The National – Wednesday, December 15, 2010
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
ACTING Prime Minister Sam Abal has assured the nation, investors and the business community that the National Alliance-led coalition government is intact and all policies and programmes, developed during the past eight years, will be implemented.
Abal said the immediate task before government was the implementation of next year’s budget and called on all ministers and public servants to work over the Christmas and New Year period to ensure implementation starts no later than next month.
The acting prime minister called a media conference to show off a solid team of Finance and Treasury Minister Peter O’Neill, Commerce and Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris, National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten, Mul-Baiyer MP Sani Rambi and Transport Minister Francis Potape.
Abal said he also wanted to immediately convene the national planning committee to clearly set a way forward for the implementation of the budget.
Abal also held his first cabinet meeting yesterday where all ministers present pledged their support to work closely with him.
“The former deputy prime minister, Don Polye, was also present and spoke in support of the decision of the prime minister and assured me of his support,” Abal said.
“I wish to assure Papua New Guineans that the government is intact and all policies and programmes will be implemented.
“Let there be no question about the stability of government and continuity of all we have started.”
Abal also commended the prime minister for his leadership of the country and for the high honour he had bestowed upon him as his deputy.
He said Sir Michael had, in particular, paid the highest tribute to the workings of the democratic institutions he had helped set up by graciously stepping down as prime minister to face a leadership tribunal.
“Few people will make that kind of decision and sacrifice, and Sir Michael has shown another great aspect of his leadership attributes which make him a truly great leader,” the acting prime minister said. Abal said: “I am humble by the task before me to fit into the shoes of Sir Michael, but, this is the task he has set for me and I will not shirk from that responsibility.
“With the greatest respect, I will perform this task to the best of my ability.
“I am conscious of the need for stability in government and, accordingly, call upon all leaders to work with me to ensure Sir Michael’s legacy of stability and growth is maintained and sustained.”
The acting prime minister said political stability was the cornerstone for investor confidence and it was needed at this time in order for important projects, such as the LNG, could be completed on schedule for first gas shipment in 2014.
“I am conscious of the need to align all policies, programmes and plans to vision, mission and strategies set out under Vision 2050, the strategic plan 2030 and the medium-term development plan,” he said.