Posted By Staff Reporter
Enga Governor and veteran politician Peter Ipatas today warned Papua New Guineans to stay away from deliberate lies and misleading statements being spread by politicians and individuals about the UBS loan and the sacking of several ministers from cabinet.
“I want to caution Papua New Guineans, especially Engans, to be wary of people who are making misleading statements about the UBS loan to finance State shares in Oil Search, and the recent sacking to some senior ministers of Cabinet,” Mr Ipatas said.
He said these issues have generated a lot of publicity in the media last week, with the social media awash with lies and innuendos suggesting personal gain by certain individuals.
“These are very malicious lies being deliberately spread for political reasons, to create unrest for a political outcome.
“I want to warn people from my electorate, and especially Enga students at tertiary institutions, not to be misled by these politicians and individuals.
“As parents, and as head of a provincial government that has invested a lot in education, I expect Enga students to put your studies first and concentrate.
“There is no harm in debating national issues to broaden your critical thinking process within your institutions. But you should not abandon your classes and associated with politicians who are out to gain personal glory.
“The appointment or decommissioning of a minister is the sole prerogative of the Prime Minister. The politics of it is best left to us politicians to deal with. That is what we are mandated to do,” he said.
On the UBS loan to acquire Oil Search shares, Mr Ipatas said this deal was a good one for PNG.
“I talked to a number of business leaders during the luncheon with Tony Abbott last Friday and they said it was a very good deal. They said PNG gained about K100 million only days after buying the shares as the share price rose.
“I have no doubt that the process was highly transparent. But if anyone has evidence of any impropriety, they should give it to organisations like the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the PNG Securities Commission, ICAC of Australia, and the Ombudsman Commission to look into,” he said.
“Losing the 15% share in Oil Search to IPIC is the work of the last government. This government is working to correct that. And buying 10.1% of shares at a price lower than what the Arabs would have charged is a much better deal for PNG.
“And this suggestion of personal gain and insider trading is all nonsense.
“We should really be commending the government and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill,” governor Ipatas said. Pngfacts/post courier
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