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Sumkar MP Wants His Constituents Informed

Sumkar MP Wants His Constituents Informed

Madang, PNG 19th July 2009

In a highly commendable effort to getting his Sumkar constituents informed, the Sumkar MP (Hon. Ken Fairweather), had initiated an open forum which was held on Sunday 19th July 2009. It was exactly one month to the date when the PMIZ ground-breaking occasion was bulldozed through at Vidar on 19th June 2009. The forum was staged at the Bomase hamlet of Rempi village which is within walking distance from Vidar. Unlike other “public” fora which are normally housed within confines of university lecture halls or air-conditioned conference rooms in hotels, this one was staged out in the open air, under the cool shades of mango trees.

Men, women and even children, flooding in and numbering more than four hundred, had come in from as far away as Awar toward the mouth of the Ramu river, Josephstaal in the Middle Ramu District, as well as from Karkar and Bagabag islands. Presidents from the Sumgilbar and Karkar Local Level Governments (LLG) as well as the Sumkar District Administrator and a host of LLG representatives and community leaders from throughout the electorate were also present. Leaders from the Madang Lagoon communities were also present for this open forum, and they too aired their concerns.

The open forum was meant to create an opportunity for information sharing or exchange on the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) issue, and to create an open space for the general public to freely air their concerns on the same. A host of unanswered questions were raised. The hard fact is that there is NO transparency, NO dissemination of information on what the PMIZ is all about nor on what exactly is going on….

Whilst his colleague Ben Semri (Middle Ramu MP and PNG’s National Fisheries Minister) is vehemently pushing to have the PMIZ idea happen, Hon Ken Fairweather made it known in no uncertain terms that what he wanted first and foremost for his constituents, was for them to be well equipped with relevant and appropriate information on the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) and on any other development at all for that matter. Mr Fairweather alluded to the people’s right to information and the freedom of expression and encouraged them to value and utilize them whilst they still had those…

“Quote me as you wish and report it in the news however you would want it,” stressed Mr Fairweather, “but let me point out here that this PMIZ arrangement is a fishy deal, orchestrated by individuals driven by selfish interest and evil intent. This 5% equity deal is garbage…..what’s wrong with shooting for 33-40% equity? We are talking here about life so the equity share better be reflective of that…..and equity is just ONE out of MANY considerations that deserve clear thinking, clear planning and negotiating for, but which has NEVER happened in this PMIZ case…..and I have this to challenge you all on: that this better be the first of many many meetings that you will have to hold, if you are really serious about addressing this issue……you have this disaster coming and you better continue meeting and meeting to discuss ways and means to face it head on….I’ll do my bit BUT you too must do your bit….” Mr Fairweather said.


© Scoop Media

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