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PNG Politics : Sam Basil's United Labour Party leaps to new level with Fundraiser

Newly formed United Labour Party leaped to new level on Saturday with their first-ever fundraising dinner with fireworks, gymnastic performances, jokes and a three-course black tie meal and live band performances.

The PNG Trade Union-backed ULP led by President Sir Bob Sinclair and Parliamentary Leader Samuel H Basil led from the start dressed in black suits with orange neck ties and bow ties on white shirts.

The presence of Prime Minister James Marape who flew in from Honiara to be in attendance as well as former, founding and long-serving Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare added value to the fundraising event.

The resplendent event, aided by Next-of-Kin event managers, began with a cocktail before guests were ushered to the three-course dinner set for 500 guests on 50 tables.

Mr Basil, Minister for National Planning and Bulolo MP, was at his best pledging allegiance to the Marape-Steven Coalition Government and in introducing his eight ULP Parliamentary Wing MPs:

• Hon Lekwa Gure – Rigo MP, Minister for Civil Aviation is ULP Deputy Leader
• Hon Peter Sapia – Rai Coast, ULP Council Representative
• Hon Fabian Pok – North Waghi, ULP Council Representative
• Hon Chris Yer Nangoi – Sumkar, Minister for Correctional Services
• Hon Koni Iguan – Markham, Vice Minister for Agriculture
• Hon Wesley Raminai – Kagua-Erave, Vice Minister for Sports
• Hon Kennedy Wenge – Nawae, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Tourism, and
• Hon Moriape Kavori – Lufa

“I am indebted to these MPs for their loyalty. After a long and tough search for a home, we have, with the support of the labour union movement through the PNG Trade Union Congress, combined forces to form the United Labour Party,” said Mr Basil.

He re-affirmed to the diners that ULP is the the official voice of the labour party movement in Papua New Guinea.

“Our policies will have a natural tendency towards supporting workers which draws a lot from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the various ILO conventions that the Governments of Papua New Guinea have ratified over the last 45 years since Independence.

“United Labour Party is a political party that recognizes and gives credit to workers – on whose back, sweat and labour this nation has been built so far. Their wages have been the mainstay of many extended families in Papua New Guinea for a long time.

“Any focus on changes of policies to improve the welfare, wages, workplace including gender equality and gender sensitivity of workers, is a firm step towards the development of Papua New Guinea in urban work places, rural work places and the wider population of Papua New Guinea,” Mr Basil added.

He reiterated that ULP is a committed partner to the Marape-Steven Coalition Government. “We are committed to the Marape Manifesto with the overarching theme “Take Back PNG” and “make it the richest, black, Christian Nation”, he told the diners.

To sponsors, Mr Basil said that in supporting ULP, they supporting they were supporting foreign investments, better collections of revenue including from State-Owned Enterprises, exploring new revenue or employment in low skill labour overseas; reforms in the Public Sector: connect PNG integrated to enhance profitable business expansion in agriculture and other renewable resources.

“These are not necessarily conclusive nor exclusive. Ultimately, we want to continue to play strategic role in Papua New Guinea Governance that continually develops our own broad based sustainable economic base. This is so we can meet our current expenditures; as well as have surplus income both to keep growing our economy; and ensuring reserves for the rainy day,” he added.

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