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Vision: To be a modern Parliament that fulfills its constitutional duties and effectively serves the people of Solomon Islands.


Parliament is adjourned until Wednesday 31st October 2018.  

 
Thursday 13 December 2007

NATIONAL PARLIAMENT OF SOLOMON ISLANDS

8TH PARLIAMENT – 1ST SESSION – 5TH MEETING

DAILY HANSARD

 

THURSDAY 13TH DECEMBER 2007

 


The Speaker, Rt Honorable Sir Peter Kenilorea took the chair at 10.00 a.m.

Prayers.

ATTENDANCE

At prayers, all were present with the exception of the Minister for Culture & Tourism and Mines & Energy.

 

STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE SPEAKER

Mr Speaker:  Honourable Members of Parliament now that Parliament has formally commenced. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome honorable Members of Parliament including the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition, and Members of Parliament to this Meeting.  Before the House considers any matters of procedure, there are a number of matters I would like to bring to the attention of the House.
            First of all, in light of the recent events and the high level of public interest in this Meeting, I feel it is important to reiterate that following the passage of the Prescription of Parliamentary Privileges, Powers and Immunities Act 2007, the National Parliament of Solomon Islands enjoys the same privileges, immunities and powers of the United Kingdom House of Commons as at 7th July 1978.  In that regard, Parliament enjoys autonomy from control by the crown and the courts, an aspect of our constitutional separation of powers and therefore Members and others participating in these proceedings can freely do so without fear of any action taken against them in the courts.
            As honorable Members would be aware, the Attorney General on behalf of the Prime Minister initiated proceedings in the High Court against the Governor-General following His Excellency’s proclamation that Parliament would meet this 13th day of December 2007.  As Members would also be aware, Justice Goldsbrough ruled in his judgment yesterday that the proceedings were frivolous and vexatious and the proclamation in respect of this meeting was not declared invalid or void.  Parliament has thus met in accordance with the Governor General’s proclamation.
            The nation is also aware that Parliament must authorize, prior to 31st December 2007, an approved method for Government expenditure on or after 1st January 2008.  This requirement has become intricately involved in the current political impasse that confronts the nation and the motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister, which has met constitutional requirement and therefore sits on the notice paper for this Parliament.
            No expenditure of public funds is lawful without Parliament’s approval and only Parliament can determine the legitimacy of a government remaining in office.  The Parliament in this meeting is thus confronted with two of its important constitutional responsibilities.
            In facing these challenges, I cannot emphasize to you the importance of your leadership to this country and your responsibility to build this nation in unity.  On this note, I would like to add that as an independent nation, Solomon Islands has had parliamentary democracy for the past 29 years, and I and the nation as a whole hope and pray that the events of recent weeks have not tested your commitment to the values of parliamentary democracy but have entrenched them more deeply.  The nation has called upon you as national leaders to act to resolve the current political impasse. 
Honorable Members of Parliament, as elected representatives of our people, you are no doubt aware of the beliefs, needs, aspirations and circumstances of our people you represent.  You now must exercise sound judgment on their behalf and take to your hearts their concerns.
            In concluding, I would like to call on you as important political leaders of our beloved country to put the interest of our nation first.  Thank you for your listening. 

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS

An Auditor-General’s Insights into Corruption in Solomon Islands Government (National Parliament Paper No. 48 of 2007)

STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE LEADER OF OPPOSITION

MOTIONS

Mr FONO:  Mr Speaker, I am seeking your consent to move a motion to suspend Standing Orders.  Honorable Speaker, with your indulgence may I humbly seek your consent pursuant to Standing Orders 81, 26 and 10(6) to move in this honorable house a motion without notice for the suspension of Standing Orders 15(2) and 14(3) to bring forward the business for Friday 14th December to today’s date, Thursday 13th December since the government does not have business for today.

Consent under Standing Order 18 granted

Mr Fono:  Thank you, Sir, for your consent.  Sir, I now move a motion without notice pursuant to Standing Orders 81, 26, and 10(6) that Standing Orders 15(2), 14(3) and 36(2) be suspended to enable this Parliament to proceed to debate the Motion of No Confidence, so by virtue of the suspension of Standing Orders 15(2) and 14(3), this Thursday 13th December 2007 be designated as a private Members’ motion day as if it was a Friday.
            Mr Speaker, you will recall that the Clerk to National Parliament in a Memorandum to Members of Parliament dated 26th October 2007 informed Members that the meeting of this Parliament would convene on 15th November 2007.  Sir, on 5th November 2007, however, the Clerk issued another Memorandum postponing the meeting to a later date because according to the government, the national budget could not be ready by 15th November 2007. 
            Sir, you and other co-architects of our sovereign constitution were visionary and wise for you ensured the creation of a provision in our national constitution to deal with the kind of situation now encountered by the government.  That provision is section 103(1).
            Mr Speaker, His Excellency the Governor General, a former accomplice public servant and a former distinguished Member of Parliament recognized the wisdom of having section 103(1) of the constitution and acknowledged there is need for this Parliament to pass a resolution under Section 103(1) before 31st December 2007.  This caused His Excellency to make the proclamation to meet today, 13th December 2007.
Sir, that proclamation was challenged by the Hon. Prime Minister in the High Court.  The High Court has dismissed the application by the Hon. Prime Minister as frivolous and vexatious case.  The meaning of those terms is ‘a waste of time and does not make any sense for the court to deal with that question’ because its rightful place is the Parliament.
            Sir, the High Court by its judgment delivered yesterday - 12th November 2007, has also recognized and acknowledged that it is necessary Parliament meets now to deal with the motion for a resolution under section 103 of our Constitution. 
Mr Speaker, it is most astonishing that the Government does not even tender a motion for resolution under section 103(1) for this meeting and yet it continues to describe itself as a responsible and popular government.  It has instead been merely playing around with dates for ulterior motives, Mr Speaker.  Whilst the government is not prepared to move its motion for money supply resolution, there is a motion of no confidence pending in this National Parliament. 
Sir, this Parliament therefore has a business before it to deal with and should not be suppressed by tactical political game advanced by the government. 
Mr Speaker, there is now public urgency which demands this Parliament to resolve the political impasse which remains unresolved for a month or four weeks now.  There is public urgency for this sovereign nation to be governed by an acceptable and responsible government.  There is also, Mr Speaker, public urgency that a majority government takes control of public expenditure and not a minority government, as is the case now. 
Mr Speaker, I am moving this motion because of procedural hindrances caused by Standing Orders 15(2) and 14(3).  It would appear from Standing Orders 15(2) and 14(3) that only the Prime Minister could determine motions or bills on any day except Friday.  Therefore, Mr Speaker, this is the intended motion to suspend the Standing Orders.  With these remarks, Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

