By ALISON ANIS
PAPUA New Guinea is heading for destruction under dictatorship with the Parliament’s vote to remove powers of the Ombudsman Commission (OC).
Anti-Corruption activist Noel Anjo said that it was time citizens stood up to let their voice be heard.
He said in a statement last Thursday that corruption was protected and legalised by the Maladina amendment and the Parliament’s 83-0 vote to amend section 27(4) of the Constitution to remove powers of the OC in issuing directives to ministers and heads of departments to investigate corrupt activities.
Meanwhile, Transparency International-PNG (TIPNG), through the Community Coalition Against Corruption (CACC), is lobbying for nationwide support for the petition against the Maladina amendment.
Copies of the petition have already been circulated to Government departments, statutory bodies, business houses, churches, non-governmental organisations, women groups, schools and institutions and individuals to collect signatures.
The petition is also posted in the internet at http://www.transparencypng.org.pg/STOP-the-MALADINA-AMMENDMENTS-flyer-with-petition.pdf or email [email protected]. com for a copy of the petition.
Fax completed petitions to 320 2188 or drop off the petitions at TIPNG Office, Level 5, Mogoru Moto building, downtown.
TIPNG said: “MP Moses Maladina wants to amend the Leadership Code and Constitution to weaken the Ombudsman Commission (OC) and make leaders less accountable.
The Maladina amendment must be stopped because:
* It will take away the OC’s ability to stop politicians and public service chiefs from wasting public money.
This means that even more money that should be spent on services for the people will be stolen.
* It will make it harder for the OC to investigate MPs and public service chiefs who are suspected of misconduct.
This means that leaders who have abused office will get away with it more often, as such where is the justice?
* It will make it easier for MPs to trade on the stock market overseas.
But why should MPs be interested in share trading when they should be representing their people’s interests?
* They will set up two laws in PNG – one for so-called leaders, another for ordinary citizens.
This is unfair and goes against the democratic principles of the constitution.