NATIONAL PARLIAMENT OF
EIGHTH PARLIAMENT - FIRST MEETING
The Speaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Kenilorea took the Chair at
At prayers, all were present with the exception of the
Minister for of Police & National Security, Home Affairs, Fisheries &
Marine Resources, Justice & Legal Affairs, Culture & Tourism,
Provincial Government & Constituency Development and Members for
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
2. Mr BOYERS to the Minister for Finance: Is it the Government’s policy to continue with the last government’s policy on economic reform 2001-2005?
Hon ULUFA’ALU: Yes.
Mr Boyers: I have no further comments, Mr Speaker, and I would like to thank the Minister for his very direct answer.
(Motion of sine die continues and concludes)
Mr MAGGA: Mr Speaker, I will be very, very brief in my contribution to the sine die motion.
First of all, Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the chiefs, community leaders and the people of Temotu Pele Constituency who have elected me to represent them in this honourable Parliament. Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank my campaign managers who have worked tirelessly during my campaign ensuring that I win this election. To all of you, I would like to say thank you very much indeed.
Mr Speaker, I would like to now congratulate you for taking up the chairmanship of this Parliament. Your unopposed candidature for the post of Speaker proves beyond reasonable doubt that you are indeed the most qualified man to govern the proceedings of this Legislature. Well done, Mr Speaker, thou good and faithful servant.
To the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, I want to thank him for taking up the position of Deputy Speaker of this honourable House. Mr Speaker, with the wealth of experience the Deputy has, I believe he will also control the proceedings of this Legislature in a professional manner.
Mr Speaker, I believe the downfall of this nation which
had precipitated the Prime Minister of Australia to describe
Mr Speaker, when my honourable
colleague who spoke yesterday, the Member for
Mr Huniehu: Point of order, Mr Speaker. We would like Members of Parliament who make accusations to prove those as evidences.
Mr Speaker: Thank you honourable Member for East Are Are. He has a point but on the allegations he must be ready to substantiate the allegations in Parliament.
Mr Magga: Mr Speaker, honourable Member for East Are
Are, I am still speaking you can interrupt me later on, outside may be. Also this particular group, I can declare in
this honourable House Mr Speaker, have offered the Member for
Mr Speaker, this is absolutely nothing but a roadway to
bribery. Mr Speaker, corruption and
bribery cannot be eliminated because they were often done in the dark, and
therefore it is very difficult to prove.
But Mr Speaker, for the last 16 years, successive governments was formed
through such corrupt practices. I am in total
agreement with the statement made by the Member for
Mr Speaker, I believe if we have that sort of law, anyone who is a financial member of any registered party and wants to join another party, the law will definitely state that he/she is disqualified from being a Member of Parliament. I believe, Mr Speaker, this is the only way we can put a stop to this moving from party to party. Such law must be embodied in our Constitution because as I said this law will definitely bar Members of Parliament moving from one party to another party.
Mr Speaker, please allow me to speak briefly on some policies, which I see as inherited by successive governments over the years since our independence.
I would like to make a brief comment on the conduct of our foreign policy. Mr Speaker, is the conduct of our foreign policy based on maintenance of peace and security in our region or a policy based on being member of an international organisation? Because I believe, Mr Speaker, the conduct of our foreign policy must indeed be based on national interest.
Mr Speaker, with the devaluation of our dollar at its
worst level, the only way that
Mr Speaker, on education, I am
calling on the government to ensure that placement of new students attending
universities and colleges abroad are shared equally between the nine
provinces. Mr Speaker, I am demanding a
fair deal from the Ministry of Education because
Mr Speaker, as the Government anticipates formulating a bill to bring to the Parliament for the establishment of state government in the country based on the federal system, the opportunity given to our students for higher education must be shared equally between the provinces, nor more nor less, Mr Speaker.
I want the Minister responsible for education and the Minister responsible for foreign affairs will take note of the statements I made in this honourable Chamber. These are facts. We need to work and serve the interest of our people.
Mr Speaker, before I resume my seat, I want to give cautious remarks to the newly appointed Ministers. The Ministers of the Crown must do their work. They need to attend Cabinet meetings. This is not a very easy job. This is a mandate given to us by the people hence we need to attend to our work effectively because this is the only way out, Mr Speaker.
With these few remarks Mr Speaker, I support the motion.
Hon BOSETO: Mr Speaker, I rise to make a brief contribution to this very important motion moved by the honorable Prime Minister presented to us in this Chamber.
Mr Speaker, before I proceed let me remind honorable Members attending this first meeting of the first session of the Eight Parliament which concludes today the fact that there are only 50 of us out of the 432 candidates who contested with us during our last general elections, and won by only approximately 60,500 valid votes out of approximately 194,000 valid votes. That is, we won only by 30% votes and other candidates by 70% votes. This factor should make us more humble, more patient and more self controlled, which are characteristics of our maturity and respect of another’s dignity and God’s holy image within every one of us.
King David the head of
Mr Speaker, King David the head of his government and the State of Israel in his time rediscovered God’s purpose of creating us human beings. He translated this divine revelation into three basic principles of his government. These principles are:
1. Human beings relationship to God - we are next to God.
2. Human beings sovereignty - we are crowned with glory and honour.
3. Human beings place of appointment - we are appointed rulers over creation.
Mr Speaker, this nation has been rededicated to
God. This means that
Mr Speaker, we are not only parliamentarians but also ambassadors of Christ who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We are parliamentarian ambassadors.
Mr Speaker, one of the central ministries of Christ is
the ministry of reconciliation.
Mr Speaker, the events that expectedly overtaken us by a shock on 18th and 19th May has raised many challenges that our government, churches, families, private sectors are to give special attention to, and address some of the root causes of the problems in order not to be repeated again. I have identified some of the root causes of the incident, apart from the question of changing leadership.
First, it is a growing symptom of a human inclination that naturally begins its growth from our very early age if our family base home education does not provide sufficient disciplined life. Mr Speaker, this is a challenging area of concern that the government may perhaps consider giving financial assistance to churches and groups to run marriage and family life education to seriously address this challenge. A based-education program may aim at shaping the lives of our children for the coming generations to respect and obey their parental leadership.
Second, it is a growing sickness of our dependency on others’ sweats or others’ handouts which breeds laziness and unproductivity, and therefore, we continue to ask money from others without working hard for it, we look for other stores and properties to steal from, we just wait for the next shipment of logs to receive our shares for just a bit of money from royalties, or we can turn into prostitutes by selling our bodies and satisfying our human and self-gratification, and so and so forth.
Mr Speaker, perhaps one of the ways to seriously
address this, is for the government to consider checking every lius
(unemployed) or persons without any valid reason to be in
Mr Speaker, the Bible reaffirms this when it says in short, “carry your own loads and bear one another’s burdens”. The troublemakers do not like to carry in full their own loads but put more burdens to those who are already overburdened.
The third point is the growing gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’s’ or between the minority rich growing richer and the majority poor growing poorer. Mr Speaker, in my view this is the reality of the context of our global market economy which sustains the comfort of the minority rich devastating the natural resources of the rural majority. One of the ways of addressing this, is for the government of the day to open up all tribal lands for development under the tribal authority of the landlords of the land. We should recognize and empower landlords to set goals of sustainable development that support the bottom-up local market economy where selected foreign investors become permanent partners with economic trust boards of all our tribal communities in a given constituency, locality or province.
The last point we must address in order not to repeat the problem of looting, rioting and violence, is that our funding partners or development partners must understand that our definition of community is totally different from the capitalist understanding of community. I think it is based on developing money community. To us, the term community is rooted in sustained-community living, supported by multi-clusters of genealogically aggregated-blood tie-relationship and therefore, money is not everything. It is a community of sharing, caring and feelings of compassion. It is here that our micro-development projects must be to target families, clans, sub-tribes and tribes. I hope this government would consider more money aimed at family and clan entities in our rural areas. We must start from what they already have, and from where they have already been sustainably surviving, even without actual cash in their hands.
Therefore, Mr Speaker, our ideology is communalism.
Mr Speaker, it has been and is a fact through many generations that different dreamers of an ideal society or a utopian society have developed different ideologies that carried a variety of labels. Some of these ideologies are labeled as imperialism, socialism, communism, dictatorship, humanism, monarchy, democracy and communal living or communalism.
Mr Speaker, it is an accepted reality now that our
small nation of
Mr Speaker, if any change for reforming of systems, institutions, structures and curricula; for empowering the rural majority of our people; for equal sharing of benefits from investments or equal opportunities in education, for equal partners in decision-making between men and women, for respecting every citizen’s dignity and sovereignty and for diversity in unity, and for non-violent and productive society, then God’s original purpose for creating us human beings must be recognized as the basic and corner-foundation of God’s heavenly-colony in which we are all his ambassadors.
Mr Speaker, the original purpose and plan of God to
conquer evil with good must be re-discovered by our people of
Mr Speaker, I come to believe that the name “
The name “Solomons” to me does not only represent the riches in gold and silvers, nickel, cobalt and so forth, which are material prosperity of our people of these islands, but I believe the name represents an “hidden treasure” which Solomon himself as a human King, cannot give without asking God to give it to him.
Mr Speaker, this “hidden treasure”, the wisdom of God, according to Job of the Old Testament, only God knows its access to where it can be found. Job concluded by saying that “God alone knows the way, knows the place where wisdom is found. Because he sees the ends of the earth, sees everything under the sky”.
God says to humans, to be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord, to understand you must turn from evil? Jesus who is both the power and the wisdom God of God has demonstrated to us his reverence and obedience to the will of his Father and prays for our forgiveness of sins and offers us his pure blood for cleansing and reconciling us, as his brothers and sisters.
Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my good people of South Choiseul Constituency for putting me on their seat on the floor of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands the third time. I encourage you all my good people to continue to follow and practice the hard work as handed down to us from generations to generations by our ancestors and forefathers and mothers, because money is not everything for our long-term sustained community living.
Sir, I also invite our church leaders, heads of tribes, community leaders, women organizations, youth leaders, and our Provincial Assembly Members, our educated technical people to share your visions, experiences, your lands and so on, so that we can plan and work together for holistic, sustainable human development of our constituency and for the whole of Lauru Island and for our nation, Solomon Islands.
Mr Speaker, I also take this opportunity, on behalf of
my people of
As responsible Christians of this country we have to learn from what God wants us to do in this sort of situation. Ask God to bless those who persecute us – yes ask him to bless not to curse. Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep. Have the same concern for everyone. Do not be proud but accept humble duties. Do not think ourselves as wise. If someone has done us wrong, do not repay him with wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. Do everything possible on our part to live in peace with everybody, do not let evil defeat us instead let us conquer evil with good.
Mr Speaker, I also take this opportunity to congratulate you, Sir, for your re-appointment un-opposed for the second term as Speaker of the National Parliament. May God continue to resource you with his heavenly wisdom and insight? Big thanks to the Clerk of the National Parliament for her patience and faithfulness and for all the members of your team working within the Parliament House.
On behalf of my people of South Choiseul Constituency, I also thank the last administration headed by Honorable Sir Allan Kemakeza and his group. His government came into power when our nation was almost in anarchy. With the cooperation of the Opposition, RAMSI was invited into our country and it rescued us from our state of lawlessness and fear. Thank you Sir Honorable Kemakeza:
Sir, again on behalf of my people of South Choiseul constituency, I thank our former care-taker Prime Minister, the Honorable MP for Marovo for his humility, bravery by simply accepting the pressure of the situation we were through and he democratically made his wise decision to resign. Your only eight days rule is a living witness for your humility, wisdom and bravery to our children’s children in many generations to come.
Special thanks to the Honorable Prime Minister of his new challenging roles as the Prime Minister of our newly formed government for our nation. I thank colleague ministers and all of you honorable Members of this Honorable Chamber.
I thank the sustainable good work of RAMSI, the Police Force, Chief Justice and his team in the Judiciary field of our government. A special word of thanks to his Excellency the Governor General, Lady Waena and all his assistants.
A words of thanks to churches, church leaders, directors and general managers of private sectors, women and youth organizations and their leaders.
A word of thanks to captains and crews of ships, medical doctors and nurses, teachers, pilots of our domestic and international airlines, and thank you one and all.
Let me conclude by saying, you will succeed not by
military might or by your own powers, but by my Spirit says the Lord. May our Good Lord bless our beloved
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the motion.
First, Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity in thanking and to congratulate the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers for being elected to form the next government and in taking on the very challenging and demanding tasks ahead.
On the same note, Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate all 50 MPs of Parliament on their recent election victories, and I wish my colleagues well.
Sir, I would like to also congratulate yourself for being elected to the chair of Speaker unopposed, and also the Deputy Speaker who was also elected unopposed technically.
Sir, election victories are sweet and election defeats
are bitter. These are unusual events and
which are not part of the Melanesian culture or our way of life. Elections, and the whole processes of
election is a foreign concept, and it will remain a foreign concept in
Sir, in Melanesia we have our own ways of appointing or choosing leaders as opposed to the adopted way or concept of choosing leaders, which we now called the General Elections. I will not dwell on the Melanesian concept now, but elections being foreign in its entirety, its outcomes will not always be easily accepted especially if one is on the losing end. And, in my view that is exactly what has happened in our constituencies and now here on the floor of Parliament. But that is what is called democracy.
But Sir, does this Western Democracy fit in well with our worthy cultures, our worthy traditions, our worthy values and our worthy ways of life? And does the definition of democracy, which is electing a government of the people, for the people and by the people have any impact on the above mentioned values?
These are mere foods for thought for leaders, but as can be seen on the floor of Parliament and by the manner in which Members of Parliament have debated important matters, this House is surely divided.
Sir, yes, some will argue that we have a very healthy and vibrant democracy, but may I ask democracy for whose interest and for whose agenda?
To some of us Mr Speaker, Western democracy emphasizes or reaffirms the ‘divide and rule’ concept, and this system further alienates people from their cultures or their ways of life.
Mr Speaker, there are pressing issues needed to be addressed by the combined efforts of all 50 Members of Parliament. Contrary to that notion, during the course of debates, MPs have expressed hard feelings, and in my observation we are still harboring very strong feelings of resentment, very strong feelings of anger and very strong feelings of hatred. And, because these humane impediments have over taken us, we simply cannot move on or even to deliberate on the core and pressing issues facing our country today. I believe we must stop playing politics.
Sir, the events of the past (that is of 2000 and what had happened last month) had taught us many things and many lessons. As leaders recently mandated by our people to make good public policies, these events should prompt all of us to redirect the destiny of this country. The people had expressed their concerns and we, as national leaders must listen.
Sir, it is unfortunate that some of us should want to dwell as well as to capitalize on this political and national mayhem. To some of us, and especially the new once who have been elected into Parliament into the 21st century, these kinds of old fashioned rhetorics of ‘mud slinging’ and ‘character assassinating personal politics’ is in my view out of date, and should not be entertained nor tolerated on this floor of Parliament.