The motion is open for debate

Hon SOGAVARE:  Mr Speaker, thank very much for allowing me to contribute on the motion that is before the House for appropriate Standing Orders to be suspended to allow business set for Friday to be moved forward in order for Parliament to deliberate on the business today.
Sir, the only reason why His Excellency made the proclamation to call Parliament is to enable the Minister of Finance table a resolution under the authority of Section 102(1) and 103(1) of the Constitution, and that is for Parliament to authorize the Minister of Finance to draw funds from the consolidating fund to allow the business of government to continue to the first quarter of next year until such time the 2008 Appropriation Bill comes before the House for deliberation and to be passed.  That is the only business for which the proclamation was made, and that is the understanding the government has in the number of correspondences it makes with His Excellency. 
Of course, the issue went before the court, and I don’t want to delve into that, Mr Speaker, because we are intending to appeal the decision that was made against the government in the case that we are going to challenge the proclamation, Mr Speaker, and that remains an issue of contention. 
Sir, you have used a very important term, and that is for Parliament to act responsibly, Mr Speaker, and this side of the House is committed to that principle.  We assured His Excellency, Mr Speaker, that as a responsible government it will act responsibly.   The government has now until the 31st of December to place before Parliament a request for Parliament to resolve to allow the Minister of Finance to continue use resources from the consolidated fund until the 2008 appropriation bill is passed.  That is a commitment this government made to His Excellency in the various correspondences with him and in my consultations with him every Monday when I briefed him on government business.  That is a very important point.  For the other side of the House to allege that because this government does not come up with such request now, Mr Speaker, is acting irresponsibly.  That cannot be accepted. 
The point is that the resolution is not straight forward as seem to be alluded to by the Leader of Opposition.  While resolutions under Section 103 of the Constitution comes up with a standard wording and request, we feel that given what has happened over the last four weeks or so, Mr Speaker, the Minister of Finance has to properly inform the nation on the state of government finances and what is actually happening.  And he is yet, and has made it very clear in public conferences, in the media and interviews Mr that he is yet to come up, and prepare himself to present that resolution on the floor of Parliament to request Parliament to resolve that the Minister of Finance can continue to draw funds from the consolidated fund. 
Sir, to act responsibly, Mr Speaker, also means that we should not hijack the process of Parliament.  This is very important.  The process is very clearly set and outlined.   If the Opposition feels it has the number, Mr Speaker, then why not wait until tomorrow when the motion can be appropriately discussed because the Prime Minister does not have the power to decide on businesses that will be tabled in Parliament instead of hijacking the process of Parliament.  It is very clear.  There is sinister intention there.
Mr Speaker, it is very clear here that there are basically evil intentions on the part of the Opposition to hijack the process of Parliament to allow the Opposition Group to move the motion of no confidence today, Mr Speaker. 
This calls for responsible leadership.  That is what it calls for, Mr Speaker.  I guess when the substantive issues that the intended mover of the motion would like to move will be placed on the floor of Parliament then the real story will be known.  I would also assume that if we are responsible leaders we should listen to the debates and the reasons why some of these things happen instead of fixing our little minds on the way we would like things to be, because we are already focused on what to do and will not listen to any reasons that will be presented on the floor of Parliament when the debate is raised, Mr Speaker. 
Sir, this is an abuse of the processes of Parliament.  There is no need to move this motion to request Parliament to agree on suspension of the relevant Standing Orders to move forward this issue to be debated today.  On those grounds, Mr Speaker, the government opposes that motion Mr Speaker.

Mr Fono:  Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to wind up the motion.  I thank the Honorable Prime Minister for his sentiments echoed in trying to maneuver the whole intention of this motion. 
This motion, Mr Speaker, is simply asking us very responsible of national leaders not to defer the process of parliamentary proceedings because the government is delaying this meeting and so much so has put 31st December as the date for Parliament to meet and then it now decides for parliament to meet on the 24th of December.  That is irresponsible.  
This would be the first time in the history of this nation for parliament meet over the Christmas season since I am elected to this House, and this is my third term now.  Every government meets in the first week of December allowing us to return to our constituencies for Christmas.  I think the government side does not want to visit its constituencies, and that is why just for a resolution it puts 24th December as the date to meet. 
Mr Speaker, this is irresponsible of a government which claims it is very popular responsible. 
Mr Speaker, I don’t want to dwell on the comments made by the Prime Minister on hijacking of the parliamentary process.  This is inline with laws that govern parliamentary procedures and the standing orders.  It is not even abuse of the process, but it is in line with it.   Precedence had it that Standing Orders can be suspended.  
Another factor as well is the timing.  We are confident this vote of no confidence will go through and there is need for the formation of a new government, which obviously would need time, it needs time.  Therefore, in order for us to proceed to form a new government because as I count the government side only has 21 Members and this side of the House has 25 and so in order to form a government before Christmas we have to debate this vote of no confidence now, today.  This is a priority to the Opposition Group and I believe it is under your power, Mr Speaker, to see the process of Parliament going on smoothly.
I therefore beg to move that pursuant to Standing Orders 81, 26 and 10(6) that the Standing Orders 15(2), 14(3) and 36(2) be suspended to enable this Parliament to proceed and debate the motion of no confidence.  And so by virtue of the suspension of Standing Orders 15(2) and 14(3), this day, Thursday 13th December 2007, be designated as a private member’s motion day, as if it was a Friday.  Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I beg to move.

