Ongoing students’ issues hit the floor of parliament

Parliament this morning turned into a hall of argument during the grievances debate on the issue of university students boycotting classes.

The debate was started by Opposition Leader Don Polye who said the unfounded allegations by the government that the Opposition is behind the university students were all lies.

He said the misperception that the Opposition members have put words into the student body is utterly false.

“It is very difficult to influence highly educated people who have been educated and have knowledge of general matters that affects their livelihood in the present time and in future,” Polye told Parliament.

He added that students are rational human beings who make decision on their own accord.

“To think that one influenced the students is an insult to their intelligence.”

Polye’s statements brought an uproar of support from the public gallery prompting the acting speaker Aide Ganasi to warn them not to interrupt the session.

Minister for Petroleum and Energy Ben Micah interrupted for a point of order and told parliament that the issue of who is intelligent and who is smart are subjective matters.

“Nobody can claim that they are more intelligent than other people.

“So everybody out there claimed that they are intelligent. There are also intelligent people elected by the 8 million people of this country in Parliament to represent them.”

“I, as the member for Kavieng do not want the public out there to think that they are smarter than me and intelligent than me because I have been elected by my people,” he said.

“We must not allow the people on the street to interfere with the process of democracy.”

Micah’s response brought the members from both sides of the house to exchange words without listening to the Speaker’s calls for point of orders.

The argument was quenched by Morobe Governor Kelly Naru who reminded the MPs about their duties and obligations as elected members of Parliament.

The parliament has been adjourned to Tuesday 2pm.

Freddy Mou