It is very sad and disappointing (and embarrassing) to hear Members of Parliament pointing fingers at each other over the events of 2000 and the recent events. Yes, while we all share the sadness for these losses, I encourage all of us to look beyond the ashes and the damage, and ask ourselves, what can we do now or how can we restore the situation?
Sir, all 50 Members of Parliament must share these GAPs, and in order for us to address them we will obviously need good and very good relevant government policies. Sir, on this note, I wish to rebut the statement by my Honorable colleague the MP for Rennell/Bellona suggesting that “good policies will not work in this country except for a change in attitude no matter what or which government is in power”, end of quote.
First, this statement is very misleading and is only echoed by a person who is totally ignorant and is out of touch and who does not even understand the real issues affecting our people and our country. It is, however, very unfortunate that such a statement is expressed particularly by a person who has once represented our country overseas, and who is truly insensitive to the situations enveloping our country.
Sir, coming back to the issue of human attitude, attitudes reflects how people respond to a given situation. Attitudes do not hang in the air, but they are characters of people and reflect the kind and type of people we are living with. Attitude is part of our Melanesian culture and society, and part of human existence.
Sir, our people are behaving the way they behave today because for the last 80 years and even up till today now, they have been spectators in the very homeland and in every aspects of life. They are not part of anything and everything that is happening around them. They are not part of the system supposedly designed to address issues affecting them in their daily living. They are left out in the equation of humanity.
Sir, given this scenario, our people are feeling empty, our people are feeling left out, our people are over powered by the feeling of hopelessness, our people are feeling neglected, and their desires and aspirations are not being fulfilled; they are made alienated.
Sir, there is a deep GAP in the lives of Solomon Islanders that must be fulfilled before attitudes of people can change. We cannot just aspire or mere words by leaders cannot change the attitudes of our people because we wanted them to change. Some things must cause that change to take place or happen. There must be a catalyst for the change before that change can be effective or expected.
Our people are not robots. Our people are not machines. They are human beings that have feelings. They have one wants and they have needs.
Mr Speaker, there is this gap of emptiness in our people, there is this gap of hopelessness, there is this gap of being powerless, there is this gap of being alienated, there is this gap of losing ownership, there is this gap of losing control, there is this gap of being marginalized, there is this gap of being a spectator and not being a player, there is this gap of not being a participant in the economic socio arena, and there is that gap of unemployment or having nothing to do, which in my view is biggest culprit in this country.
Therefore, Mr Speaker, appropriate government polices in addressing the above gaps is inevitably a prerequisite and is a MUST before lasting solutions can be found. Not foreign aid, not technical advisors, and not the boomerang aid.
People talked so much about corruption, people talked so much about good governance, people talked so much about accountability, people talked so much about transparency, people talked so much about Responsibility, people talked about enhanced co-operation, people talked so much about effective government machineries, people talked so much about institutional strengthening, people talked so much about effective delivery of government services and people talked about government surpluses amidst poor rural services, and the list goes on, Mr Speaker.
Sir, why can’t we talk about good and effective government polices to address the list of GAPs that is haunting over this country, because that is where and how the attitudes of our people in this country will and can change. Or are we trying to make a living out of the miseries of our people and this country? We have to come out clear here.
Sir, attitudes cannot simply change and there must be a catalyst for that change to take place. There must be a strong political will to drive those changes with good and right government policies.
Sir, all of us need to build good human relations amongst ourselves (as national leaders) first before we can go out and address the problems affecting this country. We need to work together as a team. We need to consult each other as leaders, because the problems we face and are facing today are the same problems all of us would want to find solutions to.
On that understanding, Mr Speaker, I believe strongly that all 50 Members of Parliament must first reconcile themselves to each other before healing can take place in this nation.
Mr Speaker, we must be leaders united and one before we can expect something supernatural to happen to this nation. Our people and our churches have prayed enough, and it is now the turn for us leaders to come together and be reconciled.
Mr Speaker, there are certain parliamentarian things that I want to raise here but given the time and the situation we have where other MPs would like to contribute I would be short.
In the past couple of days Mr Speaker, we have literally seen MPs truly lamented and expressed their concerns over the loses, and on behalf of my constituency, South New Georgia/Tetepari, I also express our sadness to those who have lost their properties.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion I would like to encourage the government to please recognize the potentials of our people. The potentials of landowners and the need for the chiefly system and customs to be recognized and our indigenous people who are striving to make life and living. I want that to be recognized by this government.
Mr Speaker, I also call on the government to recognize the call by the National Council of Women that if there is going to be any lasting impact, it has to be a shared responsibility.
Mr Speaker, people in the rural areas would want to work and they are now asking us to empower them through the creation of opportunities in the rural areas. They want money to be poured into the rural areas so they can work instead of roaming around in the streets and centers of our capital.
Finally, Mr Speaker, I would want to take this
opportunity to thank all my people in South New Georgia, Rendova and Tetepari who
have strongly supported me in my second term in Parliament. I will be visiting
them after this meeting of Parliament; in particular I would want to take this
opportunity to thank my ancestors and the long lost generation of Kolo Luka of
Tetepari. I would want to take this
opportunity too Mr Speaker, to thank all the Touo people and the
I would like, Mr Speaker, to take this opportunity to thank the people of Saikile, and the people of Vurangare and Roviana, who have truly put their trust and confidence in me.
Mr Speaker, to all MPs God’s blessing be upon us all and
God Bless Solomon
Thank you very much.
Hon SANGA: Point of Order. Mr Speaker, this being the last day of Parliament to sit, I notice that there are a number of MPs who would like to speak on the motion, and so I would request from your chair if you can make a ruling on timing so that it will allow MPs to have the opportunity to speak their minds on the floor.
Mr Speaker: I might consider that in the afternoon. This morning we will allow honourable Members to speak as long as they have matters to share.
Mr KENGAVA: Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of North West Choiseul constituency I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the motion of sine die moved by the honourable Prime Minister, my MP Colleague for East Choiseul.
Sir, I would like to thank the honourable Prime Minister in moving the sine die motion because it gives MPs the chance to thank our people in our respective constituencies.
To my good people of North West Choiseul, I am honoured to be given a second term to represent you in Parliament. I thank the Chiefs, Community leaders, Women, Youths and especially my voters for having confidence in my leadership.
In the last two weeks of political
Mr Speaker, I may now turn briefly
to the political turmoil that is now overshadowing
Sir, the ethnic tension and coup of
year 2000 which brought down the SIAC Government, the civil disorder and forced
resignation of the duly elected Prime Minister of Solomon Islands on April 2006,
to me Mr Speaker, clearly proves that our nation is still at stake. May I repeat that, Sir, it proves that our
Sir, in other words, our political, economic and social advancement into the future is still not on firm ground, and unless this Parliament does something this term we will always continue to be in this situation where this country will remain at stake.
The presence and assistance of RAMSI
has given us that opportunity in the last two years to rebuild
Mr Speaker, it saddens me to note
that the government of the day can make itself as the Savior and promised to
bring necessary changes to rectify the situation. If people in
Sir, we are now questioning a lot,
what is the root cause of the ethnic tension of 1997 to 2000. Again we are now questioning ourselves - what
is the root cause or the root causes of the riot and the dissatisfaction
towards a duly democratically elected government of
Mr Speaker, the root causes are hidden from all of us, in my belief, through political ploys and tactics thus the people come to believe that someone or some group of people are secretly hiding somewhere and we are yet to bring them to justice.
Mr Speaker, we are made to believe that the big fish are still out there to catch. In my simple understanding of the political situation we are experiencing today, as I watched the development of politics in Solomon Islands since independence in 1978, the root causes of the ethnic tension and the recent civil unrest of April 2006 comes from nowhere else but from within the walls of this National Parliament, and to some extent within the walls of very various provincial assemblies in the country, in support of what my colleague from Rennell/Bellona raised yesterday.
Mr Speaker, in simple words, the root cause of the country’s political problem we are facing today since 1997 comes from elected politicians like us. Check yourself today Mr Speaker, if you support the peoples’ rejection of a duly elected Prime Minister on April 18th, if you support the riots and the civil unrest that follows, if you agree that this side of the House the Opposition is corrupt and therefore it should not govern this country, then that is already a root cause to the political problems of this nation.
Lest we forget there is no formula for peace and prosperity but full responsibility rests on us the politicians, the national leaders of this nation. For we have the power to keep peace and unity in this country or to destroy this nation as we have experienced.
Mr Speaker, having stated what I believe to be the root causes of political problems in our nation during its 27 years, I shall now dwell on certain issues that either contribute or encourage civil unrests and political disturbances.
First Mr Speaker, the big man – leadership style typical of Melanesian countries. This is where leaders with power, money, and wealth do influence people or groups of people and then corruption, intimidation would be the two powerful means to control the people. And political propaganda is used in modern times to have the masses thinking and believing in the same way.
Undoubtedly, Mr Speaker, in Melanesian politics, which
A second area worth noting Mr Speaker, and very very crucial to the stability and quick formation of government in this nation, is the election of Prime Minister in SI, which is open to political abuse and political expediency. In the early years or after independence, Solomon Islanders were not too political minded like today. Thus the choosing of a Prime Minister through election by elected MPs after a general election is acceptable. Today the process needs to be changed. We have just experienced the vulnerability of a duly elected Prime Minister from dissatisfied politicians and their supporters.
Our political process in choosing the Prime Minister is out of date and must be changed in order to avoid political instability, power vacuum and political infighting. This is very important in the light of this Parliament that this must be addressed before the next general election in 2010.
A third area worth raising is that political parties must be legally institutionalized as raised by other speakers on this motion. To be part and partial of our parliamentary system - in this way political parties which will have laws which will guide, protect, support and nurture their existence. The crossing of independent members from one party to another gives rise to delays in electing a prime minister, it allows for vote buying and corruption to infiltrate in the parliamentary process.
As an example, Mr Speaker, it is a well known fact
that many Parliament Members of the past and today use the People’s Alliance
Party ticket to get into Parliament, and after arriving in
As the new Parliamentary Wing Leader of the People’s Alliance Party, I would like to see the proposed Integrity Bill planned by the last government, be pursued seriously this year, so as to stop this tendency by people moving from party to party as also raised in this House by various speakers. I am sure leaders of our political parties in this chamber would support me on this stand.
Fourthly, Mr Speaker, is an area we sometimes tend to overlook, but to me is a cause for concern as I watch it grow in this nation, which I believe contributes to the cause of mistrust upon the government and upon members of this parliament is the continuing influx or the coming into the country of non government organizations, human rights groups and sectarian religions in the last 10 years in the name of freedom of assembly and worship. This is seriously, in my opinion, contributing to the division and reactionary thinking of our young people today.
Mr Speaker, Solomon Islands is only a nation of 400,000 plus people, the size of a small city in Australia, United States of America or Europe yet we are being bombarded with various ideologists in politics, new religions, human rights movements, good governance, so much so that it transcends or goes right down to the villages and divides our small population.
These new ideas, would no doubt, are in conflict also with the existing status quo of our culture, languages, current political parties, existing main religions, our education system, etc. Mr Speaker, we are very much are divided nation in ideologies and this is where it would be very easy to use the masses for political expediency.
I am of the opinion that the funding by development partners of civil society groups, although intended for a good cause which campaign for good governance has now back fired on this nation. A society that is divided by various ideologies, I am sure is open to political strife and abuse by power seeking politicians, money greedy businesses, criminals and no doubt foreign powers.
Mr Speaker, it is very important therefore that we the
politicians need to change our attitudes, the way we think about Solomon
Islands, the way we think about politics, the way we think about how to bring
up Solomon Islands to be one of the best countries in the South Pacific, we
need to change that and therefore we need to uproot corruption out of our
attitude, the big man syndrome and the power struggle. It is time that some control must be made to harmonize
the various ideologies and practices carried out by the numerous non government
organizations in the country today. If
not, we only blame ourselves if we do not legislate to harmonize
I am sure, Mr Speaker, in support of other speakers who have talked on this motion, a bipartisan committee is needed to be set up by the government to revise and look at the laws of this nation in order to prevent further civil strife, further political disturbances, etc.
Mr Speaker, now I will turn to certain areas in relation to the honorable Prime Minister’s statement on the floor of this Parliament.
Mr Speaker, there are certain areas
that I would like to touch that would have implication on the statement raised
on the floor of this Parliament by the honourable Prime Minister. First, the much awaited Draft Federal
Constitution needs to be passed in this House in the life of this Parliament. The passing of the new federal constitution
should pave the way for provinces to choose and become a state or a territory
of the new federal
Mr Speaker, I am stressing this because the silent
majority in the nation, I am sure and definitely sure, did not support the
pressure put on the Prime Minister elect on 18th April to resign nor
support the destruction of business houses in
The first time the silent majority
suffered was during the period of the ethnic tension from 1998 to 2000. The
Mr Speaker, for the sake of unity and respect the federal constitution alluded to by the Prime Minister, and I am very positive about it, needs to be dealt with urgently starting this year.
The Green Paper passed in Parliament last year needs to be brought up again and dealt with immediately. The Minister of Provincial Government being the wise man from the East, I pray he will not fiddle around with the state government issue this time.
Secondly, Mr Speaker, the financial institutions of this country, in my opinion, are not supportive of indigenous resource owners when it comes to access for loans. The matter is, how can local farmers, fishermen, plantation owners be trusted by our bankers or financial institutions in order to have access to loans etc? Otherwise people will go for money schemes like the Charity Fund, sell out of forestry resources etc for one simple reason, Mr Speaker, and it is because people need money to make a living.
Thirdly, Mr Speaker, a very important area which I am also confident the new government will take action is that the advocator of the new roadmap and the bottom up-approach is now the Minister of Finance. The mammon he was afraid of, Mr Speaker. I wish to remind the Minister of two components of the new roadmap, which he often stressed in the last Parliament for the government to start working on them.
First is the strengthening of the 50 constituencies so that each constituency will have its own office and business centre manned by officers paid from the government’s budget. Each constituency is accorded with $1 million to develop the constituency. However, Mr Speaker, it saddens me yesterday to learn from the honourable Minister that he sounded a different tune again when he contradicted this plan he often spoke so much about in last Parliament and then he stressed the non importance of constituencies again.
Secondly, Mr Speaker, the honourable Minister also moved a motion in the last Parliament during its dying days to remove the RCDF from the control of Members of Parliament. I do not know whether I should be happy or worried now because the mover now has the power to take away the RCDF control from MPs.
Mr Speaker, the two matters raised will definitely
have a great impact on the lives of the people of all constituencies of
I want to point out here Mr Speaker, that 50 constituency offices, 50 public servants will need a bigger budget for the Department of Provincial Government. And if the RCDF is taken away from Members of Parliament’s control then consider increasing Members’ salaries or provide discretionary funds for MPs in order to meet school fees and other needs of our people in the constituencies.
