The National, Monday August 5th, 2013
By MALUM NALU
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill and his People’s National Congress celebrated their first 12 months in office by raising K3.86 million for charities in the country through the PM O’Neill Foundation.
The money was raised at a fundraising event in Port Moresby on Saturday night, as well as through donations and pledges.
More than 600 guests heard O’Neill give a review of his first 12 months in office through an onstage interview with journalist John Eggins, and were later entertained by Australian superstar Tina Arena and local sensation Honlly Isaac alias “Jokema”.
Australian entertainment guru Richard Wilkins was the master of ceremonies.
“Tonight, we have raised K3.868 million,” O’Neill said.
“I believe this is the highest any charity organisation (in PNG) has ever raised.
“Thank you for your support tonight which has raised the money for the foundation.
“It will go to many charities across the country that are not able to raise funds themselves.”
The crowd cheered and sang along with Arena as she sang favourites such as I just don’t know what to do with myself, Burn and Now I can dance.
Isaac, a 28-year-old singer from Butibam village, in Lae, was unfazed as he performed a duet with Arena, singing Foreigner’s 1984 classic I want to know what love is.
Earlier, Isaac brought the house down with Moment in time a song especially composed for the occasion, which was about people taking a moment off from their busy lives to help those in need.
“It was a really nice experience,” he said.
“It was the first time for me to do a duet with an international superstar and I’m really looking forward to more to come.”
Sports and National Events Minister Justin Tkatchenko said the event set the bar for political fundraisers in PNG.
“It has set a new trend for political party fundraisers, instead of raising money for the party, we raised money for charity.
“Thank you prime minister for showing the initiative.
“It was a fantastic result.”