNGSDP?

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10 thoughts on “All fingers point to the PNGSDP

  1. this is so true. The funny thing is that people ignore the facts that are put right in front of their faces. We may not agree with all the Government has done, policy wise but they have done a fantastic job in steering the country. The silent majority are quite happy it the ones that are the loudest with the most to hide.

  2. So what’s the whole point in this article of PNGSDP.
    What are you trying to imply here?
    As a Papua New Guinean, I think I understand what Paul Yabob was trying to bring here in his article..I’m with Paul Yabob and with PNGSDP however, issues of concern such as the MDR TB rise are situations which I think can be put into consideration over time.

    For now please, as far as you know of, PNG is heading into a future of economic gloom through the current political momentum by Peter O’Neil as Prime Minister.

    This article is brain draining and washing to a Papua New Guinean who doesn’t think at all and it is a benefit to the very selfish people who publish it=looking for return.

    People’s money from benefits should be managed by seperate entities from the government – coz it is only for a few group.

    • I agree, nemesake, about peoples’ benefits from projects being handled totally separately from government and the other most important thing that you don’t appear to have touched in is that there must be a huge conflict of interest if the government is both a shareholder and a regulator in the same industry, For example where will it stand when its regulatory duties conflict with its duties as a shareholder/member of the executive of the exploiting company?

  3. I have read many articles on the current affairs of PNG but this one is the real EXPOSE’. Brilliant work PNG Echo. Keep digging away and let’s see what’s hidden beneath the surface. Indeed let the truth come out!

  4. Obviously someone with absolutely no concern for size is funding Sam Koim and his renegade band of cops. People who troll social media sites and curious others should know that by now.

    Sam Koim is living a life of luxury vehicles, first class accommodation and the high life with highly paid body guards. He jets around the world at will. Sam Koim is absolutely undeterred by what must by now be a massive legal bill. Lawyer Egan QC will charge in range of K10,000.00 to K15, 000.00 a day easily. Koim and the renegade cops have had Egan’s and a few other lawyers’ unbroken service for over three years.

    You do the maths mate. Now, if you want to be fair about it, just stop for a moment and think what that means. Then tell me the implications don’t matter!

  5. This makes so much sense now, Papua New Guineans are like sheep being herded by a bunch of sheep dogs working for Mekere who feeds them at the end of each day from the PNGSDP bowl. A real worry..

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