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PNG Govt Violates Pandemic Emergency Laws - Marape must answer questions

The Deputy Leader of the People’s National Congress Party, Hon. Richard Maru, MP, has called on the Prime Minister to answer questions about the mysterious three-day visit by a foreign businessman that bypassed Pandemic Emergency and National Border laws.

Mr. Maru said the purpose of the trip in itself is open to question, particularly as the Prime Minister and Environment minister are disputing the purpose of the visit, and the Personal Protection Equipment the is mostly yet to arrive in PNG. “The cost of the private jet charter from Hong Kong to Port Moresby, then part of the charter cost to Vancouver is estimated to be more than K860,000. “But all they delivered were three boxes of face masks worth a few thousand dollars, and promised they would send ventilators later.

Why would these people spend nearly one million Kina to charter a private jet to so they could deliver a few thousand dollars of face masks? “James Marape said these people were in PNG to do business, but he did not say what business this involves. “Environment Minister Wera Mori said they were in the country to help with environmental issues, but he did not reveal any details of arrangements with the government. “So, if the PM and Environment Minister cannot agree on why the businessman was in PNG, and the cover story of delivering face masks is not convincing, what is the country to believe?

“The decision of the Controller to grant special privileges to this businessman and his entourage also directly contradict the statement by the Controller himself that there will be no exemptions to Emergency Orders. “There are many companies doing business in PNG, who are giving millions of Kina in COVID-19 support, but they are never given any exemption to Emergency laws. “The Opposition further calls on Transparency International PNG to take a close look at this matter and help the country to know the truth as to what was really going on through the misuse of power under the Pandemic Emergency Act.

“The laws of our land are not open to be compromised, particularly under this questionable Pandemic Act that was forced through Parliament without any consultation.” Mr. Maru said the Prime Minister has to answer simple the questions of the media as to:

• Why this businessman and his entourage were provided diplomatic privileges by the Controller that include not having their luggage searched as required under PNG laws.

• What was in the six bags that were allowed through Customs without checks and later transferred to another vehicle?


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