Boycott ‘unbecoming of leaders’

The Government says the Opposition’s boycott of Parliament was unbecoming of leaders.

Deputy Prime Minister, Charles Abel, said the Opposition leaders were not voted in to behave in such a manner.

Abel was accompanied by Government ministers yesterday, including ICT and Energy Minister, Sam Basil.

He said the referral was made and there was no need to boycott Friday’s session.

“Quite frankly, I think the members of the opposition would be better served to retain their seats on the floor of Parliament, speak of the issues at hand of what is really important to their constituents, rather than elevating it to this kind of level,” Abel said.

Meanwhile Basil responded to the Facebook post which led to Madang MP Bryan Kramer’s referral, saying he was not dumb.

He added steps have been taken to deal with Kramer.

“I am relieved and I feel that it is proper that any Member of Parliament that goes out and calls another Member of Parliament ‘dumb’, ‘stupid’ and ‘idiot’ should be referred to the privileges committee. 

“Not only that, I’ve instructed my lawyers to use the Cybercrime Act on harassment, cyber harassment, defamation, and we are filing for Bryan, and he will be arrested and charged and we will make sure we get to the bottom of it.

“And this sends a warning to other Members of Parliament,” Basil said.

The Government maintained their stance that as leaders, a level of respect should be employed, rather than resorting to insults.

“It’s an obvious concern when you have defamatory type, when people’s names or reputations are tarnished. Under normal media circumstances there are regress that you have, people have to be accountable. You can’t simply go and say anything you like, cause the damage and you don’t face any consequences,” said Abel.

(Government bench)

Cedric Patjole