I shall now turn to provincial matters, Mr Speaker, which is worth raising in this Chamber at this very important motion.
Mr Speaker, as the Opposition spokesman for the Department of Provincial Government and Constituency Development, I would like to raise issues that the Department must work very hard to bring about in order for the new government for change to live up to the people’s expectation.
First there are various provincial
projects in the 2006 development budget that need the Department’s initiative,
in my opinion, to get them started this year.
For example, the
Mr Speaker, all provincial accounts should be audited so that reports are tabled in this Parliament for transparency and accountability. Whilst we talk about corruption at the national level, I am also aware that corruption is truly ripe and growing in the provinces too. I urge the Department of Provincial Government to seriously get into business and rectify this concern. Some provinces, in my opinion, definitely need to be suspended.
Thirdly, Mr Speaker, there is need for the Department to send its officers to make quarterly or bi-annual visits to the provinces. The Government must assess the Provincial Governments and whether they are delivering services and development to the people thus warranting the increase in services grants etc. Otherwise public officers will be sitting there, and I know for sure in my province, of public officers are becoming very successful businessmen this time, and politicians also becoming landowners in the province.
Mr Speaker, lastly but not the least is the urgent need to act upon a motion moved by the current Member for Parliament for North West Choiseul, passed in Parliament in July 2005 for the national government to address the Bougainville Crisis Compensation Claim by the people of my Constituency.
Mr Speaker, the above matters will definitely keep the veteran Minister of Provincial Government very busy in his First 100 Days in office, and I can only offer him my full support.
Mr Speaker, before I conclude, I would now like to touch on certain matters in my constituency of North West Choiseul.
Sir, first and foremost I would like
to thank you all the people of my constituency for entrusting me the mandate to
represent you in Parliament the second time.
I would like to thank the people of the constituency for being law
abiding citizens, those of you in
To the good people of the
constituency, I would like to sound a political concern that during my
campaign, one thing I felt and noticed was the intensity of dirty politics, if
I may say that, Mr Speaker, false accusations and evidence of corruptive
practices have been used by certain candidates and their supporters during the
campaign period. My concern and fear is
that it resembles the kind of politics we have just experienced here in
To the good people of
Mr Speaker, before concluding, I would like to say that there were many good suggestions that would be said on this floor of Parliament, and I do hope that the government humbly takes on board good points raised by the Opposition if bipartisan approach on certain national issues are raised by me at this time of debate and other speakers on the floor of this Parliament in this small nation, should be pursued by the government.
Before I resume my seat, Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the honourable Prime Minister on his election to the Prime Ministership. Congratulations to the Government Bench and to your good self honourable Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. Sirs, both of you were elected unopposed, which is a sign of trust we in this House have upon your leadership.
To the Clerk and her staff, I wish
you success this term for it will be a very busy one, I presume. I would like to congratulate this side of the
House too, Mr Speaker, the Opposition side, especially the Honorable Member fro
Marovo, in showing to this nation the strength of humility when he resigned as
Prime Minister on
On behalf of the people of North West Choiseul, I too Mr Speaker, would like to extend our sympathy to the Chinese Community and many Solomon Islanders who have lost their jobs due to the burning down of Chinatown and other business houses.
My people are peace loving people, Mr Speaker, and I strongly suggest to the government to make a formal government apology and reconciliation with the Chinese Community and its Association.
Finally, Mr Speaker, this Parliament
House belongs to the people of
Mr RIUMANA: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the motion of Sine Die.
Mr Speaker, I was mandated by my people from Hograno/Katova/Kia/Havulei Constituency to discharge my constitutional responsibility in this honorable Chamber.
First and foremost, Mr Speaker, let us give praise, glory and honour to the Almighty Creator for His blessing, guidance, direction in whatever we do as we are called by the democratic process to shape the future destiny of our country, Solomon Islands.
Mr Speaker, I also thank my people,
chiefs, elders, clergies, my good campaign managers and hard working campaign
team, youths, Mothers Union leaders for the trust and confidence they have in
me and especially for giving me the responsibility to lead and represent them
as their Member of Parliament. I
therefore, on their behalf congratulate the Prime Minister, the MP for
I further extend my people’s
congratulation to the MP for Savo/Russells for the post of Deputy Speaker of
Parliament. To my two other colleagues
Mr Speaker, the recent rioting, looting
and subsequent burning of the
Mr Speaker, I also on behalf of my people sincerely extend words of apology to the innocent victims of the political crisis, especially the Chinese Community.
The recent unlawful assembly,
rioting and looting has been branded by some of our colleagues on the other
side of the House as the Peoples Power or the Peoples Right in Action, which to
me is the most absurd reposition because some of you in the government
encouraged and incited it. Is this the
people’s power, Mr Speaker? Is this what
we called the peoples power? What is
people’s power and what is people’s right Mr Speaker? Do they have the absolute right to behave the
way they did? Do they have the absolute
right to burn down
Mr Speaker, in a civilised society people’s power and people’s right should be and must be at all times adherence to all applicable laws of the land. There are avenues, conditions and criteria in government mechanism that caters or provides for all our grievances to be channelled through and make them aware rather than behaving in uncivilized or militant society. We as national leaders, Mr Speaker, should be leading our people in harmony, advocating national unity and not inciting a violent crowd or making statements or comments that would cause division, hatred and fear amongst our people.
The statement made by some of our leaders outside of Parliament after the election of the former Prime Minister, the MP for Marovo as recorded and relayed by the SIBC were uncalled for and very provocative in manner. Furthermore, I was bemused by the statement and protest by the other side of the House on the election day of the Deputy Speaker to Parliament. It was unbelievable coming from some of our prominent and highly respected leaders making sarcastic comments, if I may use that word, Mr Speaker, such as a drop of Solomon Islands blood in this honourable House, who himself claimed to be holy. Mr Speaker, such a statement is very discriminative, very racist and can make separation or division amongst our peace, loving citizens.
The protest by that side of the House was very childish and does not speak well of us leaders. We claim ourselves to be Christian leaders, we claim our country to be a Christian nation, are we compromising our Christian values with our political agendas?
Mr Speaker, we were mandated by our people to discharge constitutional responsibilities on their behalf in this Chamber. The protest is none other but a protest against our constitutional mandated to us by our people.
Mr Speaker, allow me to reiterate my concern on the appointment of two MPs currently charged with committing crime related to rioting, looting now in custody to be Ministers of the Crown, is a total disgrace to this nation and a mockery to the judiciary system as stated by other colleagues. In the past, Ministers of the Crown immediately resign from their ministerial portfolios when charged with offences. In this case, the Ministers have been charged and held in custody before being appointed as Ministers of the Crown. Is this the message we tell and proclaim to the nation and the International Community who have trust and confidence on the government, Mr Speaker? Is the Government being manipulated and remote controlled? As a government we ought to serve the interest of the nation first and foremost, especially the silent majority in the rural areas.
Mr Speaker, we all know the fact that about 80% of our populations are rural dwellers who depend very much on agriculture for survival and source of income. In the absence of economic activity, for them to equally participate in nation building, our rural populations are currently the victims of the government. I therefore acknowledge the policy on decentralization of economic activities highlighted especially by the Prime Minister. Sir, the 80% of our population must equally contribute in economical activities if this nation is to realize tangible economic benefits.
Sir, at the outset, the environment
conducive for economical activities exist in urban centres and more especially
Mr Speaker, the foregone social unrest was the product of that trend of unbalanced economical activities we have pursued over the years. To reverse the trend and change this unbalanced economical activities, all economical activities must be equitably distributed to the rural areas based on their geographical potentials.
Mr Speaker, to develop the rural sectors, we need
development partners. We need our
traditional donors to assist and support us in terms of finance and technology
as catalysts to boosting rural development.
It is regrettable that some of the traditional donors, particularly our
Sir, the Republic of
Mr Speaker, so much has been said in
the media about Communist China and the
Sir, we have established a cordial and working relationship
Finally, Mr Speaker, may I bring to the
attention of the government of the day and this honorable House the cries and
wishes of my people in my constituency and
Mr Speaker, Isabel is one of the
main provinces in
The British formula on the distribution of government services based on population undermines geographical potentials. It undermines and kills the source of the golden egg. I therefore appeal to the Government of the day to reconsider the distribution formula of government services to be based on geographical potentials. On that notion, road infrastructure has long been an overdue need of the people in my province, and the government must seriously consider this. I therefore appeal to my two other colleagues to pursue this matter in this honorable House for the future of our province and our people.
Mr Speaker, before I take my seat I would like to thank each and everyone of us in this honorable House for the contribution and vision we have shared in this Sine Die motion moved by the Prime Minister. Let us work together as a team and in good spirit for the goodness of our country.
Sir, I support the motion and may
Mr PACHA: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me this opportunity to speak briefly to this motion of sine die.
As this sitting of Parliament draws to a close, Mr
Speaker, I want first of all to thank the people of
I wish also, Mr Speaker, to publicly convey my
congratulations to our new Prime Minister, the Member for
Sir, I call all Christians in our country
to join me in praying often for our Prime Minister and indeed for all the Members
of this chamber. May each of us here
learn well what it means to exercise servant leadership on behalf of the people
This task of leadership, Mr Speaker, is immense in these difficult days. How can a person be wise enough to judge the full motives of the other leaders of this House, let alone those of the countries around us? How can a man see all the ramifications of each decision and appointment? Can a person foresee all the economic outcomes of each policy to be enacted? The task, Mr Speaker, is, as I have said, enormous, and the only safe course is to follow the principles Christ taught as a servant leader, and to depend daily on God the Father to give us the wisdom to know what is right, and to have the courage to do it.
Mr Speaker, I have long admired and
been challenged by the motto of
Sir, we do not
need leaders who are greedy, profane, double-dealing, controlled by liquor or
who live riotously. No! Instead our
leaders should be those who live lives of integrity, who speak honestly, and
uphold truth and support justice. We
need men and women who lead the country toward the long term good that God
desires of us. We need leaders who are
wise enough to listen to good advices, learned hard experience in other places. We need leaders who do not just look for
short term benefits for tomorrow.
Instead, we need a leader who values long term benefits over short term
gain that is followed by disaster. The
Mr Speaker, we in this chamber need
to be men of integrity who care for the nation as a whole. We need to care for the constituencies that
elected us. Yes, and we also need to
recognize that our leadership extends beyond those small boundaries of
geography and time. In addition, to care
for the people of our wards, we must also care for the needs of our respective
islands, our joint national concerns, and the needs of future citizens of
Mr Speaker, this Parliament has only begun its leadership task and I urge us all that when we next reconvene to adopt this stance of caring for the common good. We, Members of Parliament need to learn to set aside our agendas of seeking personal advancement from the common purse. Instead we must care for the common of the nation as a whole. We are not elected to accrue houses and vehicles and personal favors for our own greedy desires. No! We have been elected by the people of our constituencies to help them live their lives in pace, enjoying the benefits of their own work, and having a fair chance to contribute to the development of the country.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry to report
that this is not the case right now in
In addition to these, Mr Speaker, it
is incumbent upon us leaders to take the lead in supporting truth and justice,
and to bring reconciliation and healing to our troubled nation. Without the underlying structure of truth,
justice, and reconciliation, any advances made in the area of social services
will be quickly washed away in ongoing strife.
This was made readily apparent again here in
I appeal therefore, Mr Speaker, to
the government to take the lead in establishing the framework which will bring
the truth to light, establish justice, and provide a mechanism for reconciling
injured parties. This is a need in my
Mr Speaker, my people of
On a personal level, we must each learn to live our lives in accordance with that message. As we do this individually, I believe God will also move amongst us cooperatively as a whole nation.
To rebuild our nation we must return to the message of the Bible. And I want to repeat that again Mr Speaker, to rebuild a nation we must return to the message of the Bible. Therefore, I appeal to everyone to remember our Creator and to continually live our lives as leaders in His service, dedicated to pleasing Him and serving him
Mr Speaker, thank you very much and I resume my seat.
Mr M. KEMAKEZA: Thank you Mr Speaker, for allowing the MP for Ngella constituency to briefly contribute to this very important motion moved by the Honorable Prime Minister on Tuesday 9th May 2006.
Sir, before I proceed I would like to take this privilege to thank the chiefs, the paramount chiefs, the tribal chiefs, the Churches, especially the Diocese of Central Solomon, the good Clergies, Pastors and Ministers of other ecumenical churches in Tulagi Township, the lay people and respective people within the Ngella constituency, also the farmers and fishermen, my campaign managers who supported us, I wish to thank them for voting me into this Honorable House.
Sir, I also wish to thank the former MP for Ngella Constituency
and those who have contested
Sir, I also wish to thank the 49 Members of Parliament who have been duly elected into this Honorable House, to respective supporters and those who have also contested against us in the respective constituencies.
Mr Speaker, I must also thank all those who have been involved during the elections, the election managers, the electoral office, and the provincial officers who have taken part in making the election a success.
Mr Speaker, I also wish to thank the Churches for
their prayers, which was shown in the results brought to us. I am sure what we have seen in this Honorable
House is the clear result of all the prayers of our good Christian people in
Mr Speaker, to the outgoing Government of the National Coalition Partnership, I also wish to thank the MP for Savo/Russells and his Government for the work they have done during their term, and also those who have been able to pull together during their time in office.
Mr Speaker, I also wish to thank the Honorable MP for Marovo, who has been in office especially for a short period of time, which I believe all other speakers had eloquently covered the reasons and also what has caused the change we are now seeing in this House. I wish to thank him for the great humiliation he has been able to uphold and respect on behalf of his people as well as for the sake of this nation.
Mr Speaker, in the formation of the new government as the Grand Coalition, I wish to thank personally the Honorable Member for North East Choiseul, as the newly elected Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, and to his good Cabinet. I believe what has happened (and I do not wish to repeat again what my Honorable colleagues have said) is the wishes of what we are in this Honorable House.
To you my colleague Ministers on the other side of the House, I believe as the MP for Temotu Pele has said, you would be able to carry out the expectation of your policies especially in the upcoming months and years. It is much sad to note here that two provinces are not represented in your government, but I believe you would be able to help in whatever ways possible, especially for the three constituencies.
Mr Speaker, as much have been already been said by my colleagues on this side of the House, I do not wish to continue on to say what they have said to us. The civil unrest that occurred on the 18th April, I believe this is not only caused by the other side of the House but it shows how especially all of us as 50 Members of Parliament.
Sir, it is very important to note that if we blame the other side of the House we need to establish what actually the root cause is. If it is because of the democratic process as duly being in the system, then I believe that is the answer that has been given especially for the re-election of a new government.
I am sure we will not be able to bring back what has
happened and on behalf of my people of Ngella Constituency I do also sympathize
with the Chinese Community who lost not only their properties, but also good
contributors to the economy of
Mr Speaker, I also wish to congratulate you for your re-election as the Speaker of the National Parliament and the MP for Savo/Russells for his election as the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament.