The motion was passed by voice vote

 

MOTION OF NO COFIDENCE

Point of Order

Hon Oti:  Before the learned MP for North East Guadalcanal moves the motion, I would like to seek your indulgence and your concurrence in relation to the same question ruled through the application of Standing Order 36(3) whereby it requires that it shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider a specific question on which Parliament has already taken a decision during the current or the preceding two meetings of that parliament, except on a substantive motion to rescind that decision moved with the permission of the Speaker. 
            Mr Speaker, I bring to bear on the parliament on this particular issue because of your ruling on Thursday 16th August 2007 in relation to the same motion, moved by the MP for Small Malaita, which was ruled by you to be inadmissible on the basis that it is out of line with the application of 36(3).  To my mind, Sir, this is still the same motion.  On the note too, Sir, in revisiting the Hansard of that particular date, Thursday 16th August 2007, in the ruling that you made, and I quote: “My ruling therefore is this, on the same motion, I have considered the admissibility of the new no confidence motion”, meaning in reference to the motion by the MP for Small Malaita, “that in so doing relied on the criteria set out in Standing Order 27(3) as read with Standing Order 36(3) and ruled that the motion proposed by the Honorable Haomae is inadmissible”. 
Sir, at the same time I stood up to make a point of order to solicit your confirmation that the understanding was that because of the withdrawal by the MP for East Are Are of the same motion, it disqualified the withdrawal of the motion that amounted to Parliament having resolved it. 
I am going to read you, Mr Speaker, what I solicited from the Speaker at that point in time.  I said, and this is my statement on that particular date, “Point of order, Mr Speaker, for us to be absolutely clear on the interpretation of parliament having considered the same motion would therefore mean, as you mentioned, no objection to the withdrawal of the motion tantamount to Parliament resolving that motion has been resolved henceforth that motion cannot come back to the floor of parliament”.  Mr Speaker, your reply was, “right”.  On, therefore, the same ruled question under 36(3) it is my privilege, Mr Speaker, to seek your ruling why the same question ruled does not apply to this particular motion now before Parliament. 
Also, Mr Speaker, I am concerned of the finality of your decision under Standing Order 38 that would have made the ruling that you have taken that position and your ruling was therefore final.  For purposes of clarification, this parliament needs to know, otherwise the same motion can come in, substance as different but they will always be different motions, hence the admissibility and the one rule question will be very, very difficult to administer.  I need that clarification, Mr Speaker, and thank you. 

Mr Haomae:  Mr Speaker, …..

Hon Oti:  Point of Order, Mr Speaker, I am asking for your ruling, and not the MP for Small Malaita.

Mr Speaker:  Maybe he has something to add before I make my ruling.

Hon Oti:  Point of Order, Mr Speaker, I want a ruling from the chair.  The MP can make his contribution later.  That is his right but I want a ruling from the chair.

Mr Haomae:  Mr Speaker, can you tell the Deputy Prime Minister to sit down.

Mr Speaker:  I think the Deputy Prime Minister wants to hear my comments on his point of order before you can raise your comment, MP. 

Hon Oti:  Point of order, Mr Speaker.  In fact if you make the clarification now, his intention to contribute would be redundant. 

Mr Haomae:  No, Mr Speaker, he is preempting what I am going to say and this is not fair.

Mr Speaker:  All Members of Parliament have freedom to share what they have to say on the floor of parliament.  It might not necessarily be redundant, but I am just asking him so that I can respond to his point of order then he would make his clarification.
            I wish to thank the honourable Deputy Prime Minister, especially in the context that the same concern was brought to me outside of parliament, which gave me an opportunity to make a written response or clarification so that it can be on the records.
            This is my view.  In regards to the issue of whether the present motion of no confidence breaches the ‘same question rule’, I have referred to the relevant Standing Orders which are SO 27(3) and SO 36(3) and the High Court ruling of Danny Philip v Speaker (1990) to consider whether the subject matter of the present motion is substantively the same as that of motions submitted in the previous meetings of Parliament, including the meeting of August 2007.  Having done so, it is my considered opinion that the present motion is substantively different from any previous motions of no confidence submitted in preceding meetings. While Standing Order 36(3) applies to a motion of no confidence as it does to all other motions, I have previously informed the House that motions of no-confidence rarely deal with exactly the same matter.
In applying the criterion set out in Standing Order 36(3), it is clear that the circumstances and the grounds for which the present motion is tabled are substantially different to the circumstances and grounds for which earlier motions were tabled. Additionally, the group of Members that submitted the present motion is a substantially different group of Members to that which submitted previous motions including motions tabled in the two preceding meetings.
In any event, it is my further opinion that in as far as Standing Order 36(3) is concerned, Parliament has not debated nor has it “…taken any decision on a substantive motion of no confidence during the current and preceding two meetings of Parliament”, as required by the said Standing Order.
On that basis, I must rule that this present motion does not contravene the ‘same question rule’ when applied against Standing Order 36(3) and therefore is not disqualified by Standing Order 27(3) (g).
The motion may proceed.

Mr SIKUA:  Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I would like to thank the Member for Temotu Nende, the Deputy Prime Minister for his last gasp attempt to salvage a sinking ship.  Before I move the motion, Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to ask the Prime Minister to reassess his chance to successfully defend this motion?  As you can see from this bench, this side of the House has the numerical strength of 25 Members of Parliament to pass the motion.  With that, and in the interest of maintaining credibility in our national leadership, that I kindly ask the Member of Parliament for East Choiseul to resign as Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.  This would maintain the integrity of our democracy given the numerical strength has shifted to this side of the House.  This means the Prime Minister no longer enjoys the support of the majority of Members of Parliament.
            In the political history of this country, all past prime ministers who have been placed in the same situation have always opted for the option to step down, including yourself, Mr Speaker.  In this regard, I am asking the Prime Minister to reassess his support and to do the same by resigning as prime minister on the floor of Parliament.  Thank you. 

Hon Oti:  Point of Order.  The Prime Minister will be willing to resign if you withdraw the motion.  You cannot have your cake and eat it. 

