By JEFFREY ELAPA
LEADER of PNG Party Belden Namah said that the country’s national security is at stake and is now becoming a major concern and a threat to the citizens and foreigners alike.
The outspoken Member for Vanimo-Green and former forests minister was appointed the new party leader after former leader Sir Mekere Morauta stepped down over a week ago to give way to a young leader to lead the party.
Namah raised the concern last week in response to the current law and order issues facing the country.
He said in recent times, the nation had been experiencing instances of widespread criminal activities with increased armed holdups, kidnapping, robberies, rape, cold-blooded murder, drug-trafficking and the much debated arms build-up issue.
He said that there were numerous instances of open defiance of the rule of law by ordinary citizens which was increasingly becoming the order of the day and a worry for law enforcement authorities.
Among other instances of crime he raised were the direct assault incidents on elected members of parliament and the increasing involvement of police in personal body guard and escort services.
He made particular point to the resulting death of a police officer to the hands of criminals, saying police officers were forced into doing other duties to earn extra money as their salaries were not enough.
He said the trend indicated a society that was at risk and needed immediate remedies through government interventions.
He said that numerous calls from all sectors of the community for appropriate and swift government action had fallen on deaf ears.
“The current Somare government simply does not care about the safety, security and well-being of the nation’s six million people and, of course, our investment partners and tourists,” he said.
He said it demonstrated the government’s “don’t care” attitude toward the people and in addressing the security concerns.
He said the indicative of the fact was, that the current Somare gGovernment had failed to properly fund, strengthen and equip PNG’s three disciplinary forces.
The members of the forces continue to serve the state under condemned and dilapidated living and working environments.
Namah said the security and law and order issues of PNG were of national concern and were very serious issues which needed to be attended to immediately to save this and the future generation.
He said by reducing the current level of crime, it would create a conducive climate for increased foreign and local investment.
“The way forward is for PNG to be a secure, safe and stable nation with peace and good order.”
He said the current government must be removed during the November parliament sitting so that law and order is placed as a priority.