"Sam Basil was a genuine man of the people and served his electorate with distinction. He was unrelenting in his pursuit to improve the lives of his people. He represented PNG on the World stage, most recently at the World Expo in Dubai, but he was truly at his happiest at home in Wau- Bulolo with his people.”
"A skilful politician, Sam resurrected PANGU Pati and steered it back to being a major political party.
"He proved his strength when he was not able to continue to lead Pangu and despite his sadness, turned his attention to making United Labour Party a genuine political force.
"He set his mind to these goals, made plans and stuck at it until it was achieved," said the PNC Party Leader.
"He was terrific company and I, like many people today, are mourning his passing as he was a great friend. Not just a friend for the fun and good times but a friend always.
"Sam never let politics get in the way of his friendships and I for one, have been very grateful over many years to be the recipient of Sam’s mate-ship."
O'Neill said at 52, Basil was poised to capitalise on his experience in public life and make even greater contributions to his people and our country.
"To Sam’s family - the people of PNG have you in all our thoughts and I hope the outpouring of love and respect for Sam will go some way to easing your pain.
"Rest in Eternal Peace Sam Basil."