Pruaitch: We were frustrated


OPPOSITION Leader Patrick Pruaitch says the walkout by Opposition MPs last Friday was to show their frustration over Speaker Job Pomat’s referral of Madang MP Bryan Kramer to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee.
Pruaitch had raised a point of order after Pomat announced his decision, pointing out that the remarks by Kramer against Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy Sam Basil on
Facebook was made outside the House.
“Whatever happens outside Parliament cannot be brought under the Parliamentary Standing Orders and addressed in the chamber. Sam Basil didn’t made a statement on the floor of Parliament concerning the subject of banning Facebook,” he said.
“He made the statement outside Parliament as a State Minister responsible for communications in the country.
“And if any statement which the Member for Madang made that seems defamatory should be address in the appropriate avenues which is the judiciary, the courts and the police. (But) not by using the
Parliamentary Privilege as an MP to bring the matter to be addressed under Parliamentary Standing Orders.”
Pruaitch said Pomat was the deputy leader of the ruling People’s National Congress led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
“We expressed our frustration because this Government is trying to suppress freedom of speech and expression which is a fundamental right of citizens as stated in the Constitution,” he said.
Kramer during the conference thanked the Opposition MPs for their support.
He said his statement did not mention anything about Parliament and he was ready to defend himself.