The Leader of Opposition Hon. Matthew Wale calls on the Commissioner of Police and the Chairman of the Leadership Code Commission to quickly investigate the allegation of bribery made by the Premier of Malaita Province against Government MPs.
This call came after the Premier publicly revealed that he was offered a bribe of SBD$1 m to support the push for Solomon Islands to switch diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China.
Mr. Wale says, “Amidst the many criminal connotations that one can deduce from the allegation, on the outset, it is quite clear that the allegation calls into question the conduct of some of our national leaders.
This is a very serious matter and should not be brushed under the carpet.”
Mr. Wale goes on to say, “as the alleged bribe was made by 2 Government MPs before the decision to switch diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China was made, it raises the even more serious question of whether the Prime Minister as head of the Government, authorized the 2 MPs to make the offer to the Premier?”
It will be quite surprising if the 2 alleged Government MPs were acting on their own accord and were offering their own money to the Premier.
The Prime Minister therefore must be called to answer.
“Furthermore, the allegations also now call into question the process undertaken by the Government to secure the decision to switch diplomatic ties to China.
If the Premier who is not a voting MP was promised money for his support, were the Government MPs who voted in support of the switch also offered money in the same way that is alleged and if so, who authorized such offers, and where did the money come from?
Mr. Wale goes on to say, “the public is entitled to know whether payments were made to Government MPs for their votes and whether such payments were made from public funds, Chinese money or money from persons with vested interest in the outcome of the vote to switch.
These again are serious public interest questions that warrant immediate action by our responsible law enforcement authorities.”
The Opposition leader therefore urges the Commissioner of Police not to sit on the allegations.
The public deserve answers and the way to provide answers is to properly investigate the allegations and to immediately prosecute those who are implicated.
by Leni Dalavera