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Asilaua’s $5m claim holds no truth: Suidani

Premier of Malaita Province Daniel Suidani has hit back at Elijah Asilaua on his $5 million claims against the premier published in the print media yesterday.

Premier Suidani said the province did receive 2000 bags of rice from Taiwan through a goodwill arrangement with their Malaitan friends in June 2020 but rejects the $5 million claim by Asilaua as financial assistance from Taiwan.

“Yes, we received 2000 bags of rice, and not the $5 million as Asilaua falsely claimed. He used the media to deliberately spread his lies, mislead and confuse the public and the people of Malaita province.

Premier Suidani (L) rejects Asilaua’s (R) $5 million claim

“I have no knowledge of any $5 million dollars that Asilaua claimed,” said the premier in a phone interview from his quarantine room.

Asilaua is the Member for Provincial Assembly (MPA) for Ward 11 in the Malaita Provincial Assembly. He was a former minister in Premier Suidani’s Malaita Alliance for Rural Advancement (MARA) government until his resignation recently to join the non-executive side on moves to oust Suidani, alongside eight other executive members.

Of the 33 wards in Malaiata, Asilaua claimed that only 17 wards in Malaita got their shares with 200 bags of rice each and the other 16 wards still without any rice till today.

He alleged that Taiwan has also donated $5 million to Malaita province through the premier without consultation with the executive and the provincial assembly.

He said they have been calling on the Premier to provide a break-down and report on that money but he has not responded.

But premier Suidani said if Asilaua trusts that what he presents is true, he should provide evidence on that $5 million, with proof of bank account, bank statements and/or transaction details.

“These are the evidence to prove such a claim. If you have these evidences, please ask Asilaua to produce them,” he said.

Premier Suidani said the 2000 bags of rice cannot cater for all the 33 wards of Malaita so they have to decide on which wards needed food the most and also shared them to hospitals in Malaita like Kilu’ufi and Atoifi hospitals.

“Out of every ward which gets 200 bags of rice each, Asilaua gets 400, that’s his attitude, he always wants a big share of things.
“It’s a shameful thing to raise allegations on matters he gets a huge share from,” Suidani claimed.

The premier said he and other MPAs did not get any share as the supply was not enough and they voluntarily let other wards which were in need to be given their share.

“We have the evidence about the distribution of rice, all the records are with the provincial administration. It also shows Asilaua gets 400 bags of rice and everyone else gets 200 while some of us did not get anything,”

“Asilaua is misleading the nation and the province for his own agenda. The issue of that $5 million claim is not true,” he said.

The premier issued a stern call to the print media to seek comments from him first before publishing such unfounded claims.

by Jared Koli

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