Mr Speaker, I do not want to talk on what has already been said by my other colleagues, but I just want to see all of us, 50 Members of Parliament to work together for the common good of every one of us.
Sir, I do not believe in what we always say in here quoting a lot of parables, a lot of quotations and I also do not believe on how we throw stones and mud at each other. It is very important that those who elected us to be in this House also have to be mandated in seeing the value of our work as well as how we can be able in looking after our respective constituencies. I think that is the most important thing I see that the Honorable Prime Minister and his good Cabinet must look at carefully.
Like my colleague MP for Rennell/Bellona has said, we can say whatever we would like to say in this House, but if we cannot change the attitudes, our respect and trust, how can we be able to carry out all these the good things we say.
I believe if there is coordination and also respect amongst
the 50 Members of Parliament, whether you come from which ever provinces,
whether you come from the three constituencies in the
All the line ups are there already, Mr Speaker, therefore what we want to see is work to be done. We do not come in here to talk about all sorts of speeches. What is that for? Sir, I do not think that is what we come in here for.
Mr Speaker, my people of Ngella constituency would like to see some of the projects in the development budget carried out. Like my colleague for North West Choiseul had highlighted, the projects must be implemented by my good Minister of Provincial Government and the Minister of Infrastructure to ensure they are carried out so that we can be seen as working.
I want both sides of the House to put aside politics. The government is now in place and so let it start to work and all of us as well. I think that is the best thing to do. If we continue on with this numbers game, I don’t think the Honorable 50 Members of Parliament especially the 22 newly elected Members of Parliament including the Member for Ngella constituency will get anywhere.
Let us serve our constituency first before we serve ourselves and talk about corruption. I don’t think talking about corruption will be of any good to anyone of us here. Corruption is a word that is already being said and so how can you go on explaining it? Who would you convince in this House Mr Speaker? No! Enough is enough and so let us sit down and do the work.
Mr Speaker, as I have said I do not wish to repeat myself nor would I want to undertake another character assassination, but I only want my people to see what I would be doing for them in the next four years, otherwise I will not be able to come back to this Honorable House after the four years.
Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Clerk and her staff who have been able to serve us. My apologies if we have been bothering them. I also thank all of us 50 Members of Parliament and our families. I know 21 of you would be staying back here, but the 29 of us or less I wish you a safe journey home and continue to look after our people in our respective constituencies.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the time, and I support the motion.
Hon SIKUA: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a contribution to the sine die motion moved by the honorable Prime Minister.
Mr Speaker, allow me first to sincerely thank all the registered voters and all my good people, chiefs, church leaders and community leaders in the North East Guadalcanal Constituency which comprises the Paripao and East Tathiboko Wards for having the trust and confidence in me by voting me into this honorable House as their new Member Parliament. I would like to thank them also for their support and prayers, particularly my Campaign Managers and Agents. I hope I will be a worthy representative in this National Parliament in the next four years.
I would also like to extend my thanks to the other nine candidates that stood with me in my constituency in the recent National General Elections, particularly the former MP, Mr Stephen Paeni. I hope that now that the game is over that we can all continue to work closely together in the next four years for the betterment of our constituency and people in all spheres of development.
To you Mr Speaker, please accept my hearty congratulations on your re-election as Speaker of this Parliament. Your re-election is a testimony of the good work you have put into the overall development of our National Parliament so far, as well as in the future under the auspices of the National Parliament Project. I wish you every success in guiding this very important project to its full and final completion, particularly the component that has to do with the development of Parliament offices for the effective performance of Members of Parliament.
Of course, Mr Speaker, you will be very ably assisted in all these tasks by the Deputy Speaker, the honorable Member for Savo/Russells, Sir Allan Kemakeza. Belated as it may seem, please accept my sincere congratulations for winning the election of the Deputy Speaker position, and I hope you can forgive me for not voting for you.
In the same vein, Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank the Member for Savo/Russells, Hon Sir Allan Kemakeza for his able leadership as Prime Minister in the last National Coalition Partnership Government.
Mr Speaker, my sincere thanks also goes to the MP for Marovo, Hon Snyder Rini for his leadership as Deputy PM and Minister for Education and Human Resources Development in the previous government. I greatly enjoyed the three years I worked with him as Permanent Secretary and hope that we can continue to work together in this area. As to the events of the last month, I admire your understanding and respect for the position I hold in wanting to remain with this camp.
Mr Speaker, I join all other MPs also in congratulating all the 49 MPs on successfully being elected or re-elected, and I look forward to working together with you all in the next four years.
Mr Speaker, I also take this opportunity to thank all public officers, private sector employers and employees, and all our good people for their patience and understanding during these trying times.
Mr Speaker, the events of the recent past should draw our attention as parliamentarians in trying to understand what we see as our deep rooted problems - our deep sickness of soul. In other words, what we as Parliament Members see as our fundamental problem, which has caused our country to continually experience deep trouble in the past 27 years or so and does not seem to ever go away.
Mr Speaker, for me, the destruction,
burning and looting of property which happened in
I believe, Mr Speaker, that national
development strategies since independence have been fatally flawed because they
have failed to openly recognize and effectively respond to this fact. We are all aware that throughout
Mr Speaker, this precept has long been known but little heeded. The Guadalcanal insurgency of six years ago, as well as the very sad events that happened on Tuesday and Wednesday, 18th and 19th April 2006, are painful reminders of its importance.
Mr Speaker, that is why I, on behalf of the people of North East Guadalcanal and Guadalcanal Province as a whole fully support the government’s move to vigorously pursue the current draft Federal Constitution and to adopt it as soon as possible. I firmly believe that the new federal system of government is a principal strategy to address the inherent deficiencies of the present government system and its supporting economic development strategies that had been largely responsible for creating the environment of ethnic hatred and intolerance.
However, Mr Speaker, I would like to
request that Members of Parliament must first be given another opportunity to
immediately conduct awareness on the proposed Federal Constitution in their respective
constituencies. This is because this has
not been done by most former MPs, especially around
Mr Speaker, I support the government’s plan to enhance and introduce targeted and focused growth strategies for the rural economy, and in particular a reorientation of economic policies to empower resources owners to be meaningful long-term participants in the economy. Mr Speaker, the implementation of the bottom-up approach in development coupled with a reorganization of the budget to meaningfully address rural development auger well for balanced development throughout the country. Indeed, the people of Paripao and East Tasiboko in the North East Guadalcanal Constituency urge the government to continue to promote, encourage and undertake development initiatives in all parts of Solomon Islands so that the pressure on our land, forests and other resources is kept at a minimum.
Mr Speaker, on behalf of my people I welcome the new policy to instill greater transparency in the administration of the ROC assistance in Solomon Islands by removing the discretionary portion of the assistance from the control of the Prime Minister. This move should be accompanied by commensurate increases to the RCDF to levels that will make a greater impact on rural development.
Mr Speaker, on RAMSI, it is important to state that
the presence and the role of RAMSI in the overall peace process is vital and
critical. It is important for people of
Mr Speaker, my people in North East Guadalcanal take the position that the tenure of RAMSI in Solomon Islands should be measured by the task of restoring and maintaining stability and economic growth, enabling Solomon Islanders to embark on the peace process to achieve full stability, peace, harmony and prosperity. Time should not be an issue in this regard but stability, peace, social harmony and economic growth are the really issues.
Mr Speaker, even when peace, stability and harmony are fully achieved in Solomon Islands, my people are of the view that RAMSI should still continue to have a presence in the country for as long as possible.
Mr Speaker, the Guadalcanal Leaders
Summit held at the Balasuna Christian Outreach Centre in February 2005, was the
first after the ethnic tension, and participants themselves are still not
reconciled to this day. However, the
leaders were definite that they want peace and realized that peace can only be
attained after compensation has been paid and peace reconciliations and
rehabilitation being carried out. This is the custom and traditional norm of
settlement of disputes, conflicts and wars on
Mr Speaker, through the summit, the
leaders made it clear that they longed for peace. In terms of the bona fide demands of the
Mr Speaker, as the Minister for Education and Human Resources Development, I wish to comment on education seeing that most of my colleagues on both sides of the House have made comments on education issues affecting their constituents.
Firstly, I must commend the former government for putting in place good and sound policies in the Education Sector. I support and concur with the Member for Savo/Russells that the policies in the education sector are sound and that they should be implemented as soon as possible.
As you aware, Mr Speaker, the Education Sector Investment and Reform Program (ESIRP) was officially launched in June 2004, and 2005 was the first full year of operation of this historic and vital program. The two key features of this agreement, apart from the commitment of up to about SBD360 million from our donor partners, were the confirmation of the Ministry’s leadership of the reform process and the commitment by SI Government (SIG) to allocate a minimum of 22% of the discretionary National Budget to education on an annual basis.
I am pleased to say that these two understandings are a reality and the 2006 budget allocation was 27%, far above the minimum of 22% and well above the regional average. This is a positive indication of SIG’s commitment to education as a priority sector for improvement and reform.
Mr Speaker, the partnership with the EU and NZAID has made a significant start to addressing the qualitative and quantitative damage sustained during the period of the ethnic tension and its aftermath. However, implementation of the ESIRP during 2005 has revealed four significant long term challenges which must be addressed.
Mr Speaker, challenge number one is that of low access and equity. The education system is characterized by an overall low enrolment of pupils. Further, disparities in access to schooling still exist by location, by gender, by urban/rural factors and by income group. That is why in terms of income the government will seriously be considering a paper to reduce the school fees, especially in secondary education. The MP for Central Kwara’ae was talking about totally getting rid of school fees at the secondary level, but I believe that this will not be supported by the budget or our donor partners until both the rural and urban economies significantly improve and recover, and a consequent rise in tax revenue and disposable household income happens. This is something that we want to do as of 2007 to look at reducing the school fees at secondary level.
Mr Speaker, the second challenge in education is the inadequate quality and relevance. We have a problem with low quality and relevance in general education which leads to poor academic performance of schools and pupils.
Mr Speaker, I acknowledge the third challenger we have in education is that of low internal efficiency, and we hope that this can be fixed in the not too distant future.
Mr Speaker, the fourth challenge is limited institutional capacity and we are hoping that the Public Service can recruit people to man the vacant positions in the Ministry as soon as possible.
Sir, we designed a program to address these challenges in education and we hope the issues I have raised in education will be addressed in the period 2007 to 2009, which is our next plan period.
Mr Speaker, I would also like to mention that some colleagues of this House talked about the issue of scholarship in education, and I wish to alert Members of the fact that scholarships for 2007 are now open and will close at the end of this month. I hope that for in-service training people can put in their applications because at the end of this month any new applications will not be accepted.
Sir, I would also would like to assure our good teachers in the provinces and throughout the country that work on their new scheme of service and the Teaching Service Hand Book has been completed and I hope to take a paper to Cabinet to approve the new scheme of, for which provisions have already been catered for in the budget as soon as the Parliament Meeting is over. I want to assure our good teachers that we will move quickly into looking at the new scheme of service and having it approved by Cabinet as soon as possible.
Lastly but not the least Mr Speaker,
I would like to humbly and sincerely appeal to all our good people in
Guadalcanal Province to take good care and help look after all company property
and any major development assets and infrastructure installations, especially
in the Guadalcanal Plains and Gold Ridge.
If we are serious about attaining state government status for
Mr Speaker, in this regard I would also like to call on my other colleague Members from Guadalcanal Province that we have to work together to bring about the kind of changes and the things our people are looking for. I humbly appeal to all of us regardless of which side of the House you are on to stand united as one on all issues affecting our people.
Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to contribute to the motion. May God bless SI and with these remarks, I resume my seat.
Mr Speaker: Before I give
the floor to the honorable MP for
Hon SOPAGHE: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute briefly to the sine die motion moved by the honorable Prime Minister.
Firstly, Mr Speaker, I join all the other Members to thank the ruling government of the day led by the honorable Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare and other political leaders in his government.
Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the government that you are there for the people and not for your own political ambition. Mr Speaker, I call on all Members to work together for our people and nation and contribute towards the advancement of our country.
Mr Speaker, on behalf of my people of North Guadalcanal Constituency, I convey on this floor of Parliament our sincere regret, sorrow and apologies to the Chinese Community, families, businesses, families of employees and other businesses that were burned down, damaged or vandalized during the incident on 18th April 2006.
Mr Speaker, I do believe that our new Government of the day will always put our people first. The Government must develop strategic policies to address matters of interest to our rural people.
Mr Speaker, I also would like to thank my good people in North Guadalcanal Constituency, the chiefs, church leaders, youths, women, and my supporters for lending me their support to be their chosen leader in the next four years.
Mr Speaker, North Guadalcanal Constituency and Central Guadalcanal Constituency have some of the major developments in the country.
Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the government of the day especially the Minister of Police to increase its manpower in Tetere Police Station, to enable them patrol the two major developments in the constituency.
Mr Speaker, I am looking forward to
working together with the government of the day and overseas partners to
address major issues affecting my people in
Mr Speaker, what kind of
Mr Speaker, we must believe on a new
breed of people coming out of our country who will have the ability to rebuild
our ruined city and communities. The
poor state of our nation’s existence is produced by an unplanned and corrupt
past, which is pushing us towards an unwanted future. Hence a national reformation is the complete
change that makes us as a political entity called
Mr Speaker, these are values, beliefs, principles, virtues, mentalities and cultures. They are the internal laws and truths that make a deep rooted change of a nation’s destiny possible.
Mr Speaker, it is important that a
new concerned generation of reformers arise in our nation with the genuine
interest of rebuilding
Mr Speaker, for the past 28 years, we have been ruled by the same set of people that fought for independence. Sir, without a post-independence map to chart the course of our destiny as a nation to the present day, politicians are singing the song of reformation but dancing to the tune of desolation. Mr Speaker, a genuine set of reformers must and will rise in every sector of our society.
Sir, these include the Police Force, the government ministries, technology fields, the education sector, our social life and most essentially the churches.
Mr Speaker, we must arise with a
genuine desire to see things change in our nation and make the nation see our
Mr Speaker, with these comments I support the motion.
Mr Speaker, also at this juncture I must thank the last government for taking us through the hard period. I thank the leadership of the MP for Savo/Russells for taking us through those trying times.
Mr Speaker, also at this juncture I wish to go along with the other colleagues to thank the churches for their valuable support through their prayers during this period of election and also the period of lobbying for the election of our Prime Minister.
Mr Speaker, I must also thank yourself and the Deputy Speaker for being elected once again as Speaker of the National Parliament. Also Mr Speaker, I join other colleagues, and do not hesitate on behalf of my people of North West Guadalcanal, to condemn in the highest terms what actually happened on Black Tuesday.
What happened on Black Tuesday is a clear indication of disrespect of democracy in our country. It is also a clear indication of certain people in our country and leaders, not all on the other side of the House, who do not respect the democratic process we set ourselves to follow on the floor of Parliament in the election of Prime Minister. This means defeat does not go down well with certain leaders within Parliament, and yet we continue to preach here that this is a Christian country and we are Christian people. Mr Speaker, it would appear to me there are citizens of this country who value destruction as a permissible force to express their feelings.
