Maprik MP John Simon

Why let Indonesia export our vanilla?

Buyers from Indonesia are paying good money for high quality PNG vanilla beans.

Although that is great news for the local growers, Maprik MP John Simon thinks otherwise.

He says when sold to Indonesia, Indonesia claims it as its own, and exports overseas under its tag, making its name globally as one of the top suppliers of vanilla, apart from Madagascar.

PNG is losing millions in kina this way.

Vanilla industry needs control: MP

Maprik MP John Simon says while vanilla prices have picked up, with many villagers making good money, many other issues that might threaten the sustainability of the industry have also risen. 

Maprik Town in East Sepik Province is the main hub for the selling and buying of vanilla beans.

Currently a kilo of well dried beans is selling between K800 to K1,100.

Maprik petition challenged

Justice Derek Hartshorn heard submissions from lawyers representing John Simon and the Electoral Commission and reserved his ruling for a later date.

Petitioner and lawyer, Vincent Alois Hamiya, who finished fourth in the election race, is alleging numerous instances of bribery and illegal practice by successful candidate Simon.

He filed the petition on 30 August last year. Simon was declared on 22 July.

The court was addressed on two motions challenging that petition today.

Maprik MP is the new Deputy Speaker

The vacancy in the position followed the shocked death of incumbent, and South Fly MP, Aide Ganasi during the 2016 November sitting of Parliament.

Maprik MP John Simon was elected with a majority vote of 64 – 13. 

The National Alliance Party member was nominated by Fisheries Minister Mao Zeming, defeating Kainantu Open MP Johnson Tuke.

Tuke, was the Opposition Leader Don Polye’s nominee for the deputy speaker position.

Simon after the morning session, thanked the Peoples National Congress led Government for nominating him and having confidence in him.

Maprik MP responds in court

On October 30, the Waigani District Court ruled that on sufficient evidence it had to commit the case for trial at the National Court.

Today statements were presented before the District Court. Simon is facing allegations of two counts of false pretence and 38 counts of official corruption.

Simon’s lawyer said when the election petition against Simon was dismissed at the National Court in 2013, the same allegations were later used to criminally charge him.