(hear, hear)

Mr Speaker:    The matter of resignation is a personal matter and so we will allow the honorable Prime Minister to respond.

Hon Sogavare:  Mr Speaker, thank you very much.  Thank you very much for again another by the MP for North East Guadalcanal to remove this government before he gives me the reason why I should resign.
            Sir, the issue of minority/majority government has been misunderstood by a lot of people.  Here is a government already in place.  Sir, I am elected by this Parliament and will be voted by it.  That is the decision I have taken.
            The issue of minority/majority will not be decided until votes are actually cast on the floor of Parliament and not on claiming lists and claiming names outside of the floor of Parliament or even when you see people sitting on one side of the House.
            Sir, because of that, with due respect to the call by the mover of this motion, I will not resign until he gave me the reasons he calls for my resignation.  So I decided to face this motion of no confidence.

Mr Sikua:  Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this Parliament has no confidence in the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, and first of all would like to thank you most sincerely for the opportunity to move this very important motion on the floor of Parliament. I thank you for your understanding amidst stiff opposition from the government to have this motion tabled and debated during this Meeting.  Indeed, Mr Speaker, you have the interest and welfare of all Solomon Islanders at heart.   
Mr Speaker, a month ago today, one member of the government backbench and eight senior Ministers including myself resigned from the Grand Coalition for Change Government [GCCG] under the Leadership of the Hon. Prime Minister.
At the outset, we wish to assure our people that we have not taken this decision and cause of action without proper consideration and reflection on what has happened in our country in the last one and half [1½] years under the leadership of the current Prime Minister and MP for East Choiseul. 
Mr Speaker, the GCCG has indeed intended to affect real change in its policy framework by adopting the “Bottom-up-Approach” [BUA] when it assumed power in early May 2006.  At this very point in time, over one and half years on, it has become apparent that the Bottom-up-Approach will not be achieved under the current Leadership. This is because, I believe, we have lost direction due to being bogged down with issues that have little to do with advancing the affairs of Solomon Islands as a nation.
Mr Speaker, you will recall that during the last year and a half, the Hon. Prime Minister, MP for East Choiseul has been pre-occupied with four main issues namely, the Attorney General, anti-Australia, anti-RAMSI, and the re-introduction of firearms.      
Mr Speaker, on the Attorney General issue, the AG is perceived by many people to be the one who is really calling the shots.  As I was once a senior GCC Government Minister and hence, an insider, I can say with authority that there is a lot of truth in this perception.  The number one question by the public is “Why has the Hon. Prime Minister, put the AG above his country men especially elected colleagues, qualified experienced lawyers, and even the whole country?”
Furthermore, Mr Speaker, MP for East Choiseul, the Prime Minister is even willing to sacrifice key international donor partnerships and relationships to protect the AG.  “Why?” “What is in the Prime Minister’s relationship with the AG?” “Why is the AG so special to the Hon. Prime Minister?”  Mr Speaker, this nation owes a clear, concise and thorough explanation from the Prime Minister to satisfy the curiosity of a wide cross-section of people of this nation.
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister’s anti-Australia and anti-RAMSI stance continues to be a great concern to most of us in this country, and more especially to those of us who have served under his leadership. To that effect, many of the senior ministers and backbenchers cannot foresee any improvements or way out, under the present leadership in the years ahead.
Mr Speaker, as a national leader and especially a Guadalcanal Leader, I strongly oppose the re-introduction of firearms even for the Close Protection Unit.  It is my strong belief that no matter how strong or how perfect any regulations or laws created to restrict unauthorized access to the use of such fire-arms other than the authorized persons, there will be loop-holes where unauthorized individuals will have access to them.  It only took a solitary rifle to spark what we now know as the ethnic tension.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, in my humble opinion this country will be a happy nation without guns or better still – only a Gun Free Solomon Islands will ensure lasting peace, progress, and prosperity.
Mr Speaker, on a personal level, as a Minister working under the current leadership, I feel very uncomfortable serving under the current leadership because the Prime Minister is forever suspicious of any one who stands up to him or differs from his point of view.  Once he is fixated on a conspiracy, his judgment inevitably becomes subjected to it.  My greatest sadness is that, all-too-often, the Prime Minister sees it fit to lower himself to submit to advice from individuals with dubious character and competence rather than listen to the advice of his Ministers who put him and keep him in power.
Mr Speaker, the issue at hand is LEADERSHIP.  This country definitely needs good leadership, and the present Prime Minister cannot provide the kind of leadership the country needs.  As demonstrated in the statements I have just made, he is incapable of continuing to provide sound leadership – leadership that will enable Solomon Islands to progress and prosper.
Mr Speaker, I therefore strongly disagree with the negative statements made by some government Ministers regarding the capacity of the Opposition Members to lead the country.  The Opposition side boasts three (3) former Prime Ministers and many experienced and well qualified long serving Members of Parliament who are committed to working together to take this country forward in the remaining life of this Parliament.
Mr Speaker, it is therefore my firm belief that if this country is to progress and prosper - the current Prime Minister must change.  He must go!  The time is now or the nation will continue to suffer worse consequences.  I, therefore, call on members on the other side and my former colleagues, my very good colleagues, to be true leaders of their people and this country, by making independent decisions without being coerced or intimidated by corrupt characters.
Mr. Speaker, I further believe that the Prime Minister must now go because his alleged involvement in the planning and execution of the coup of 2000 is affecting his leadership.  

Hon Sogavare:  Point of order, Mr Speaker.  That is a very, very serious allegation.  Unless the honorable Member has evidence to show, apart from the false affidavits that were shown by former militants, that issue must be withdrawn from the floor of Parliament.

Mr Speaker:  It is up to the honorable mover, but the Prime Minister will have his turn to respond to whatever comments he

might not accept.  Honorable Member, please continue.

Mr Sikua:  Thank you, Mr Speaker.  He needs to go so that proper investigation can be made into the allegations against him.  There will be no meaningful national reconciliation whilst serious questions hang over the head of the Prime Minister of this nation.  National reconciliation requires trusted leadership.  The current Prime Minister cannot be trusted.  He, therefore, cannot reconcile this country!
Mr Speaker, on Monday 5th June 2000, the Joint Para Military and MEF Operation that raided the Armory at Rove Police Headquarters early that morning was believed to have been led by none other but the Prime Minister who was then Leader of Opposition and the MP for East Honiara, the present Minister for Public Service.

