Deputy Opposition Leader & Pangu Pati Leader Hon. Sam Basil, MP - PRESS STATEMENT in response to Patrick Pruaitch.
(This article was released to the media and I believe they didn't run this story as per confirmation from my team in Port Moresby - Sam Basil)
Deputy Opposition Leader and Pangu Pati leader Hon. Sam Basil, MP says his conscience is clear regarding comments made by National Alliance party leader Hon. Patrick Pruaitch.
Mr Basil says the last 4 years of economic devastation in PNG have come about as a direct result of the mismanagement and reckless decision making of the coalition government led by PNC Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and National Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch.
The Pangu Pati leader says ‘Papua New Guineans will not be fooled when they vote in one month regarding who is responsible for their disturbing financial, economic and social challenges.’
Mr Basil says “Papua New Guineans know who defended their rights in the last term of parliament. As a small Opposition bloc in the last term of parliament we fought hard on democratic principles and regulatory values to protect the livelihoods and the budget bottom line for Papua New Guinea families.
But we could not compete with the indiscriminate use of taxpayer funds that were being used with disturbing regularity to control government MPs when it came to voting on issues, budgets and constitutional amendments in parliament. This unchecked use of public funds to support corrupt political agendas was approved, authorised and instituted by the PNC/NA coalition government – Patrick Pruaitch was at the helm in the last 5 years.”
Patrick Pruaitch is suffering from memory loss that will prove fatal for PNG’s economic and fiscal credibility and stability if he is returned as the leader of National Alliance after the 2017 elections. In the last 5 years Pruaitch has kept silent regarding the poor decision-making and ad hoc policy choices of the PNC/NA coalition government.
Pruaitch’s memory loss regarding PNGs poor overall economic performance since his resumption as Treasurer under Peter O’Neill must be brought to the attention of the voting public. The expanding deficit, the foreign exchange and cash flow crises, the absence of a robust debt servicing strategy, the breached debt to GDP ratio, the poor implementation of the governments own policies like free healthcare and free education must all be blamed on the Treasurer whose official capacity is to balance the books and to hold the political head of government to account.”
Papua New Guinea will remember this period as a time of great burden and economic failure and loss. Papua New Guineans carry a debt burden today that is immeasurable. Patrick Pruaitch acted with legitimacy and authority to plunge the PNG economy to historic lows.
Mr Basil said Patrick Pruaitch resided over the most fraudulent period of economic mismanagement this country has ever seen. Patrick Pruaitch must be reminded at the polls by voters that he is responsible for their social and financial hardships because he failed to act and hold his Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to account when the country desperately needed him to do so.
It is not enough to say that he did not support a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister because his party National Alliance would not have brought adequate numbers to the Opposition in July 2016. The point is that at that critical juncture the antics of Peter O’Neill needed to be stopped to assure PNG that its political leadership was acting in the best interest of Papua New Guineans.
Mr Basil reminded Mr Pruaitch that ‘it would be more honourable for a man of his standing to acknowledge that he had erred in his judgment to continuously support and defend Peter O’Neill and his regime.
Mr Basil says National Alliance has propped up a reckless regime by supporting the passage of many of the coalition governments’ crude, unplanned and self-interested pieces of legislation.
National Alliance supported NEC decisions that were contrary to the service delivery needs and challenges of Papua New Guineans. And National Alliance party members were co-conspirators to a series of plots designed to gratify PNC & NA leaders and cronies by way of illegal tenders and multi-billion kina infrastructure contracts that were signed sealed and delivered under the watchful eye of Patrick Pruaitch.
The Pangu Party leader emphasized his economic recovery package for PNG. Mr Basil declared that a Pangu-led government would immediately review the massive binding commitments of the PNC/NA government to institute leadership and criminal proceedings against offenders where necessary.
The corruption, waste and mismanagement of the O’Neill regime have set Papua New Guinea back by at least 3 decades. In only 5 years the greatest devastation to our economy, livelihoods and our ability to plan for the future has occurred at the hands of a tyrannical leader and his heavily induced coconspirators.
Economic, political and social challenges will not be overcome in first 100 days of a new government. The remaining term of the next parliament may not be sufficient either to counter the devastating effects of decisions and commitments made by Patrick Pruatich and Peter O’Neill.
However in the first 100 days a Pangu led government will set the path for the long-term economic, social and political recovery of this country.
Pangu Pati has 3 themes for economic recovery that will provide the parameters for budget repair, deficit management (review of complex financing agreements), revenue certainty, and structural reform.
These themes are Repair, Rehabilitation and Recovery. These essential structural adjustments to our broken system will prove critical as we uncover the real level of debt accrued by a reckless PNC/NA led government.
Our structural, economic and political reform agenda acknowledges that it is not a job for one prime minister; it will require a team of teams; collective talents and commitment; partnerships with citizens, civil society and friends of PNG.
Pangu Pati will start with public service reform and institutional strengthening measures to eradicate wastage. Right sizing the public service is our central focus area. Service delivery is the main objective of a Pangu-led government.
Pangu Pati will institute armed services reform. This means we will give prominence to the full spectrum of outstanding issues; retirement funds, emoluments, discipline and housing and training and procedural and administrative certainty in the PNGDF and the RPNGC. But first we will need to carry out a massive audit exercise that will take forensic accounting to a new level. We need to find out just how bad the condition of the PNG economy is before we can begin to plan for its reconstruction, repair and rehabilitation.
Pangu Pati is prepared to work with coalition partners after the elections to make a start to: restore confidence in our economy, bring back the rule of law and prepare our people for better times.
End of statement.
Samuel H. Basil
PANGU Pati Leader and Deputy Opposition Leader.