Pruaitch backs Western MPs on PNGSDP

Leader of the Opposition Patrick Pruaitch has called on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to stop attempts to derail social and economic development programs sponsored by PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd in Western Province.

In a statement, Pruaitch said he fully supported the united call by all Western Province Members of Parliament, including Governor Taboi Awi Yoto, that the recent Singapore High Court decision should prevent PNGSDP from coming under political interference or outside control.

“The joint letter from the Western MPs cautions Government not to interfere with PNGSDP programs,” said the Opposition Leader.

“PNGSDP is a model entity that operates like a sovereign wealth fund and has done an excellent job in nurturing its long-term fund which now stands at over K4 billion.

“Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has been wanting to get his hands on these funds, having borrowed almost K20 billion on top of the record revenues that have flowed into government coffers,” he claimed.

The Opposition leader stressed that the people of Western Province have spoken through their Governor and MPs, and are happy with the mandate given to PNGSDP.

However, Prime Minister O’Neill has said State’s lawyers intend to appeal the judgment of the High Court in Singapore.

He claimed that former PNGSDP Chairman Sir Mekere Morauta and his cronies are treating PNGSDP as their private business account.

O’Neill further described Pruaitch’s statement as the ‘most irresponsible and insane statement ever’.

But Pruaitch concurs with the view of the four Western Province leaders, and says the Prime Minister should work with PNGSDP and the Provincial Government to ensure that the interest income from the Long-Term Fund is spent to achieve development and change in Western Province.


Freddy Mou