Hon Dausabea:  Point of order.  I think the mover should just talk straight to the motion.  All these things have been dealt with in the court of law and we have been cleared.  Our families and constituencies have been hurt during those times.  If you are for reconciliation forget the past and look forwards to the future.

Mr Sikua:  Mr Speaker, if I can just quote one of the eye witnesses.  Let me just quote from that.   An eye witness stated that, and I quote:

“At about 3.30 am in the morning [I could] accurately see[n] with my two eyes someone accompanied with the Honorable Manasseh Sogavare entered through the Armory Gate ….

Hon Sogavare:  Point of order, Mr Speaker.  Rulings must be consistent.  You did not allow me to read from my affidavit last year, Mr Speaker, and yet you allow the mover to read from false affidavits.  This is provocative.

Mr Speaker:  He is just making a quotation. 

Mr Sikua:  Thank you, Mr Speaker.  I am quoting from an affidavit.

Hon Sogavare:  That is exactly what I am raising, Mr Speaker.  You did not allow me to read from my sworn affidavit on the floor of this Parliament.  Your ruling must be consistent.  Not that I am afraid of what he is reading but let us be consistent.

Mr Speaker:  But I understand that the information is now public because the court case has already been heard and so it is no longer confidential.

Hon Sogavare:  And dismissed, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker:  Yes, but he is just quoting what the court heard.

Mr SikuaThank you, Mr Speaker, I will continue. 
Honorable Manasseh Sogavare entered through the Armory Gate and opened it before MEF soldiers or militants entered and collected all the guns that they could lay their hands on.

I also entered the Armory House and collected one gun - SR.88 -  and left the Armory House.  While outside I heard the order from my supreme council Charles Dausabea and Manasseh Sogavare saying that we are now to face the SIAC Government to step down so we must follow it up now and do it now….” [End of quote]

Mr Speaker, as a Guadalcanal Leader, I must strongly deplore these actions in the strongest possible terms as it was not only unlawful but because these same guns were used to harass and kill my people.  It makes me wonder, Mr Speaker, how the three Guadalcanal MPs sitting on the other side of the House feel about serving under a Prime Minister who had played a major part in the killing of Guadalcanal people?  Haven’t they got a conscience and any concern for their people?  
I know that the Prime Minister will deny these allegations.  However, Mr Speaker, we have come to expect this from someone who has a habit of lying to save his skin!  But how long can he keep running away from the truth? 

Mr Speaker:  Could you withdraw the word ‘lying’ please. 

Mr Sikua:  I withdraw the word ‘lying’ but who has the habit of not telling the truth to save his skin.   How can we keep running from the truth?  The truth will reveal itself!  So I am asking him to do the right thing now by resigning as it is clear Solomon Islands no longer trusts him!    
Earlier on, I mentioned something about his involvement in the 2002 coup, and it has been lodged also that there is a criminal complaint about the Prime Minister and the MP for East Honiara regarding an incident which took place on 12th June 2000, and this is already common knowledge amongst the Honiara public.  According to a letter by a lawyer to the then Opposition Leader, now Prime Minister, dated 01 October 2001, the present incumbent and the MP for East Honiara and Minister for Public Service with some members of MEF ordered some members of MEF to apprehend and kidnap two persons at their residence in Tandai their residence to the Opposition Office at Vavaea Ridge under armed escort. 

Mr Speaker:  Honorable MP, can you substantiate the letter in the sense that you are able to distribute that letter.

