PM declares war on crime

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday 1st May 2013



PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday declared war on the escalating law and order situation which in recent weeks had brought great shame to PNG and international condemnation.

The measures will include :

l Immediate implementation of the death penalty;

l Life sentence without parole for rape;

l Repealing of the Sorcery Act to make it more effective in the fight against sorcery-related murders;

l Twenty-year jail sentence for the breach of liquor laws including the making of homebrew, 

l Fifty-year jail sentence for drug-related offences including growing and selling of marijuana.


A high-risk prison on an isolated island is also high on the agenda in today’s cabinet meeting.

He told reporters that cabinet would meet today to discuss this troubling issue, with lawyers already being instructed to draw up legislation which would be further debated in the May session of parliament.

“There will be maximum penalties that have never been seen before in this country,” he said.

“We are serious about addressing this issue. We will regulate and pass laws that some people in our country may find draconian. But the people are demanding it.”

O’Neill said rather than criticise government, opposition leader Belden Namah should be working with it, including passing the legislation in the May session.

“I want to assure the country that we will review some of the legislation in respect of some of the behaviour that is now happening in the country,” he said.

“At tomorrow’s (today’s) cabinet meeting, the legislation that the lawyers have been working on for the May session of parliament will be discussed.

“The May session starts on May 14 and I’m certain the opposition leader will support the government in working for these good initiatives that we are going to put in.”

O’Neill said the death penalty was already in place but had never been implemented.

“We will strengthen it further for its implementation.This is not a new law. The implementation of that will now be given the regulation and by-laws necessary to fully implement the law itself.

“For incidences of gang-rape and other rapes that are happening throughout the country, we are proposing life sentence with no parole.

“The Sorcery Act condones some practices of sorcery with the community. That will be repealed.

“We are trying to regulate 20-year jail sentence for breaking of any liquor-related law.

“Anyone cultivating drugs like marijuana and selling them faces a maximum penalty of 50 years.”