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PNG Opposition Leader Belden Namah.
PNG Opposition leader Belden Namah has called on Prime Minister O'neill to stop deflecting on the allegation labelled against him. "I call on the Prime Minister to stop playing games and own up to his involvement in the corruption of the decade. Mr. O’Neill must not continue to deflect and down play the seriousness of this major corruption scandal in which himself and two of his most senior Ministers are involved.

There is no doubt that he and his Ministers knowingly and or carelessly aided and abetted the fraudulent payment of nearly K100 Million of public funds. The level of intimidation and cohesion that was applied by the three politicians on the poor servants in the Finance and Treasury Department is unbelievable. They treated the illegal and fraudulent payment of K71.8 million to Mr. Paraka as if it was an emergency, such that the public servants were bombarded with directive after directive. They even went to the extent of directing that the funds be sourced from Reserve Trust Funds, which are kept for emergency situations only.

It is indeed a national shame that, the three leaders went out of their way to pay Paraka, who was not at all entitled to a single toea, and I repeat, not a single toea. As a matter of fact, we are aware that Mr. Paraka has been paid more than K300 Million between 2007 and 2013, and some of those millions were paid in 2010 and 2011, when Mr O’Neill himself was Finance Minister.

The Prime Minister has been challenging me to talk on real issues. I now ask him, is corruption not a real issue? Is he suggesting that corruption and the fight against corruption is not a serious business? It amazes and saddens me to hear these sorts of remarks from the Prime minister of this Country. I must say that only persons who are serial and pathological fraudsters can’t see corruption as a serious matter for this country.

Fighting corruption is the number one policy issue for me and my Party (PNG PARTY) and my Team in the Opposition. I wish to guarantee Peter O’Neill that my fight against corruption has only begun. I will keep him under check for the full term of this Parliament, hence he must get used to it.

I must state here that the Opposition will support the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Bill. However, the PM must publically make a commitment that the current Task Force Sweep Team will move in and make up positions and continue their current and ongoing investigations. The commitment is critical because the Opposition has information that, as soon as the ICAC Bill is passed, the PM will disband the Task Force Sweep Team to avoid being prosecuted. As one can imagine, once the current investigations are halted, it is any body’s guess if the cases will ever mature to arrests.

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