Mr Sikua:  Yes, we can.  I understand that these gentlemen were unlawfully arrested because they were believed to be assisting members of the GRA. 
Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister needs to step aside now so that he can be investigated and charged for the offences of aiding and abetting in armed harassment and unlawful arrests.  There may be other charges, Mr Speaker, and as I have told you, I have in my possession relevant documents regarding this case, which I am happy to tender in Parliament later on.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Prime Minister has already categorically denied that he had any knowledge of any participation in the coup of 2000.  But because of what I have just said, does that look like the Hon. Prime Minister did not have any knowledge or involvement in the militancy and the coup of 2000?  Clearly, the Hon. Prime Minister is not telling the truth.  And, as usual, he thinks that he will intimidate Solomon Islands into accepting what he is saying.  Mr Speaker, it is clear that Solomon Islands cannot trust the Hon. Prime Minister.
Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister’s appointment of relatives and cronies as political appointees on high salaries at taxpayers' expense with no regard to either qualification or experience for the positions runs against the grain of good governance.  The Hon Prime Minister is hypocritical when he preaches to everyone else about good governance, accountability and transparency. Good governance, accountability and transparency are mandatory for everyone else but only optional for the Hon. Prime Minister.  “What qualifications and experience does the Hon. Prime Minister’s nephew who occupies the position of Director-General in the PMO possess?”
Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister’s lack of transparency about his private financial dealings with the Republic of China (ROC) demonstrates his lack of sound judgment.  He has benefited from ROC because of his office as Prime Minister.  This is plain wrong and he should apologize and rectify the deal. But it is worse because he does not even see it as wrong.  This Hon PM is a PM who defends wrong and will intimidate everyone else to say it is right when it is clearly in his personal interestEnough of this, Hon. Prime Minister!
Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister’s anti-RAMSI and anti-Australia positions are often made with a strain of hatred that must stem from a personal situation, which I have just described.  Australia and our regional friends have helped us in our time of desperate need.  The least we can do is to appreciate them - not demonize them.  If there are issues to resolve with RAMSI, let us talk to them as friends.  Let us not think we will gain anything positive by blaming them.  The Prime Minister’s unstable mind and dubious advisors think they can also intimidate our regional friends the way they have intimidated the Cabinet, Parliament, and the people of Solomon Islands.  Mr. Prime Minister, rule by intimidation must now stop!  The Hon. Prime Minister cannot be trusted to keep RAMSI.  But RAMSI is too important for peace and good governance as we rebuild our nation, Solomon Islands.
Mr Speaker, coming back to the issue of the Attorney General – I want to ask the question again– “What is in the personal relationship between the Attorney General and the Prime Minister?” “Why is the Prime Minister using Solomon Islands’ sovereignty, international rights, and privileges as a country to protect the AG?” “How can the Prime Minister advise that it is alright to break the laws of Solomon Islands to secure the AG?” It is clear that, for the Prime Minister, the AG is more important to him than all of Solomon Islands.
The Prime Minister has shown that he is willing to sacrifice RAMSI, our regional friends, donors, and partners, even sacrifice our laws and the need for good governance to protect the AG's personal interests.  The AG’s legal issues are his personal matters that have nothing to do with Solomon Islands.  The Hon Prime Minister had intimidated the Judicial Legal Services Commission, the Public Service Commission and the Governor General's Office to have him appointed as Attorney General.  It is therefore clear that the only way for the AG to go is for the Prime Minister to go!
Mr Speaker, the 666 questions raised with Australian authorities (this very big book we have over here) regarding the AG  as published in the Solomon Star was prepared by a foreign lawyer at the cost of around SBD1 million dollars paid for by the Solomon Islands Government.  The payment was authorized by the Hon. Prime Minister and raised by his office. “Is this a bona fide legitimate government expenditure to be borne by taxpayers of this country?”  No - Mr. Speaker!
Mr Speaker, we also know that the MP for East Honiara, a close supporter of the Hon. Prime Minister, had received SBD300,000 from the Ministry of Commerce to complete his Motel in Auki for the Independence anniversary celebrations.  Mr Speaker, for this year’s independence anniversary celebration, the Motel only housed a few people for only two nights.  Now the question is were there other monies collected by the Hon. MP for East Honiara from ROC or from other sources?  We do not know.  One thing is certain.  As Prime Minister, the MP for East Choiseul is complicit in allowing favoritism towards his close supporters and cronies.
Mr Speaker, we also know that a payment of SBD399, 000 from the SIG was issued to Pasifika Travel Centre for the South Pacific Games contingent travel to Apia, Western Samoa.  But there were no bookings and no tickets.  A political appointee and a crony of the Hon Prime Minister and the Hon. MP for East Honiara tried unsuccessfully to get Pacifika Travel Centre to encash the cheque.  The Travel Centre then phoned the Hon MP for Gizo/Kolombangara, as the then Minister of Finance, who went and physically collected the cheque. “Now who was to benefit from this corruption?”  We do not know for sure.  But the Hon MP for East Honiara’s ill-feelings towards Hon. MP for Gizo/Kolobangara must have stemmed from this issue of cheque affair.  Therefore, Mr Speaker, it would appear that as an individual, the Prime Minister must not be allowed to lead the country with that kind of unstable and erratic mind.
Mr Speaker, I want to re-visit the issue on Guns.  All Solomon Islanders feel more secure after RAMSI arrived and helped restore law and order and rebuild the RSIP.  Only the Hon Prime Minister did not feel secure. “Why is this the case?”  To address his personal insecurity, the Prime Minister had appointed his friend as Attorney General wants RAMSI to leave or be reduced drastically; and he wants to re-introduce guns into the country.  He does not care if all Solomon Islanders do not want guns and feel insecure about guns.  He has shown insensitivity and neglect for the security concerns of the people of Solomon Islands.   About SBD1.8 million has been allocated in the budget for the purchase of firearms and it is within his discretion to use it.  Sir, I do not think we can trust the Prime Minister with the security of this nation.
Mr Speaker, concerning the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) bid document preparation – this important bid was personally awarded by the Hon. Prime Minister's nephew and his advisor for USD500,000 (over SBD4 million) to a personal acquaintance who was not even on the list of accredited consultants of the MCC.  All of the USD500, 000 or SBD4 million was paid upfront.  The consultant did the job in three weeks, and the document produced was of very poor quality. As a result, the Solomon Islands bid was rejected by the MCC.
The consultant has been back in the country for more similar contracts from the Hon. Prime Minister and his nephew.  The question is, “Were there any kickbacks?”  We simply do not know.  The Prime Minister is very willing to dispense with proper procedures in awarding contracts when it suits him and on the advice of his nephew whom he trusts more than his Ministers.
Mr Speaker, on the publicly-announced Cabinet Housing Estate –SBD10 million contract for the construction of this housing estate was awarded without proper tender process by the Hon. Prime Minister to a close crony of the Prime Minister.  This close crony is no other than the General Secretary of his SOCRED party.
Mr Speaker, there are many Solomon Islanders who are experienced and competent building contractors who can do this work.  Further, the SOCRED Party secretary has no qualifications or experience in construction work!  Does the Prime Minister want to benefit Solomon Islanders or his supporters and foreign cronies?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Prime Minister has created a situation where there are two sets of laws – one for him and his cronies, and the other for the rest of Solomon Islands.  That is why it was right in the Hon. Prime Minister’s mind that the then Acting Attorney General, whilst Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, could dismiss charges against his AG and those against her own brother, a crony of the Hon. PM.  The Hon PM cannot be trusted with the judicial processes of this country.
Mr Speaker, the personal legal fees of the Hon. MP for Central Honiara and the Hon MP for East Honiara were paid for by the Solomon Islands Government, at the direction of the Prime Minister.  

Mr Dausabea:  I have just received my bill to pay the fees.  My lawyer just gave me the bill last week for me to pay and not the government to pay.  Please stop misleading the nation.  Tell the truth to our people and tell the truth to the nation.  We also have people who are going to be hurt by the lies you are saying.  Tell the truth.  That is all I am asking.

