The National, Monday July 8th, 2013
CITIZENS no longer feel safe and investors, tourists and other visitors feel vulnerable in the country, a former senior public servant says.
Joseph Gabut, former secretary of the Petroleum Department, aired his concern about the treatment of foreigners in the country yesterday.
Gabut said stories about the recent murder of four Chinese nationals and an attack on the deputy chief officer of Ramu Nico were spreading like wildfire on social media and regular media networks in China.
“We have heard that these and other similar incidents have sent shock waves through foreign nationals and investors residing in PNG and also to others intending to come,” he said.
“Foreigners with interests in PNG are seriously concerned about their personal safety and the safety of their investments.”
He said the family of the deceased couple would pay compensation for the two deceased employed in the family business.
“This is an example of the many consequences faced by the relatives of people killed by PNG criminals; irrespective of whether they are PNG citizens or foreign nationals,” Gabut said.
“As a token of sympathy for the children of the deceased and in the spirit of Melanesian tradition of helping the relatives of the deceased we have made a small contribution of K2,000 to the children.
“We are of the firm view that this is one way for PNG citizens to send messages to foreign governments and people that we are sorry for the crimes committed by a few evil minded nationals.”
Receiving the money, China PNG Friendship Association representative Yao Gang thanked Gabut, saying it was not the money but the heart shown that mattered.
“It is just those few that are causing these problems and they should be punished by the higher authorities and face the full force of the law.”