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A boat only rocks when the captain is out: Suidani

Nine development projects approved for Malaita, Premier Suidani assures thousands 

“A boat only rocks when the captain is out,” Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani confidently uttered these words in front of thousands who gathered in Malaita’s provincial capital, Auki yesterday to welcome him home after a medical trip to Taiwan that took him almost five months. 

Premier Suidani welcome ceremony in Malaita provincial capital, Auki yesterday. Photo courtesy of Sammie Waikori

The premier arrived in Auki to an euphoric hero’s welcome, dubbed by many as a first in the history of Solomon Islands for a premier to receive such an overwhelming accolade from people. 

“Even though the province is in this leadership situation, my good people of Malaita province, the Malaita Alliance for Rural Advancement (MARA) Government will still look after you.

“If we continue to stand together as this, my good people, I believe we will receive good things,” he said.

Premier Suidani announced nine projects for Malaita province that he had approved with development partners last month when he and his advisor were still in Brisbane.

He said a Pineapple factory has been approved for Bonale in west Kwaio, a permanent wharf project has also been approved to be built at Luaniua, Ontong Java Atoll, Malaita outer island.

“I would like to announce that we also approved a factory to process pig meal which will be built through the US Aid program. You are hearing from the horse’s mouth right now,” Suidani said. 

Malu’u and Afio fisheries and Kava factory in Boikeo as well as warehouses and other projects were also approved for the province, according to the premier. 

The premier also thanked his loyal executive members.

“I would like to thank my loyal executive members that remain with MARA and the people of Malaita, the strength, power and concern you put for people in Malaita is beyond words can explain.

“I thank God that you have no heart for money, but you have a heart for the children of Malaita and the children of their children, that is why you remain standing boldly,” he said.   

He said he has never seen what was shown by thousands of Malaitans yesterday since he was born. 

“This is the first of its kind I have ever seen, and I would like to thank you all for your prayers which resulted in my safe arrival back to the country and in the province,” he said.

He said traveling overseas to get treatment during this global pandemic is not an easy thing one might think.

An observer said the premier won the hearts of many Malaita people through his staunch stand and demonstrated democratic values, principles and beliefs.

by Jared Koli

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