Mr Sikua:  I am just thinking that because there are further cases, Mr Speaker, the financial claims for compensation by the government might be amounting to millions.  So we will just have to look out for these.   The Hon. PM has shown he is unwilling to stop the self-serving mentality of his close supporters, at the expense of the people of Solomon Islands.   We will watch and vet whether these claims will be submitted to the Courts or whether they will be decided by the Attorney General and the Hon Prime Minister.
These two MP’s and the MP for South New Georgia, Rendova, and Tetepari have put their claims for financial compensation from the government in the millions.  
Mr Speaker, do we need any more reasons to convince ourselves that Sogavare is not the best person to lead this country as Prime Minister?  This is a question which all of us Members of Parliament must answer right now with a vote that ensures that the Hon. PM must go!
Mr Speaker, I want to say something about the appointment of the Commissioner of Police.  Again, the same attitude has been seen.  Acting on the advice of the Attorney General, the Police and Prisons Commission was intimidated in appointing the present incumbent to be the Commissioner of Police, whom I am surprised has gone on leave.  

Hon Sogavare:  Point of order.  The current Attorney General was not Attorney General when that appointment was made. 

Mr Sikua:  Anyway, what I want to say is that time and again it has been displayed that the Prime Minister cannot be trusted with the independence and effectiveness of the police. 
Mr Speaker, on the boycott of the Pacific Forum, I have this to say that the Cabinet had decided that Solomon Islands should have been represented at the Forum Meeting.  At the time of the Forum meeting, the Hon PM was in Taiwan.  Obviously, to him, Taiwan ranks above the Forum.  The then Deputy Prime Minister was Acting Prime Minister and was to have attended the Forum.  

Hon Tosika:  What the mover is saying is Cabinet decision and therefore is a collective decision.  He is one of the members of Cabinet who supported the Prime Minister to go to Majuro for the meeting with the former DPM.  I think those things should not be mentioned in here because that is a collective decision by the Cabinet.

Mr Sikua:  Mr Speaker, I shall continue.  But the point I want to make here is that this is just but one example of Cabinet decisions being overlooked and deliberately ignored by the Prime Minister.  The Forum is important to Solomon Islands and we have benefited from it more than most, and must not treat it with contempt.
Mr Speaker, the Hon. PM had offered to sell  ICSI's 49% shares in SolTai Company to a Taiwanese businessman without Cabinet deliberation or approval of such a significant matter.  The Taiwanese businessman also gave a motor-bike to the Prime Minister.  This motor bike has been parked under the Red House.  Has this been declared a “gift” to the Leadership Code Commission?  We do not know.  But the same businessman had paid for the whole of the PM’s family to travel, for this coming Christmas holiday, to Taiwan.  If this is not personal benefit gained because of his office as Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, then I do not know what this is.
Mr Speaker, the PM’s wife has been frequenting the Taiwanese embassy office in Honiara after hours.  She has not even been discreet about it.  Whatever the reasons for her regular visits, the PM and his family are seemingly using Solomon Islands' relations with Taiwan for personal gain and family benefit.  Solomon Islands is tired of being yelled at about its sovereignty.  On the other hand, our national sovereignty has been abused deliberately by the Prime Minister and his colleagues.
Mr. Speaker, the Hon Prime Minister has said “the battle belongs to God and will be won on truth and justice!” But where is the truth?  Where is the justice?  There is no need to threaten people with legal action to cover the truth or deliver Justice.
Mr Speaker, the Hon. PM’s case looks very much like King Saul of old.  Saul was left neglected and empty when God's anointing and Spirit left him.  As a result, King Saul became violent, erratic, paranoid, and lacked sound judgment and – all along - tried to hang on to power.  Like King Saul, the Honorable Prime Minister must now give way.  He must now go!
With these remarks, Mr Speaker, I BEG TO MOVE!

(The motion is open for debate)

Sir KEMAKEZA:  Thank you Mr Speaker, for allowing the Member of Parliament for Savo/Russells

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to briefly contribute to this motion in order to clear his name and to tell the people of this nation that he holds the balance of power.  Where is the line drawn here, Mr Speaker?  The nation wants to know, and it is from none other than a person who has been convicted and sentenced as a leader.  Thank God, I resume my seat in Parliament.
            Mr Speaker, let me put this judgment before the people of this country and nation.  I am going to explain where my position is later so that people will know.
            Mr Speaker, this motion is not a motion of the Opposition.  It is not a motion of the opposition members to topple the government.  It is a motion of the government itself to topple the government.  This must be made very clear to every people so that they do not take part on any side that it is the Opposition that is hungry for power.  The people on the government side are doing otherwise.  It is the government toppling itself.  This is where I am going to come up with my position, Mr Speaker.  This is because it is the Members on the other side who came over to this side.  You should recall the scenario this morning, Mr Speaker, that the mover of the motion is a big leader of the other side.  He is the former Education Minister.

(hear, hear)