Mr Speaker, the public or our people, as one of my colleague Member rightly mentioned do not understand what their rights are. Certain Members of this Parliament, when half of us in this House were held hostage inside this building, went outside of the Parliament preaching and telling the public to do whatever they want to do because it is their right.
What time have we leaders gone out and preached to our people what their rights are. Where is the boundary or the limitation of that right extend to Mr Speaker? When such statements were publicly announced to the people when their feelings are not right, the result of that is what took place on Black Tuesday. We need to explain to our people and the public what their rights are because sometimes their feelings can be more than what they know about their democratic rights.
What I noted on that day, Mr Speaker, was caused by simply how we leaders make statements that were misinterpreted by our people, which resulted in what has happened.
Mr Speaker, it would also appear to me that to mobilize a mob to destroy is very much easy than to mobilise a mob to voluntarily construct a public infrastructure. I say this because the amount of people who combined their efforts to destroy this city could have cooperated in a similar style to clean up the city too.
Mr Speaker, I represent a people who have gone through the same traumatic disturbances during the height of the civil uprising six years ago. Their ordeal will remain a historical landmark in this country. Their ordeal has also paved a new frontier of leadership mentality in our country based on respect and on good and fair governance.
The historical landmark, Mr Speaker, was harvested during the very able leadership of none other than the current Minister of Finance. That is why a lot of us have fears at this time. May be with the very good leadership of my good friend, the Prime Minister he would try to deviate the mentality of those kinds of leaders when things like that are happening in our country.
Sir, if I could recall the events of
that time, the bona fide demands of the
Mr Speaker, on July 2000 it would seem to me that the simple civilian people I represent do not have their constitutional rights to be protected by the government. All that was left in their simple communities were ashes and foundations.
At this juncture Mr Speaker, I am
very hopeful that the government through the leadership of my good friend and
brother, the honorable Prime Minister will revisit and try to address the bona
fide demands of the
Mr Speaker, perhaps as a sideline issue, I just want to comment on the defensiveness of certain leaders and our government. Please do not be defensive on the issue of the appointment of our two colleagues who are now in custody. Whilst it maybe legally right, and for the purpose of solidarity, it would seem obvious that the choice was made may be on political grounds. We must look at this carefully and make our judgment on a moral consensus.
Mr Speaker, this is also setting a risky precedence, which may allow inmates who have not been convicted to even consider contesting the national and provincial elections. It is possible, in my view, even for inmates who are not convicted to do that. I think if some of us had known that is possible we can apply for them to come out of prison and vote for us because their constitutional rights are still there. In my layman’s point of view, that is setting a very wrong precedence.
Mr Speaker, may I urge the law enforcement authorities, I know we are not supposed to interfere with the judiciary, but this is an appeal to the law enforcement authorities to consider the circumstances of the honourable Members seriously, and work on their respective cases quickly so that if they are not proven guilty they may come out and participate actively in their roles in governing.
Mr Speaker, perhaps the nearness of the constituency that is the North West Guadalcanal to the National Capital sometimes makes us not concerned about our constituency very much. But may I appeal to certain departments, especially the health department, planning and other departments to please look at the funding to ensure they are fairly distributed to our constituencies.
As I have alluded to, Mr Speaker, I
do hope that with the able leadership of my good friend, the Prime Minister, he
will be able to recognise North West Guadalcanal as the constituency which is
happy to host the National Government and therefore deserves recognition for
Finally Mr Speaker, I would just like to point out a few reminders to certain departments and ministries. The first department I would like to remind and to call on is the Minister for Infrastructure to revisit the tender process undertaken in December last year, which was awarded to a contractor to maintain the roads in North West Guadalcanal. That contractor was a candidate too at that time, and so I call on the Minister to investigate how the money was spent because there has been no maintenance happening to the road.
Mr Speaker, if you go down to the roads in North West Guadalcanal, even four wheel drive vehicles cannot drive through some of the ditches there. So I call on the Minister to investigate the tender to find out why it was not implemented properly. I believe funds are still available because the contractor won the tender for about $550,000 and the reserve cost is about $2 million. If the remaining portion of that allocation is still in the department, please assign a new contractor to maintain the roads in North West Guadalcanal.
The second one is education and I join my other colleagues just to caution my good friend, the Minister for Education to please revisit the process and the procedures as to how selections are made during the past years. I believe it is unfair as other honourable colleagues have rightly stated. We need a fair and just selection process so that all our provinces are fairly represented in the granting of scholarships.
I also appeal to the Minister for
Provincial Government to quickly look into the federal system and to immediately
bring the draft bill to Parliament for the federal system that a vast majority
of people, not only in
Mr Speaker, on land issues I have every
confidence on the new Minister as he is very well versed with the land tenure
Also on land issue, Mr Speaker, I think leaders of respective constituencies must talk to our people. The biggest setback in development is also because of land, Mr Speaker. Why? I think our people do not go down well with what land usage is and what is important with developments on land. We must talk to our people so that they understand these issues and allow their land in the provinces to be developed in order for development to spread out in the provinces rather than concentrate on one particular area.
The last Minister I would like to appeal to and give some reminders to, is the Minister for Department of Peace and Reconciliation. As other colleagues have already rightly mentioned, without reconciliation many of our plans will have setbacks. As a member of the Guadalcanal Peace and Rehabilitation Committee we have already completed the peace and rehabilitation report, and it would be submitted very shortly to the department concern. I urge the responsible to bring the report to Cabinet immediately and quick implementation of the recommendations contained in the report. That is very important, Mr Speaker.
Finally Mr Speaker, I must thank the Clerk and her officers for taking care of us during this very short meeting of Parliament.
With these few remarks, Mr Speaker, I support the motion.
Sitting suspended for lunch break
Mr ABANA: Thank you Mr Speaker, for allowing me the floor to contribute briefly to the motion. At the outset Mr Speaker, I wish to thank Almighty God for His grace through which He has called us to the task of leadership.
Mr Speaker, I also wish to thank my good people of Fataleka for entrusting me to represent them in Parliament. I appeal to my good people to continue to support me in their prayers so that by the grace of God I can serve them and the nation worthily. Mr Speaker, I wish to register my thanks to other leaders who have gone before us in serving this nation in this honourable House.
Mr Speaker, I wish to congratulate all of us for the success we had in our respective elections - all honorable Members of Parliament, yourself Mr Speaker, the former Prime Minister - the MP for Marovo and the current Prime Minister. Prime Minister, congratulations!
It is true we have been placed in these various leadership positions by the people. The people we must serve. It is even truer that we have been called by God into leadership. We ought to reflect on this so that our minds can be clear that our best endeavours at providing leadership will indeed be motivated by service, and that we remain conscious at all times that we have a God who is our loving Father, and who promised to help us and who will one day call us to account for all our motives, decisions and actions.
Mr Speaker, no society or nation can move forward without good leadership. We can have all the natural resources there can be, but without good leadership, our society and nation will continue to struggle with the same issues and problems.
What marks out a good leadership, Mr Speaker? I want to say that what marks any leadership as good and foremost is integrity. As you know, Mr Speaker, integrity is in the heart but can be seen in how a leader conducts himself in his private and public life.
Mr Speaker, the notion that a leader’s
private life is his own and he can do whatever he pleases with it and that it
is separate from his public life, is a fallacy.
This fallacy has ensured that integrity has been in short supply in
leadership at various levels in our nation,
We, in this House do not have any excuses. We have lived through the civil conflict and have come through the events in the recent weeks, and it can be said that both violent situations were responses to perceptions of leadership.
Leadership matters, Mr Speakers, for people take leadership very seriously. We, more than anyone else, ought to take leadership extremely serious. We cannot continue on with business as usual. We must wake up to the complex challenges facing us leaders and the obvious rising expectations of our people to be better leaders. It is not enough to deny corruption and demand that our people find proof and go to court. Our people can see when something is not right in leadership, and they have the responsibility of calling leaders to account.
Mr Speaker, we are their servants and not their lords. We must get this right. When we assume lordship over our people the result is arrogance that does not welcome questions or criticisms and an egotistical drive that drives us to pursue status and high office without any real substantive interest to serve.
Mr Speaker, there has been a noticeable absence of unity in national leadership at the time when the nation was going through the crisis. Mr Speaker, during the civil conflict, the division in Parliament was so projected that leaders could not pretend to provide any real leadership example to the people.
Mr Speaker, the recent crisis seems to have had the same effect on the House. It is my hope that in this situation of crisis Parliament rises as one, putting aside its differences but find consensus and a common purpose so that we can give our people a clear sense of direction and hope for the future.
Mr Speaker, I am calling on both sides of the House to come together, to dialogue over differences and offer forgiveness to each other for issues over the recent past that threatens to hang over this honourable House as a black cloud.
Mr Speaker, how can we as leaders be calling for meaningful reconciliation in our society when at our level we cannot even find and offer forgiveness to one another? Sir, the kind of leadership that operates on the principle ‘do as I say, not as I do’ is not only outdated but is a serious obstacle to the future progress of our beloved nation.
Mr Speaker, I am calling on your good office to assist Members in facilitating meaningful and serious dialogue that will lead to meaningful reconciliation between leaders. Mr Speaker, it is essential that Members of Parliament build and maintain mutual respect for each other. Sir, without mutual respect, mudslinging will be always obvious on the floor of Parliament.
Are we ever going to grow up and offer mature and responsible leadership to this nation? Mr Speaker, if we answer to the affirmative then we have to show more humility towards one another in this House. Put aside the ego and pride that has almost single-handedly driven politics in this country since independence, and enter into an honest and sincere journey together in leadership.
At this point, Mr Speaker, I wish to express my sympathy to the Chinese Community and the employees who lost property and livelihoods in the recent riots. It can never be right to condone crime, whatever the justification. However, as national leaders we must look deeply into the events to see the issues of injustice that led to the siege in violence.
Also, Mr Speaker, as national leaders we are accountable for what happened. If we simply brush aside the events as the work of criminals then we run the risk of not accepting our failures as leaders that may have contributed to the frustration of the people and to the extent fail to learn from them.
Mr Speaker, it is abundantly clear that the lobbying process is a grave weakness in our political process. Ups and downs and the multiple jumps of MPs between camps, the involvement of certain business interest in the lobbying process, contribute to a great deal towards the people’s frustration on leadership.
Mr Speaker, the people are not blind nor are they deaf. They knew what was going on during the lobbying process. There must be substantive reform of this process to shut out business and vested interest from hijacking leadership. When business interest book large number of hotel rooms for MPs, pay for meals and give money, Mr Speaker, what is this? Some even chartered planes. We come to accept this as normal but we must reject this as inappropriate.
Mr Speaker, the lobbying process was never about public policy, but mostly about numbers, personality, business interest and a lot more like as we go on the way.
Mr Speaker, surely leadership is more serious than this. The people certainly think it ought to be more serious. If we do not clean up this process our country is in for more political instability.
Mr Speaker, we must also proactively and deliberately encourage political party by appropriate reforms so that there can be more discipline in Parliament. Sir, political parties will mitigate against regionalism that is protruding its head in national leadership.
We are a nation of rich diversity and this should give us the basis for a strong country. Regionalism tends to accentuate the differences leading to a weaker nation.
Mr Speaker, before I take my seat, I
would like to thank the previous government of the MP for Savo/Russells for its
work for the country. I would also like
to thank RAMSI for the significant work it has done for this country and
continues to do so. RAMSI deserves our
undue divided support. RAMSI is a human endeavor
and so it has weaknesses. Let us
approach these weaknesses with sincere hearts with the common objective of
getting RAMSI to serve
Mr Speaker, let us give greater meaning to RAMSI partnership where there can be healthy debates but a common consensus about the overall objective. Let us commit ourselves to work together to eliminate any suspicion and mistrust.
With these few remarks, Mr Speaker, I support the motion.
Mr KOLI: Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute briefly to the sine die motion moved by the honourable Prime Minister.
Sir, I would like to thank him for moving this motion and highlighting some of the government’s policy statements and program of action.
Mr Speaker, I for one can only see the program of action implemented when there is no rivalry in leadership. I could see that when leaders are power hungry, government could not be stable.
Mr Speaker, we leaders painted a wrong picture in our leadership. The ethnic tension and the fall of the Rini Government was a clear manifestation of leaders hungry for power and wrong decision making. We are harvesting the seeds of our own making.
Mr Speaker, the federal government
has been a long time wish of the people of
Mr Speaker, the Buala Communiqué by Provincial Premiers, the Balasuna Guadalcanal Leaders Summit with Resolutions, the Guadalcanal Bona Fide demands, land issues which the previous government had chosen, a Commission of Inquiry to deal with land issues in and around Honiara, are some of the issues that need to be addressed by the government of the day.
Mr Speaker, the decentralization of development as was highlighted by the honourable Prime Minister is a must. Could each of the nine provinces create an economic zone themselves? These industrialized zones would be the spring box for economic development of each of the nine provinces. This in my view would alleviate high concentration of urban drift to one particular province if developments are concentrated in one province. Each of the provinces would create more job opportunities and employment. Participation in development will then be equally shared in harnessing our land and sea resources.
Mr Speaker, I too and my people of East Guadalcanal Constituency join with other honourable colleagues in conveying our sincere heartfelt sympathy to the Chinese Community for losing their businesses and properties. The looting and burning of your business premises by the mobs were done by people with hidden agendas.
Mr Speaker, some of us Members of
Parliament have been branded corrupt leaders, and the action of these looters
by the instigators against the Asian business people was because you assisted those
of us on this side of the House with finances.
I for one deny all these corrupt assistances. The Republic of China (
Mr Speaker, I now touch on tourism
promotion in this country. Sir, on the
Vaka Tepe cultural event in Gizo and the Yacht Race from
The recent looting and burning of
Chinese business houses will only encourage overseas travel advisors to advise
their citizens not to travel to
Mr Speaker, the Marau Sound and Lauvi Lagoon are two beautiful natural scenery sites for tourism development in my constituency. I urge the Minister and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to also inject some funding allocations to my constituency for tourism development.
Mr Speaker, may I thank church leaders, chiefs, youth, women and men of my constituency for their trust and confidence in me for electing me this third term as their Member of Parliament. I thank the other contestants for the manner we would like to lead our people. My good people let us work together, sweat to benefit as nothing is free.
Mr Speaker, I too would like to thank and congratulate the Prime Minister for taking up this high office. Sir, I would also like to extend my congratulation to the Speaker of Parliament and the Deputy Speaker for winning their elections.
Mr Speaker, there is a
reconciliation package being prepared by the reconciliation task force for
Mr Speaker, the role of women in this country must not be forgotten. Could the National Council of Women in consultation with the Provincial Council of Women build a mutual understanding to enhance women in development? I urge the Ministry of Youth, Women and Sports to support women in development in anyway possible in line with their aims and objectives.
