TIPNG wants end to political patronage

National, Normal

TRANSPARENCY  International said it is disgusting to read about National Alliance (NA) party vice-president, James Kond, receiving a substantial payment of K200,000 as a lobbyist for international organisations looking to operate in carbon trading.
TIPNG said in a statement that this case of blatant “cash for political access” on the part of carbon speculators was simply the ugly face of corporate lobbying in PNG.
“This buying of political patronage should not be tolerated by forest-owning communities, any individual or the PNG Government,” TIPNG chairman Peter Aitsi said.
Mr Aitsi said the public could rightfully ask how many more of these deals had been done.
“We should also be skeptical about dubious projects that have been pushed by the Government, involving the support given to certain mines, certain hotel developments, certain communications projects, and even certain knighthood that have been awarded.”
He said while the Prime Minister might not have known of the actions of the NA’s vice-president, now that it had been made public, he must make public what steps he would take to ensure this type of “cash for political access” would be stamped out and those individuals who had business interests were not allowed access to the dealings of Government or be allowed to influence the policy consideration of Government.
Mr Aitsi said this incident clearly highlighted the compromising of national interests by individuals who had political connections.
“They are selling our State assets with little regard to the long term benefit for our communities.
“This incident is a real reflection of why we need an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) so that these types of politically linked business activities are  investigated fully, and where there is proof of wrong doing, the individuals in question should be prosecuted.”