I READ with great interest Public Enterprise Minister Arthur Somare’s move to refer a journalist and its editor to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee because the newspaper published a police report which said that two of his ministerial colleagues and a parliamentary colleague financed William Kapris’ walkout from Bomana’s maximum security prison like a stroll in the park.
I view the minister’s action and motive as nothing short of a direct threat to the freedom of media as enshrined in the Constitution of our country.
As a minister, he should be protecting this freedom instead of behaving like another episode of a chapter in the book, Animal Farm.
The minister has other more important things to care about like his recent trip to Japan to finalise the PNG LNG project details than to get the names of the three politicians.
If the minister really wants to know the identities, why not ask Manasupe Zurenuoc, the chairman of the National Security Advisory Council, or Police Commissioner Gari Baki, or the Police Minister or National Intelligence Organisation chief Bob Nenta?
The police report should be with them by now.
There is no need to haul the journalist and the editor before a parliamentary committee if the minister only wants to know the identity of the three persons, unless his real intention is to muzzle the press.