Mr Speaker, let us support the women in a practicable and tangible manner. Many women’s clubs in the rural areas are now being isolated because of no support from those in authority and so are no longer functioning.
Sir, I would like to thank the Soroptimist International for funding women centres in the provinces. Some centres are still yet to be built.
Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I support the motion.
Mr RINI: Thank you Mr Speaker, for allowing me to speak. I will be very, very brief.
First of all Mr Speaker, on behalf of my constituency, the people of Marovo I would like to congratulate you for your election. Your unopposed election shows clearly that all of us, the 50 Members of Parliament have confidence in you leading us in our discussions in this Parliament. Secondly I would also like to thank the Deputy Speaker for his election. I am sure with the experiences of both of you in the National Parliament and also national issues would guide us through in our debate in this Parliament.
Mr Speaker, from the outset, let me
say that my government when it came to power was truly disturbed by violence
that erupted and led to the burning down to ashes of the
Mr Speaker, I must make it categorically clear that these unchristian acts led to loss of properties worth millions of dollars of our innocent citizens of this country. Mr Speaker, these undesirable acts will have a lasting negative impact, that is to say the very least.
Mr Speaker, revenue collection for the second quarter of this year will be reduced. Service delivery will be affected and investor confidence will also be badly tarnished.
All peace loving Christians in this
country Mr Speaker, you would agree with me in saying that these adverse
effects are the making of evil forces. I
am also convinced, Mr Speaker, that the people of
Mr Speaker, despite these drawbacks
I am confident that
Mr Speaker, I come from a very, very humble constituency, and for the last 40 years my constituency has been assisting this country economically until now, and we will be still assisting this country for the next 40 or even 100 years.
Mr Speaker, I am very, very confident as I have said that this country will recover and I am also confident that where there is a will, there is a way. With this assurance, Mr Speaker I wish the incoming Prime Minister and his Cabinet bon voyage to the world of the unknown.
Mr Speaker, we are all leaders, all 50 Members of this Parliament, and so let us treat each other as national leaders. Let us not throw stones at each other, but let us work together for the betterment of this country.
Sir, let us debate national issues, and let us not throw mud at each other, because these are not what our people voted us into Parliament for. We are supposed to discuss national issues. We are not to talk about personal things, but we must talk about the national issues on how we can drive this country forward to prosperity.
Mr Speaker, I am sad indeed to hear us leaders accusing each other of this word ‘corruption’ on this floor of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, as I always said, we have laws here in
Sir, this Parliament is the parliament of people. We should only talk about national issues in here, issues that will develop this country and issues that will help our nation. This is not the place to talk about corruption. What will happen if you talk about corruption in this House? Nothing. If you are really serious about corruption, then take it to the Police. If you have evidence, take it to the Police and let the Police do their work to investigate the allegations.
Mr Speaker, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my good chiefs and the people of Marovo constituency for their trust and confidence in re-electing me to be their representative in the next four years. I also would like to thank them for their continuous support and prayers during my high and low times.
Mr Speaker, to the public and citizenship of
Mr Speaker, if in one way or another my decisions or my actions have offended anyone or if for any reasons I have wronged someone then I beg you forgive me and let us reconcile and work together as a team to rebuild our nation Solomon Islands.
Mr Speaker, one thing is certain that I became the Prime Minister with a clean heart, and I am also glad to hand over the rulership of this nation to the incoming Prime Minister also with a clean and humble heart.
Mr Speaker, let me remind all of us of the wisdom of
the Late President John F Kennedy, who was rescued on our shores. He said, and I quote: “Ask
not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country”. End
of quote. Mr Speaker, with his
determination and strong commitment
Finally, Mr Speaker, allow me to say my concluding
remarks. To the public in
With these remarks, Sir, I support the motion.
Mr HAOMAE: Mr Speaker, I
have a drop of
Mr Speaker, I also subscribe to the universal truth that no man is an island. And if no man is, how can a nation be. The air we breathe is not ours alone, the sea that washes the shores of the odd 1,000 islands of the Happy Isles also washes the shores of other countries. Like the common clay of our swollen bodies we are one.
It is on this high plane of coexistence and tolerance,
Mr Speaker, that I beg your indulgence to extend on behalf of the chiefs and
good people of Small Malaita constituency our sympathy to the Chinese community
and those who lost their properties at
Sir, I will be very brief in debating the motion and I will stick to the principle of the motion. I shall not go astray because the government would in the end present the Speech from the Throne outlining the policy of the government and its implementation. There and then I shall debate the policies of the government.
In the meantime, Sir, allow me to take this
opportunity to confer sincere congratulations to each and every Member of
Parliament elected to this honourable House on
Sir, I would also like to take further advantage of
this opportunity to sincerely congratulate the honourable Member for
I would be remiss, Mr Speaker, if I do not take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election as the Speaker. I am confident that you will be able, as usual, to discharge the responsibilities of that high office. I also wish to congratulate my colleague the Member for Savo/Russells for his election to the post of Deputy Speaker.
Sir, on the floor of Parliament I take leave to beg your indulgence to record sincere gratitude to the chiefs and my good people of Small Malaita Constituency for reposing their trust and confidence in me by electing me to represent them in the National Parliament, the highest depository of the will of land. I wish to reassure them as their servant and not their leader. I shall not do anything to dishonour their sacred trust and confidence.
In passing I wish to register thanks to the ten candidates who also contested the Small Malaita Constituency during the last election. As well, I wish to thank the former Member for Small Malaita for keeping the seat warm during the last four years.
Mr Speaker, I also wish to thank the MP for Marovo for
his short term as Prime Minister of this country. It is a universal inhere principle that
leaders be given time and space to prove themselves through performance. This principle of natural justice is so
strong that it is quantified in stature in many democratic countries,
Nonetheless, Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the MP for Marovo for his confidence by appointing me to the important portfolio of Police and National Security during that short time and at the time when the capital was in crisis. I was appointed to that same portfolio, Mr Speaker in 2001 when this country was at its knees by the present Prime Minister, and so I also wish to thank him for that opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I have consulted my personal computer and this is what the personal computer saw. The present National Parliament consists of 50 Members, of those 50 Members 25 have been re-elected to Parliament and 25, among them the MP for Small Malaita who is now on the floor of Parliament, have been newly elected to Parliament. We are therefore at our crossroads. We do not know where the direction of the country according to the results of the election. Hence we land ourselves in a situation where the Parliament is abnormal and hence the situation that everybody is now referring to, Mr Speaker.
Also, Mr Speaker, the personal computer saw that this Parliament has been used as a pulpit for preaching. Also, this Parliament has been used as a lecture room when the Member for Aoke/Langa Langa also used this floor of Parliament as a pulpit. I also press the other key of the computer and it shows something like this, but is full of error and look for a Chapter in the Scripture to cover him up.
Mr Speaker, there is nothing wrong in dedicating this nation to God. In fact we should do so. There is nothing wrong with all of us as sinners and fall short of the Glory of God. In fact when the Lord was on earth He came for the sinners but He despised the hypocrites. A lot of things being said in this Parliament are by a lot of bunch of hypocrites.
Sir I ask all 50 Members of Parliament to practice what they preach and you must lead by example. Otherwise you say one thing in here and throw tons and tons of sugar at us new Members of Parliament but instead you do something different. Or it is the same as Abarai’s pig that goes around changing color but it is the same pig. When it goes around its colour is white and so people think Abarai has a different pig. When it goes around another time the pig is in red color and so people think it is a new pig. And then the same pig goes around again and changes its color to part white and black spots and so people think it is a different pig but it is the same pig that only changes its colour. I hope the MP for Aoke/Langa Langa does not change himself into different colours like Abarai’s pig.
Hon Ulufa’alu (interjected): I have never changed colour.
Mr Haomae: The MP for Aoke/Langa Langa has already made his contribution and he should not disturb the MP for Small Malaita Constituency because I represent the hereditary high chiefs of the people of Small Malaita Constituency.
Let us not be hypocrites because that is what Jesus despises in the Bible. He ate with sinners. He came into this world for sinners and He ensures that they repent but He really hates the hypocrites. And there are lots of hypocrisy in this Parliament. I give you my word, Mr Speaker, and you hear that from the Member of Parliament for Small Malata Constituency. There are lots of hypocrites inside this House. Therefore, we should not use this room to preach. If you want to preach go outside or go to the Church or the chapels to preach. Do you want to make the priests, pastors and bishops redundant? If you want to do your preaching please go to the right place, but not in this Parliament. As I have already said, full in error and look for passages in Scripture to hide behind.
Mr Speaker, this Parliament, when I look at my personal computer, is used to throw mud and stones at each other. I did not come here for that. I am talking to everyone of us that we have been elected, the government side especially, because you will run our country, let us not throw stones and mud at each other. Our people elected us to this National Legislature – a very dignified House so that we run the country properly.
As I have already alluded to Mr Speaker, do not use this place to lecture us because if you lecture too much you will become inconsistent. For instance, the MP for Aoke/Langa Langa said that this is the seventh Parliament but it is not the seventh but the eighth Parliament. He also said that MPs on the Opposition side should not raise matters of policy as this is not the time to discuss policy matter. But that inconsistency because they raised statements of policy and that is why some MPs on this side also raised those matters. If you had not raised it we would not have raised it too but we would have restricted ourselves only to thank you and your office, the Clerk and all the staff of the Parliament Office. When the MP for Aoke/Langa Langa said that young leaders like us, the new ones should learn from the old ones, I am not to sure what am I going to learn from that one because it was wrong and not right.
Mr Speaker, my personal computer also shows at this Parliament has been used to rubbish the images of previous governments - the most immediate one, the Member of Parliament for Savo/Russells, the Member of Parliament for Marovo inclusive.
Mr Speaker, as Mark Anthony said in Roman times “I have not come to praise Caesar but to bury him. The evil that men do live after them, but the good are buried with their bones”. Why do you want to bury the good things that previous governments have done? Why Mr Speaker? (This is inherent death in human mentality). Why, Mr Speaker?
I am very humbled by the contribution of the new
Member of Parliament for Gao/Bugotu. He
thanked previous MPs of Gao/Bugotu constituency and the previous
government. The new MP for Gao/Bugotu, the
Minister for Justice is a man of justice, and he must be commended by the MP
for Small Malaita for doing that. Why Mr
I am poising questions, I am not answering them. Because in parliamentary democracy those on the Opposition side cannot answer questions, only the government side can answer questions. And so we are just here to ask questions.
Mr Speaker, my personal computer also shows…..
Hon Sanga: Point of order. I have personally timed the speaker, and he has gone beyond 10 minutes. My time now is and if we go by the normal timing of Parliament we will finish at assuming that we will only be hearing five people. On the point I raised this morning, I asked if you can allocate speaking time. Thank you.
Mr Speaker: In terms of time allocation, the Speaker does not have any specific power except for purposes of the budget deliberation and of course adjournment motions which are under Order 11 and 63. If Parliament wants to allocate time for this particular debate then obviously a motion should be moved so that time could be specifically allocated in relation to our debate of the sine die motion. We can do it properly that way but the Speaker does not have power himself to allocate time. Would the Prime Minister wish to consider that aspect of time allocation for us?
Hon Sogavare: Mr Speaker, I really do not mind. If we only have today and we still have speakers to speak to the motion then I can suspend Standing Orders so that we can go beyond .
Mr Speaker: We cannot go on tomorrow because there is no motion to move the day but of course as the Prime Minister has said we can go on after .
Mr Haomae: Thank you, Mr
Speaker, and I respect the concern by my Honorable colleague MP for
Anyway, I was saying that my personal computer shows that three words are used quite often in this Parliament. In fact they have been overused. The first one is the word change. The second is the word corrupt, and the third one is the word sovereignty.
Mr Speaker, allow me time and I promise you that I will not talk for two or three hours, to just say a few words on each of these words. First is the word change and its definition and its interpretation by each and every Member of Parliament or by the public. My own interpretation of the word change is not necessarily restricted to change of leadership.
If a government or a leader is pursuing policies that are conducive to uplifting the standard of living of the people of this nation, then that is change. It is not necessarily the leadership because we have to go further into the actual interpretation of the word change and we have to adopt a philosophy and ask the fundamental question, what sort of life do we want to build for our people? This is the question that must be asked by all leaders at all levels of this country - by leaders of the national government, leaders of the province, area council, community leaders, church leaders, village leaders and chiefs. This is the fundamental question that must be asked - what sort of life do we want to build for our people? Having asked that question you can then talk about change.
Most of the comments I have heard in Parliament and by the other side are not along that line. They just want to change leadership but they do not want to improve the standard of living of the people of the country. Because if that is the objective, the ultimate objective of good governance, which the last government has been doing, why do you want to change it? Or do you change it by chance, Mr Speaker? I will explore more on this situation in the next sitting of Parliament.
I now come to the next one, the second one –
corruption. And I must tell you, Mr
Speaker, that since I came into this Parliament before and this time nobody can
lobby me. I am someone who cannot be
lobbied. I follow and go by my
assessment of the national interest because I am pro Small Malaita and pro
Mr Speaker, we have 87 vernacular languages in
But what I see in the codified and accepted practices in custom of these 87 languages belonging to 87 groupings in our country is obligation, which they tend to change. Therefore, Mr Speaker, if we are not careful corruption will be legalized and so we must ensure we do not go into that direction. For me since nobody can lobby me and so I do not know the meaning of that word.
During the lobbying last time, all avenues in the paraphernalia of the politics game have been engaged and applied. I was watching at that time. We must put this right. What sort of corruption are we talking about?
As the MP for Marovo has said if it is truly happening then there are institutions within the government system that we can refer these things to such as the Leadership Code Commission.
Let me come to sovereignty – there are a number of schools of thought regarding sovereignty. One interpretation is the one advanced by the MP for Aoke/Langa Langa. When he was on this side of the House I heard him advanced the extrapolation side of it and now he is restricting it. That is why I said Abarai’s pig has changed color. But in the final analysis sovereignty applies so that it is advances the national interest of the country. If a particular policy advances the national interest of the country then we can extrapolate the definition of sovereignty accordingly.
In this regard, Mr Speaker, I want to comment on the foreign policy of the country. If we adopt a turbulent foreign policy in the country, we also have to understand and utilize the boundaries, parameters and scope of that particular foreign policy and the limitation of that policy.
As I have said at the outset, no man is an island and if no man is how can a nation be. If we are not careful the situation is not going to be right for us. On matters of policy, I wish to caution my friend, the honourable Prime Minister. He is my friend, and I was his Deputy Prime Minister during his time. I thank him for appointing me as his Minister for Police and National Security when this country was at its knees.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Commissioner of Police and the ranks and file of the Police Force for the work they have done during the national election. I am doing this because the Minister of Police is still somewhere else. I do not want to takeover his responsibility but as MP for Small Malaita I want to thank the Commissioner of Police for the ranks and file as well as the Commissioner for the good work they have done during the national election and also during the events that have just happened recently.
