Sir Mekere’s ‘stealing’ slammed

Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Mao Zeming has called on Sir Mekere Morauta not to use the words “stealing” and “expropriation” when talking about Parliament’s decision to vest full control of the Ok Tedi Mine in the State.
“Sir Mekere must respect the decision of the Parliament. After all, he used the same Parliament in 2001 to push through the laws that set up PNG Sustainable Development Program, and deny the people their right to sue for full and proper compensation for damages done to their environment and to their lives.
“I was a Cabinet Minister in his government then. I owned up to our mistake and voted to pass the bills yesterday to undo that mistake. For Sir Mekere, it might be personally hurtful for him. But he should be a true nationalist, accept that he was part of a wrong decision, and not use words like stealing and expropriation.
“These words are very damaging to the image of our country. No one stole anything from anyone.
“The Bills we passed yesterday merely corrected a wrong decision we made in 2001. Also, the Bills require the State to pay a fair value for the shares in Ok Tedi that it is acquiring. 
“Sir Mekere knows all about determining fair value. At his insistence, the government under his leadership pushed through the sale of PNGBC to BSP at the price he determined to be fair value. 
“We can assure Sir Mekere that this government will be a little bit more generous with the shares in Ok Tedi it is acquiring.”
Mr Zeming said the passage of the Bills should now end all debate on this issue.

The Post Courier

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