Namah: Mind our borders

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OPPOSITION Leader Belden Namah says the Government needs to have a clear channel of command and communication among its members in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
For example, he said the Government was yet to explain in detail to the people how it would address the illegal crossings on the border with Indonesia.
He said people such as the vanilla traders from the Sepik provinces were still crossing the border to sell their produce in Indonesia.
He said people such as the vanilla traders from the Sepik provinces were still crossing the border to sell their produce in Indonesia.
“It seems like the Government has no channel of command and lack communication among its members,” he said.
“They are playing catch-up football at this time.”
Prime Minister James Marape said on Monday he had discussed with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison about tightening security at the borders.
He warned PNG citizens caught on the other side of the border that they would be dealt with by the law enforcement agencies of those countries.
Namah also said the Government should have first sought Parliament’s approval before declaring the state of emergency.
“The Government has to be careful when declaring a state of emergency (because it is curtailing) the civil rights of the people,” he said.
“There has to be a Parliament sitting to discuss regulations and propose timeframes to go with the regulations.”
Namah claimed that any new regulation made during the lockdown could be deemed unconstitutional.
Kerema MP Richard Mendani called on the Government to provide options for people dependent on the informal sector now affected by the lockdown.
“Many people relying on selling betel nut and cigarettes are badly affected by the ban put in place by the Government. It must provide options for them.
“The government has to carefully control this or will cause chaos because it might (trigger) looting in the city.”


  • The 97% of the land in PNG is customarily owned. People living in our centres of PNG are all working class people. Their will be no excuse from non workers living in our centres and are depending on street sales. We have enough land to plant and harvest. In such a bad time, we have to stay In our homes. Life is Paramount. Such corrupt country like PNG can’t deal with current problem (spread of covid-19). Therefore, it would be good, if all citizens do what we can do to avoid the spread and enter of this deadly illness.

  • Simple masses of people are suffering greatly, leaders should have some more plan to cater for the poor.. do something ASAP..

  • Yes, most people relying on betel nut and cegarette sales are being afected, so government must carefully control this. people might die with hunger instead of covid-19.

  • I fully support our opposition leader as our first line of defence should be our boarders and ensure we have trained nurses and doctors on site to test and screen passengers or all local and foreigners coming into our country.
    We must equip our doctors and nurses with the required ppe ,thermometers and testing equipment so everyone is screened thoroughly and adhere to our country’s laws.
    All visitors must be quarantined for 14 days again and tested again after the 14 days before being given their visas for whatever reason..
    All of this must apply for all international airports and wharfs nationwide, so we have control measures in place to at least try to prevent the virus to entering our country..
    Also finally ensure all crew must comply with the 14 day self quarantine, tested and cleared by our docs/ nurses before returning to their families.
    These are the measures we must put in place to control the pandemic from never reaching our shores..
    Can we control the movement of our boarders , airports and wharfs and let our villages go back to marketing their produce and support our economy.

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