I was the Minister for Police and National Security at the time when the Police Force fell down. There was no decision by the government backed by the people. We only used our skills, knowledge, intelligence and wisdom to navigate through troubled waters during that time.
Mr Speaker, I have a short stint as
Minister for National Security at another time when
Mr Speaker, as I have said I do not want to take up a lot of your time otherwise some people would make a point of order on me. I want to thank you, Mr Speaker, the Clerk, the staff of Parliament for looking after the Members of Parliament during this very hard and trying time.
As I have already said at the outset, the Speech from the Throne which the Government is going to write is still coming as the government has not put in place its strategic plans and mechanisms and so I will wait until those are in place and Parliament resumes next time before we can debate them. I promise that I will be brief and I promise that I will stick to the motion and so I thank you, Mr Speaker, and I take my seat.
Hon FONO: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing the floor to the MP for Central Kwara’ae, the Leader of the Opposition group in the House.
Mr Speaker, from the outset I must acknowledge God’s sovereignty over this nation and also over my life. During the recent past, as a Christian nation we acknowledged that God is still on the Throne and He remembers His very own people.
Mr Speaker, I also wish to congratulate the Honourable Prime Minister for forming the government after the situation that we have gone through. Mr Speaker, I also would like to acknowledge the MP for Marovo for his humility in giving room for a change in government although there have been a lot of questions raised on the events leading up to his resignation.
Mr Speaker, I also, on behalf of my constituency, congratulate you for being re-elected unopposed to the post of Speaker. This, as other colleagues have said, is a reflection of your commitment and confidence that we Members of the House placed on you to become the Speaker of the House for the second term. I also congratulate the election of the Deputy Speaker, the MP for Savo/Russells to the esteemed office as Deputy Speaker of the House.
I would also like to congratulate each and every one of us, the 49 MPs for winning our seats to this honourable House. I believe God has appointed us to be part of this House to lead this nation in these difficult times.
Lest I forget, Mr Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank my good people of Central Kwara’ae, 20,000 in population similar to other provinces like Temotu, Makira, and Isabel but with only one MP representing them in this House. What an injustice? However, Mr Speaker, I would like to thank them for having confidence in me for voting me back for the third term. I hope this is not the last term because interestingly since 1997 there were seven candidates challenging me for the post, in 2001 there were five candidates and in 2006 the number of candidates dropped down to one - the only constituency with two candidates. Hopefully by next term in 2010 may be I will stand unopposed because it is going down the ladder.
Mr Speaker, at this juncture I would also like to call on my good people to put aside their difference in feelings and opinions after the election results. I call on my good people; most of whom are Christians and therefore should exercise love and forgiveness to one another. Although I and my family have been humiliated through words they have expressed, I forgive them because the words of our Master said, ‘love your enemies, and do good to them that hate you’. I believe some of us Christians who always stand for the truth have been accused of stealing, corruption and all these.
During my campaign I always quote Mathew which says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them”. People may say all sorts of evil against you but if you know that you do not do the things you are being accused of, then just be happy because the Lord is going to bless you more than those who hate you. That is my belief.
Mr Speaker, on the question raised by the Prime Minister as to why people behaved the way they did on the 18th and 19th of April 2006, on Monday when I contributed to his statement I did not answer that question. But now allow me to give some answers as to why people behaved that way.
The events of the Black Tuesday, as we now call it, on 18th of April 2006 has set a very bad precedence for the nation where we see the so-called people’s power revolting and forcing Parliament to meet and allow a vote of no confidence. I think people’s power has been expressed during the general elections, and not so much during the election of the Prime Minister. The power to elect the Prime Minister rests entirely upon MPs that people elect. If people would also want to participate in the election of the Prime Minister then the constitution needs to be changed. That is why I said a bad precedence has been set. What would happen next time if the Parliament votes for another Prime Minister and the people do not accept it? Are they going to exercise another people’s power and throw away a democratically elected prime minister? No, Mr Speaker. I think we should come to our senses and realize that a democratically elected Prime Minister is the wish of the Parliament.
Mr Speaker, I am raising this concern
because it has a lot of implications in the election of future prime ministers
if we are to go by what happened on
Coming back to the question as to why people behaved that way, a symposium of how people react, firstly there are some political parties that campaign in their strategies and manifestos on the need for a change in government because of corruption - ‘the previous government is corrupt’. That has been the talk on the streets and even by the Winds of Change. The organization is a good organization but how it reaches out to people advocating change of government and change of leadership is not right.
Mr Speaker, any change should depend on individual constituencies. People should realize that MPs retaining their seats through the election process shows that their people have confidence in them because may be they serve their people properly or may be they achieve development projects that their people have actually seen, may be they were transparent in how they administer public funds such as the RCDF or may be people have confidence in their leaders on their contribution in this House and that is why they have been re-elected. Therefore, for such an organization as the Winds of Change to generalize that there is a need for a change of government or there is a need for change in the Member of Parliament is not fair. It is not fair and I deplore it.
The donors that funded that organization should realize that although they provided support to civic organizations like the Winds of Change, their agenda is not in the best interest of our nation.
Mr Speaker, there were also some political parties that campaigned against the Chinese business people in the country. I am surprised, Mr Speaker. This is a multi-racial society whether we like it or not. No country in the world is without any multi racial component in its citizens. I have not seen any country in the world where only its indigenous people exist in it and no outside people come in and gain citizenship. It is provided for under law, Mr Speaker. And so for political parties or individual MPs to campaign against expelling Chinese from our nation is promoting racism and is not fair.
That kind of campaign is sort of changing people’s
perception that they now need a government that would chase away Chinese
citizens. I am surprised because if we
look at Hansard records, my good colleague, the MP for Aoke/Langa Langa has
already predicted last year that there is going to be another ethnic tension
Mr Speaker, I raised on Monday too that there is a perception that there must be a change of government so that it addresses the lost property issue, the second phase of the lost property payments that were not paid in the past. That is why when this side of the House took the government there was already the perception that if the same government continues, it will not address the second phase payment. No wonder the reaction we have seen on the 18thApril. Those are issues that contributed to how people behaved that way on that particular day.
And then again, as I have also stated on Monday, is the rehabilitation payment to former militants. That is why I was asking my good friend, the Prime Minister to make it clear in his statement whether payments would be made or not so as not to create false hope and false promises to our people.
The other contributing factor, Mr Speaker, is the Family Charity Fund issue where it was alleged that the government we were a part of in the last four years has stolen their money -the Charity Fund where a person only pays $200 and he/she is expected to receive $1.2 million.
Mr Speaker, where in the world is such a scheme established? I have also traveled the world over but I have never seen any such scheme. This has changed the mentality of our people to quick money scheme.
It was claimed that the government led by the MP for Savo Russells has used their money in the bank for other purposes. They claimed the government misused their money and so they need a change of government so that it pays $1.2 million to each of its members. This is a fact, Mr Speaker, I was told, and so we hope the new government will honour it. But categorically, Mr Speaker, in our right mind nothing like that exists in the world where someone puts in $200 or $300 and he/she is paid $1.2 million in return. The MP for Savo Russells was implicated in this and that is why the continuation of the last government was not welcomed because of the claim that the last government misused their money. That is a fallacy. That is not true, Mr Speaker.
We know very well the Governor of the Central Bank denying any such money coming in through our financial system for members of the Family Charity Fund. That is one of the reasons because people are still hoping that their money will be paid to them and so they want a change of government.
Mr Speaker, the seventh point is the
anti RAMSI campaign by individual MPs especially here in
Mr Speaker, the eighth point is corruption issue. I am surprised when some people in the streets told me that the government I joined members in my camp received $20,000 each. My goodness! Who in the world would give free money to people? Mr Speaker, that was propagated by even some members on the government side now.
Mr Speaker, I overheard on the telephone two MPs on
the eve of the 18th April talking amongst themselves saying that the
Mr Speaker, I am very surprised that dignified MPs were involved in such a conversation making allegations. No wonder this side of the House was blamed as being corrupt. But do you know, Mr Speaker, that when you point fingers like this at others, how many come fingers point back at you? There are three or four. That is not fair, Mr Speaker.
To be honest Mr Speaker, I thought they were confused about the payment authorized by the Prime Minister for the constituencies that was provided for under the budget. Mr Speaker, not only government MPs received this payment but Members of Parliament on the Opposition side also received it last year. The MP for South New Georgia, Rendova/Tetepari took $882,000 for water supply. I have the list with me, Mr Speaker, on the recipients. Boat building in Langa Langa received $1 million with three trances already disbursed. Mr Speaker, I can tell the nation that this funding is not only for government MPs but almost all Members of Parliament benefited from it. Even the MP for Central Kwara’ae received funding for cattle rehabilitation.
You know what, Mr Speaker, we are
now supplying beef here in
You see, Mr Speaker, and the list goes on.
What we are doing is confusing and misinforming the pubic about corruption. My goodness!
Mr Speaker, the MP for North New Georgia and the MP for Gizo/Kolombangara- the Minister for Planning also received assistance worth $300,000 through this funding. Is that what you want to hear? Even the MP for Ranonga/Simbo received assistance for rural education enhancement worth $200,000.
Mr Speaker, I am reading this list in order to make it clear to the public that the assistance given by the ROC was not only for Members of Parliament on the government side last year but it was also for MPs on the Opposition side. This funding is transparent because it was provided for in the budget and was then funded.
Do you know what, Mr Speaker, these payments were not done through Members of Parliaments’ accounts. Payment was paid through the line ministries. Like in my case, any agriculture project for my constituency was paid through the Ministry of Agriculture. All I need to do was submit invoices and then the Ministry of Agriculture through the Treasury Division of the Ministry of Finance raised the payments.
Mr Speaker, the confusion over the $10 million funding was being used to accuse the current opposition grouping in Parliament as being corrupt. That is the misinformation you were telling the public. Surprisingly enough, Mr Speaker, some members in the government side now are propagating this misinformation. Mr Speaker; I am really surprised because leaders should tell nothing but the truth.
Mr Speaker, I now come back to the Prime Minister’s statement that government is placing emphasis on indigenous business development. Before that can be done, Mr Speaker, I want the government to look seriously at changing the definition of the word ‘Solomon Islander’ in the Constitution. Right now, the word ‘Solomon Islander’ also reflects naturalized citizens as Solomon Islanders. And therefore when these naturalized citizens are involved in business they have the same rights as indigenous people too.
If you want more emphasis on indigenous business people then we need to change the definition. There must be two definitions; one an indigenous Solomon Islander and another one ‘naturalized citizen’ and that will pave the way for racism. The definition of indigenous business must be changed in the Constitution.
I also raised in the media my idea of redeveloping the
Mr Speaker, my idea is to repossess the
Mr Speaker, as a candidate for the Prime Minister’s
post about two weeks ago, I also raised the need for reconciliation. It is very important for
Sir, at the same time there is need for the truth and reconciliation commission to be established so that the public can give information relating to not only the events that started the ethnic tension in year 2000 but even this Black Tuesday as it was referred to where there were a lot of information floating around. There is need for people need to come forward to give evidence and information relating to how this situation was started.
Mr Speaker, I also raised in the media that the opposition group in the House would certainly be giving constructive opposition to the government making sure the government governs this nation within the bounds of the constitution and our legal frameworks, also upholding good governance, accountability and transparency. We will certainly do those. We will allow the government to implement its goals and aspirations as highlighted in the Prime Minister’s statement delivered to the House on Monday.
In concluding, Mr Speaker, I would like on behalf of my good people of Central Kwara’ae express to his Excellency, the Governor General his family and staff for the splendid work they have been doing during the recent events we have gone through. I thank them for their wisdom in making decisions.
Also, Mr Speaker, your good self and staff for the way
you conducted the meeting in the past weeks. To all our Christian Churches, I thank you for
your prayers and commitment during the difficult times we have gone through. It is important that you continue to pray for
this nation as we seek the Lord’s will, on how we will govern this nation. This
is why when I referred to the two Prime Ministers of 1997 and the current one
re-dedicating the nation to God, it is very good. But there is more to that, Mr Speaker. I think we need to rededicate our personal
lives to God as well, and not only the nation. This is very important so that God can give us
wisdom to govern this nation. Thank you
Mr Speaker, I also thank the private sector for its
commitment in continuing to build this nation. As we know private sector or our business
houses are the engine of growth for this nation. I would like to thank all business houses. At this juncture also, Mr Speaker, I would
like to send my sympathy message to the Chinese communities that are affected by
the recent events here in
Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank the Public Service for its continued support and commitment and dedication in making sure services are continued to be delivered - Teachers, the Police and all other public sector unions for their support.
Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP) for their commitment during the turbulent weeks that we came through. It is very, very sad to we see our Police not fully equipped during the riot. I call on the government to re-look at the Rapid Response Unit we used to have in the past. This Unit was trained to address such situations. I think over the years that Rapid Response Unit was no longer existed. So the government unfortunately the Minister of Police is not here, but whoever takes that inisterial post must re look at re establishing the rapid response unit as a unit within the Police Force for addressing these types of problems we are facing.
Like in the past we used to have riots but there were
no burning down of properties, but how police address the recent event Mr Speaker,
is seen as weakness. They were not armed;
they were not fully equipped even with buttons or shields. This is something
for the government to consider. At the
same time Mr Speaker, I would like to thank RAMSI Special Co-ordinator, and the
other officers of RAMSI for their continued commitment to the government and
Also Mr Speaker, the provincial premiers of the
provincial governments, I’d also like to thank them for their understanding in
the situation. I think we all know that
whatever happens here in
Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the development partners very much for their understanding of our situation. I had an opportunity working with them in the last government and I thank them a lot for their understanding. It is my hope that the current government would also have that similar understanding and push our development partners to work alongside our priorities.
I would also like to raise at this point in time the need for an aid policy. The government needs to come up with a proper aid policy that development partners could work alongside so that it becomes a priority document of the government.
Lastly, but not the least, to my good people of Central Kwara’ae, after the meeting I shall come over to Auki to re-convene my constituency congress so that we plan ahead for the next four years. Without the Congress, Mr Speaker, I would not have strong support to become their leader.
Mr Speaker, thank you so much for the opportunity to contribute and I support the motion moved by the Honorable Prime Minister.
Hon Sogavare: Point of order. Mr Speaker, due to the fact that quite a number of MPs still want to speak to the sine die motion, and so I beg to move the following amendment to the motion currently in debate.
Mr Speaker, the motion will now read ‘that at the
adjournment of Parliament on
The motion is agreed to
Mr SPEAKER: Before
the Minister for National Planning speaks, I suppose it is nice, whilst it is
fresh in our minds to make clarification in relation to Solomon Islander in
terms of citizenship and naturalized citizenship. Solomon Islander is defined in the Lands and
Titles CAP 113 to mean a person born in
Hon DARCY: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate of this very important motion, the motion of sine die moved by the Honorable Prime Minister.
