‘We are not activists’

National, Normal

The National

PNG Trade Unions Congress (PNGTUC) general secretary John Paska said yesterday that the movement would speak its mind and would not be silenced by the Opposition, the Government or any party.
Mr Paska said he and other trade union leaders spoke on behalf of their members and would continue to do so without fear or favour.
He said in a statement that they were not pro-Government activists as suggested by Opposition Leader Sir Mekere Morauta and Bulolo MP Sam Basil.
Mr Paska said the Opposition leadership appeared to have lost its bearing and was in disarray.
“They started off with Dr Bob Danaya as the alternate prime minister. Apparently he has since timidly receded into the Oppositions political vortex.
“Not long thereafter, the gnawing hands of power ensured the re installment of Sir Mekere at the helm.
“Not to be outdone, Sam Basil tends to conjure up sufficient enthusiasm to ensure that not only is he not shut out but he remains a viable proposition never mind the misdirection of some of his comments.
“Meanwhile, poor Jamie Maxtone-Graham is emitting confusing signals about whether we should consider him a nutritionist adviser or a political leader.”
Mr Paska said it was no wonder the “Ship of Hope” that promised so much appeared to have cast away its anchor and was drifting rudderless into the sunset.
“This gives rise to a serious question, who is the legitimate leader of the Opposition?
“The people of PNG deserve to know that the alternate government is solidly behind one leader and there is cohesion.
“Striking out at union leaders and NGOs clearly shows the Opposition has lost its focus and is being driven by the politics of desperation.”
Mr Paska said he was recently accosted and abused by young Opposition henchmen.
“Does the Opposition also employ thugs and misfits? Is this what the Opposition government is going to be made of?”
He said the Opposition could not expect to win the hearts and minds of the people if it could
not demonstrate cohesion, credible leadership, sound policies and guarantee the democratic right of people to voice their opinion.