Govt set to disband riots probe: Source

National, Normal

THE parliamentary bipartisan committee investigating the anti-Asian rioting in May will be disbanded, a senior Government source has revealed.
“It has lost its credibility,” the source, who did not wish to be identified, told The National on Saturday, referring to the
bi-partisan committee chaired by MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham.
The panel is seeking to establish what triggered the May protests and looting of shops owned and operated by Chinese in the Highlands and Port Moresby.
The decision (to disband the panel) was arrived at during a Parliament caucus last week which determined that it (panel) has become a “tool to sabotage” the economic bilateral relations between the Philippines and PNG.
Parliament is expected to take up the panel’s scrapping this week, and at the same time, create a new one, according to the official.
He said the caucus had deemed Mr Maxtone-Graham was no longer fit to chair the panel.
The new panel to be created will hold its inquiry without the presence of the media.
“Among the first to be summoned to appear and give evidence at the inquiry would be the reporter who fabricated a report in Post-Courier on the presence of 16,000 illegal Filipinos in the country,” the source told The National.
Concerns were raised last week after Mr Maxtone-Graham went on a talkback radio programme and commented on matters before the inquiry, which drew a lot of anti-Asian sentiments from callers to the show.