Mr Speaker, in so doing, I also at the outset would
like to say that I am very pleased indeed to be part of this Eighth Session of
Parliament after the recent election. First
of all, I would like to congratulate you for your re-election unopposed of
course as a Speaker of Parliament for the tenure of this House. Sir, your re-election is a clear manifestation
of the confidence and trust bestowed on you by Honorable Members of Parliament
on behalf of people of
On the same token, Sir, I would also like to congratulate the Honorable MP, my good friend the MP for Savo/Russells and a former Prime Minister for his election as the Deputy Speaker of the House. Even through I have my own reservations as to the constitutionality of why you accepted his nomination, I will leave that to be sorted out in the right process. I am highly optimistic, Mr Speaker, that in taking up that new responsibility, the Deputy Speaker will, of course, bring with him an ended bonus to the House with his years of political experience and leadership behind him.
Likewise, Mr Speaker, to all Honorable colleagues, both returning and new, may, I also congratulate them for successfully winning the recent elections.
I feel also, Mr Speaker, that it is my duty to register my gratitude to the people of Gizo/Kolombangara constituency, in thanking them for placing their overwhelming trust and confidence in me as their elected representative as demonstrated by the biggest ever winning margin in the recent elections.
Sir, I wish to assure my good people that I shall do
nothing more than to do my utmost best to ensure that our constituency actively
plays its part in the overall development process of
Sir, moving on to real issues, I wish to state here that the events of the most recent past involving the destruction and looting of certain areas of Honiara business districts is most regrettable. In saying so, I wish to extend on behalf of the people of Gizo/Kolombangara constituency my deep sympathy over loses incurred by predominantly the Chinese Community and those Solomon Islanders who also incurred loses one way or another.
Sir, with the hard lessons and the painful experiences of personal and business losses aside, I believe we must now allow reparation efforts to begin. We must try to forget the past and move on with the process of rebuilding this country. By moving on it is important that we build on the improvements that we have right now - the improvements that our previous government has achieved with assistance from RAMSI, and we must start to redirect our policies so that we can lead us to take charge of our destiny and our country.
Mr Speaker, I wish to state here the fact that RAMSI must stay. In so far as RAMSI is concern as stated by the honourable Prime Minister in his statement, RAMSI is a non issue and I do not think we should come to this House and try to justify ourselves about what RAMSI is in our own debates in this House.
We have seen the positive impact of RAMSI and RAMSI’s presence in our country, as a matter of policy and as long as SI and the SI Government take charge of our duty, we will continue to work to reap our good benefits out of our partnership with RAMSI. I believe we should work closely in partnership with RAMSI.
Mr Speaker, we have indeed witnessed
a saddest chapter in the history of our parliamentary democracy when we saw the
MP for Marovo served as Prime Minister of this country for a mere week. I want to say that even though that will
remain as history in this country, I think the good thing is that the
honourable MP for Marovo has in fact set a good history for this country, and
that is choosing between democracy and public peace. I think the MP for Marovo will remain in the
political history of this country as choosing public peace as the right thing
and the right decision especially given the time this country was facing over
the past few weeks. I wish to
congratulate the MP for Marovo for taking that decision and showing to the
whole people of
Mr Speaker, in reflecting onl those events, I wish to say that it has put to test the rigidity and the robustness of our Constitution. Sir, history would tell us that if what has transpired has done us justice or otherwise regardless of whatever, we must again appeal to our honourable Members to forget what has happened and let us move forward.
Mr Speaker, there are some in this House that have raised issues about maintaining the sovereignty of this country. They are concerned about the approach of “hands off”. Mr Speaker, I think the real issue we must understand is that as a sovereign country our Constitution allows the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to run this country.
The reaction that we have seen over the past few weeks, in which we have asked our friends to understand, is let the country to be run by the legitimate government duly elected by our people. The Constitution is very clear on this.
I am pleased to see that we have now started to direct our friends, our neighbours, our neighbouring countries to see that, and to use the appropriate processes under the Vienna Convention to channel their concerns and criticisms about what is happening in the country through the appropriate channel. I am pleased to say here that, that improvement has started to begin and I hope it will continue.
On the issue of the motion of no confidence, Mr Speaker, I would like to say that we have undertaken the application of that motion of no confidence in this House within the bounds of our Constitution. In my view, the motion of no confidence moved some two weeks ago was constitutional and justified given the circumstances. Because it has to be and since it is the only avenue available to us under the Constitution to ensure that the kind of concern leaders are faced with can be resolved through this House. There is no other way but to have that motion. We have been able to show that in a very very respectable and robust way in this House.
I wish to urge all our Members especially those in the Opposition side to respect what has happened. The motion was properly constituted, it was properly processed through this House and it has brought us the kind of resolve that we have now seen and that we have once again enjoyed.
Sir, I have also seen during this week a kind of debate and presentation made by some of our Members in this House, which really saddens me, as it does not speak well of us as leaders. There are some who made presentations in this House that are full of personal vendetta, especially against former public servants who are now Members of Parliament. We think we can use them as an excuse to justify our own arguments and to justify our own debates in this House.
Mr Speaker, that sort of attitude must stop because they are now Members of Parliament. The more we start to get ourselves engage in that kind of a debate, can amount to abuse of our own privilege in this House, and it could amount to us using them in a very abusive way. We must stop and focus our time and energy into forward looking rather than subjecting ourselves to that kind of debate in this House.
Sir, I think what is real for us right now is to redirect this country forward, which is really the intention of this government. We must start to redirect our policies, we must start to look forward and make changes.
I shared some of the sentiments that a lot of our Members have stated in here especially seeing Members of Parliament being held hostage in this house for more than six hours. But, Sir, equally so is the demand for change. If you look at our people in the rural areas for the last 27 years, they have been held hostage as well with very little assistance given to our people. I think that is the real issue we should be directing our attention to, and that is to address why our people in the rural areas for the last 27 years have been held hostage - no development delivered to them. I think that is the real issue we should be focusing our attention to. If the people have spoken to us and we have not changed, people have different ways and how people speak to us is what they have demonstrated to us.
Sir, I think it is now time for us to move on and I would like to urge all Members in whatever capacity you are, to participate to assist the government in planning this country for the next years. We have to move on, we have to plan for our future now.
I want to assure this House that I will be calling on all sides of this House to be heavily engaged in the process of formulating a new national plan for this country, which we are starting to work on, and I am expecting that by November this year we should be able to bring it to this House so that we can once again deliberate on that plan.
With those remarks Mr Speaker, I want to say that this country is ours, it is time now for us to move on, and it is now time for us to start re-developing this country. We must aim with all the best of our time and energy to put the interest of this country as we take stock of whatever we have seen in the past and move on.
With those remarks, Mr Speaker, I resume my seat and I support the motion.
Hon ROGOSOMANI: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing the floor of this honourable House for the first time in this First Meeting of the Eighth Parliamentary Session to briefly contribute to the sine die motion moved by the Prime Minister.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you, Sir, and this honourable House for seeing it fit that you retain that honorable sit to ably oversee the business of Parliament. It is my joy and privilege as the new Member of Parliament for the Lau/Mbaelelea constituency to thank you most sincerely for your contribution to this nation as a public servant, the first Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, and a Member of Parliament, Mr Speaker. You are a real statesman and it is my strong belief that once more you will rise to the occasion and direct the affairs of this House for another fruitful term of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, let me now on behalf of
myself and my family thank the people and government of
Mr Speaker, I take this opportunity to officially thank the chiefs, church leaders, community leaders, young people, mothers, children and people of the Lau/Mbaelelea constituency for having confidence in me by electing me as their new leader. Your votes demonstrate your confidence and trust in my leadership for the next four years and also into the future. I am confident of serving you my good people to the best of my ability as long as I remain your Member of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, I also take this opportunity to thank those who have been candidates for the Lau/Mbaelelea constituency since the Legislative Assembly, Independence and post independence, especially those who have been Members of Parliament for the Lau/Mbalelea seat in Parliament. Despite difficulties faced it has been a time of learning and growth, not as it would have been expected by the people of the Lau/Mbaelelea but at least at no time has this seat left empty for any reason.
Mr Speaker, may I remind all MPs and all those who are in leadership capacity that God requires us to lead our people in a way and manner that not only brings about security, prosperity and progress but also glorifies God in our nation.
I have decided to take my stand and be where I am today, not because I condone violence but because I have certain principles in life that rules my life as an individual. It comes as a real surprise to me that money or the promise of huge money was actually promised me to support a particular group which wanted to form the government. As an example I was waken up to my surprise in the morning of the 4th of May 2006 to see a note that was given to me and my colleague Member for East Kwaio requesting us to join other Ministers especially the candidate for prime ministership and offered a portfolio. This note was given to the security of the IBS. The note said if we go over or to vote for their candidate of Prime Minister, the Security would be given $10,000.00. Trust me, it says and this was signed and the phone number is here. This to me is clearly wrong and unethical and totally against my belief in my freedom to decide on behalf of the people I represent in Parliament.
What guarantee do I have that future decisions will be made on principle rather than on cash handouts from those who could not care what happens to this nation? I therefore decide that I would rather suffer for righteousness shake.
Mr Speaker, it can be very difficult to prove
corruption in a court of law, but the manifestation of corruption are rampant
in this nation. If it were not so, we
would not have received a lecture on corruption by the Foreign Affairs Minister
of Australia. Why would
Mr Speaker, governance is not a about power, prestige and arrogance. Governance in a democracy is about listening to the voice of our people and doing all we can as leaders to lead our people to joy, peace, progress and prosperity. Governance in a democracy is government of the people by the people and for the people.
Mr Speaker, it is now time for
Mr Speaker, because of the faulty foundation in which we wish to progress our nation, it would seem to me that we have not only started on the wrong foot but have managed to shoot that foot as well. Mr Speaker, I sincerely hope we will quickly correct the situation and redirect the course of our nation for the betterment of our people. Apparently that was the reason why we are elected to Parliament.
before I resume my seat let me now congratulate all Members of Parliament for
being elected to this highest decision making institution on the land. I sincerely hope we will not disappoint our
voters and citizens of
Thank you, and I resume my seat.
Topic of Adjournment
“That the Parliament endorses the establishment and enactment of an Act of Parliament to provide political stability for the country”
(a technical fault occurred – part of the speech was not recorded)
Mr Huniehu: “We have easily developed strong socio and economic values on the basis of our cultural heritage with our vast economic wealth. But to do this requires strong political will.” End of quote.
This is where I think that rather than mourning about what has happened, Mr Speaker, the provisions of the Constitution, the 1978 Independence Order was inadequate to address the need of political stability.
Mr Speaker, this Constitution and other subsidiary legislations have been ignored for the last 27 years, hence what we have been experiencing is basically the failure of this Parliament to address in a critical way the need to have political stability in this country.
As I have said, Mr Speaker, you can make
plans, you can have the best plans for the Ministry of Education as emphasized
by the Minister this morning. Very good
plans Mr Speaker. Whatever we do Mr
Speaker, whatever we plan in a country in which the practice is democracy such
This country is made up of 80 languages with many different islands, cultures in a vast expanse of ocean. The need for us to work together is very critical. All these uprisings have been because of the way we are geographically made up in this country. It is only law that will bind us together, and this is why I am urging my Prime Minister to do something very serious.
What have I done in my years in Parliament to address this Mr Speaker? Yes, I have been very vocal on this issue in all meetings of Parliament. At all stage, Mr Speaker, we have requested funds from the Republic of China to establish an integrity bill in the year 2000. We received the funds but it was diverted to pay for public servants; salaries. I think we can take up this project again.
As Chairman of the Bills and Legislation Committee, Mr Speaker, I have tabled a plan to start reviewing issues of this nature but because the Parliament’s Standing Committees were under resourced we were unable to do it. This is the begging subject of this adjournment topic. I know all of us have covered this subject issue in our debates but the purpose of re-emphasizing this motion again at this very point in time is for the Prime Minister to once again reassure this Parliament that within the next three months or so, an integrity bill or an act to create political stability in this country should be tabled in the next sitting of Parliament. It is very important I should not over emphasise this.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, many
previous Members of Parliament share the same views as I do and many Members who
were party to the signing of this Constitution in
I would rather think that the party that wins the majority in the election should be the party that the Governor General should appoint or should call upon to form the government. This is to eliminate the process of lobbying for the position of prime minister.
The Leader of the Opposition said it
very clearly this morning that people have already expressed their majestic
voices in the ballot boxes during the general elections. The people should be voting along party
policies, and this is what we should be promoting. We should get people to vote along party
policies, leadership qualities and what each political party is to offer if it
wins the elections. We have to
revolutionise the political process. At
the moment, as it is well known throughout the country each member campaigns on
his/her credibility and credentials. If
he has inadequate credibility and credentials, Mr Speaker, he/she does not
win. What is happening more now in our
Mr Speaker, if political parties have no financial resources then it is up to the government to provide financial capital to help them. I want to recommend to the government to provide funding for political parties otherwise we will continue to rely on our friends. This is what is causing problem. I said in my remarks, when can we ever learn?
Mr Speaker, I am very genuine in
moving this as a subject of adjournment, and I believe this is the message of
the hour. We have been very critical of
each other but I hope this message will unify all of us as one Parliament. I hope this message of getting properly
established political parties will be redeeming our people in
My good friend, the Minister for Education can also include in his syllabus in our arrangements to provide political education in the classrooms and the older people in constituencies. This must be part of our total responsibility of uniting our people together, and educating them with the real issues that matters in general elections.
With those few remarks, Mr Speaker, I thank you once again for allowing me to move this as a matter of adjournment as this is a matter of public concern. I hope that the honourable Prime Minister will again reassure this Parliament of the serious and urgent need to do this. Mr Speaker, this matter is not only important but it is also urgent. Thank you very much.
Hon SOGAVARE: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Member for East Are Are for the motion. As he said, it is a very important issue and I think there is nothing more that I can say that will really emphasise the importance of the concerns he has raised. This is a matter that has been around for quite a while. I think many Houses have been victims of political instability and so he was talking about real issues.
I think he has raised it in the appropriate time because the government has just been established and as you know the group is made up of five political factions, and in fact some political parties will be seriously taking up these issues in their manifestos.
The chief of the group is hard at work putting together the policy of the party and it is one of the issues that we are taking very, very seriously and if there is a need to have a legislation to be implemented then that is the way to go.
As you would also know, Mr Speaker, the issue is also being addressed in the federal constitution. There is some section in the new federal constitution that looks at addressing the organisation arrangements of political parties. I think that is another venue that we may need to look at if there is a need to amend or incorporate that marking in the Constitution before we address the organic laws then that is the way to be done. Of course, we need to get the views of the expertise who will advise the government as on how to go about it.
Mr Speaker, this is a very important matter brought to the attention of the government, and I would like to assure the House that the government that I have the opportunity and the honor of leading will address it with all seriousness.
The House adjourned at