Basil Did Things His Own Way: PM

Prime Minister James Marape says the late Deputy Prime Minister and Bulolo MP, Sam Basil was a champion of rural development who was loved by the people of his district, Morobe and Papua New Guinea.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the State Funeral held for the Late DPM at the Sir John Guise stadium on Tuesday.

In his address during the emotional State Funeral Service, Prime Minister Marape thanked the late parliamentarian’s family, the people of Bulolo and Morobe for returning him without fail over the last 15 years, to serve them and the country.

He said late Basil was a strong leader who did things his own way.

“Like many of us, who have emerged from the rural hinterland of our country, our upbringings have always caused us to fight for our rural people. Basil was the epitome of such leadership: No wonder why the Wau and Bulolo people have been closest to his heart, and they have also been keeping him close to their hearts.

“Indeed, the Hon Basil’s upbringing in rural areas has in every way shaped and formed his leadership. He worked tirelessly for our country. A special forte, which branded him and this generation of leadership – is to share development not only among the urban few but also among the rural majority.”

The Prime Minister further described the late Deputy Prime Minister as relentless, and who was driven in ensuring that political impediments did not get in the way of doing what must be done for Papua New Guinea.

He said Basil was an exceptional MP, having served his Bulolo electorate with distinction for three, unbroken terms.

“In the 15 years of his service to our country, as an MP, he rose through the Opposition ranks to be Deputy Opposition Leader, and he also rose through the Government ranks to become Deputy Prime Minister. Only a few in PNG politics can claim to have achieved these benchmarks.

“He became leader of PANGU Pati and paved the way for me, after I left the party, for me to become leader after (Morobe Governor) Ginson Saonu.”

Late Basil was one of five MPs who entered politics in 2007 and remained in office until today - NCD Governor Powes Parkop, Leader of the Opposition Belden Namah, Alotau MP Charles Abel and Prime Minister Marape.

Freddy Mou