He is not a member of the Opposition so that people of this country and nation will speculate that this is greedy of power from the Opposition.  That is the first point I would like to make.  I have not drafted any speech as I have just returned from home last night.
            Mr Speaker, in looking at this side and that side of the House, for the sake of this country to come up with a balanced decision and in order for people to stay calm, Malaita Province has nine (9) Members of Parliament on this side, Guadalcanal five (5), Western five (5), none from Temotu, Makira one (1), Central Islands one (1) (the person now speaking now), Rennell/Bellona one (1) and Isabel all three (3) of them.  This is a good representation covering the unified structure of Solomon Islands.  Please do not hate but live all our leaders to solve this political impasse or this political difference.
            Mr Speaker, I do not call this situation a political impasse.  No.  People will interpret this situation wrongly.  I call this situation a ‘financial crisis’.  It is a financial crisis of Solomon Islands, Mr Speaker.  Hang on, I will come to why I said it is a financial crisis later on. 
This motion belongs to the government toppling itself and here the Prime Minister is jumping up and down saying the former Minister of Finance did this and that, he spent $12.8 million on vehicles.  But who is driving the vehicles and who is holding the wheels?  I see your Ministers driving these vehicles in front of your nose?  Stop blaming your Ministers.  It is your leadership.  You are also driving those vehicles.  Are you saying these vehicles are paid by manna from heaven?  No Mr Speaker.  You must check your leadership.
            There is no need for you to justify this motion because they are many things against you that you cannot convince this Parliament, people who are sitting in the gallery, people outside and the whole nation.  Let me tell you why. 
Mr Speaker, you yourself resigned over only one issue last time, and that was the Rara issue, and not many like in this motion as read by the mover.  It was just one issue because that is a test of leadership on the code of conduct of leaders.  It was only one issue, the Rara issue that the Speaker resigned and the Member for East Guadalcanal took over as Prime Minister.
            The former Member of Parliament for West Makira submitted and also resigned.  The former Prime Minister and now the Member of Parliament for Ranogga/Simbo also resigned over the sale of government houses.  That is all, and he resigned.  The former Prime Minister and late Member of Parliament for Aoke/Langa Langa also fell down over $2.5 million he did not pay to the people of Guadalcanal and a coup happened.  The list goes on.  There is no need to find more reasons but only one and they are out.  Even the person now speaking had four motions of no confidence moved against him.  I felt what my brother, the Prime Minister is feeling now, he and his family because it also happened to me. 
Four motions were moved against me, and this is by none other than the Deputy Prime Minister who is sitting here, and this is because I was unable to control the security situation of this country.  That is the reason why they moved a motion against me.  Because of that, Mr Speaker, I brought RAMSI into the country to answer the security situation.  Why don’t you want RAMSI now when you asked for it in the first place?
            I was at Savo when the name ‘Government of National Unity and Rural Advancement’ was formed.  We just want to tell the boss to step aside; you and us come together and let us form what is called the ‘government of national unity’.  We do not care who will lead this government, but that is my suggestion.  But as we know politics is a numbers game.  This side has 25 and the other side has 21 and it is going to reduce.
            Going back to the Hansard Reports of about six months ago, I told those of you on the other side to come to this side and sit here because my brother is very good at sacking people.  Go back and read the Hansard Reports and you will find the reason why he sacked the late Member for Aoke/Langa Langa.  Can anyone here tell me why?  He was sacked because the former late Prime Minister was very sick and therefore was unable to come and cast his vote.  Why is humanitarian grounds not considered here?  You sacked this former Prime Minister and former Minister of Finance just because he was unable to come and cast one vote. 
There was another one that he sacked just to give you two examples.  He also sacked the Member for Ranogga/Simbo and former Prime Minister.  He was sacked over the China and Taiwan issue.  He asked the Member for Ranogga/Simbo to declare that he does not support Mainland China.  What is his worry and concern over this?  Why should people of this nation worried about this because one hundred Members of Parliament have already pledged their allegiances to Taiwan as our diplomatic friend.  He was sacked for refusing to do that.  Then the list goes on.  Mr Speaker, these are great leaders whom I admire. 
I cannot repeat what the mover stated but on page 2 he said that BUA has failed.  Do you know what the abbreviation BUA means?  It is Bartholomew Ulufa’alu Abau.  That is what BUA means and people do not understand what it means.

Hon OTI:  Point of order, Mr Speaker.  With due respect to the former Prime Minister and MP for Aoke Langa Langa, I think it would be disrespectful on his part, he is not here, he has left us, for us to use those acronyms against his name.

Sir Kemakeza:  Mr Speaker, I am not talking to the 48 Members of Parliament but I am talking to the people of this country so that they understand what we are arguing about in here.  We seem to be saying this one is good and that one is bad.  I will come to the judgment.  I told you about this last time.  You should go and read the Hansard reports.  If 50 Members cannot rule this country then tell the angels in heaven to come and rule Solomon Islands.  That is what is happening here, Mr Speaker.
            One statement made by the mover that is of interest to me is on the word ‘abduction’.  Next time the Attorney General should tell the Prime Minister the true definition of abduction.  It is quite disturbing when the Member for East Guadalcanal, but in fact he had already arranged for it.  I think the flight from Port Moresby to Solomon Islands is abduction, and now what they claimed to happen to the

(hear, hear)

Member for East Guadalcanal.   Abduction is intimidation, misuse of funds and helping close friends.  The mover has already covered this. 
I listened to the complaints of Ministers and backbenchers on the other side, and I want people of Solomon Islands to hear this.  The row over the last two months is like this.  Those people who walked across the floor to come to this side are great leaders in their own set ups.  They represent their people and they have genuine interest for this country and people, and that is why they walked across.  They came over and are revealing to us, the people of Solomon Islands what seems to be happening in the government circle.  I do not know why my other colleagues, who are great leaders on the government side, still could not see what is going on, and that is this government is run by a political bureau and not by the Cabinet. 
That seems to be the atmosphere, if the mover is right, if those MPs who came across are right, if complaints by members of the public are right, if the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) is right,   if the women are right, if other provinces are right, if development partners are right, if the Judiciary is right, and if other sectors in our communities are right that it is only ruled by a minority group of political bureaucrats and not the Cabinet as stated in our constitution, Mr Speaker. 
Sir, that is why I made my decision that this motion belongs to the government itself toppling itself.  I believe it is this small group of political bureau may be comprising the Prime Minister, the Governor General, Secretary General and Chief General who are running the government.  I believe that is the case because some of them claim it is Cabinet decision but others are saying it is not Cabinet decision.  So what is wrong?  I think it is all the generals who are talking and not the chiefs. 
That is what seems to be happening in the country of the people of Solomon Islands, which is not owned by the 50 Members of Parliament so that they make a mockery of this nation by misuse, abuse and think that we are above the law.  No, Mr Speaker.  We have to face the consequences.  We are not here to protect individualism.  We are here to protect the sovereignty of Solomon Islands.
            Mr Speaker, if that is missing in the system then please, my brother, Prime Minister, either you adjust but that is already late, you cannot adjust now because you just have to accept it and be part of the team but allow another Member of Parliament to lead us.  We are old now and so that is enough of us.
Finally, my list is long but I can see some Members wanting to contribute and so I will wind up.  But as I have said to justify why a Prime Minister to go, there is no question at all.   There is need for a new Prime Minister to be in place.  This side does not have the number at all to topple the government.  But right now this side has the number because Members from the government side came across and make up the number.  How can you move the motion with only 17 Opposition MPs? 
Mr Speaker, the people of this nation and our friends who come to live with us in these beautiful isles must quickly sort out the impasse. There is a big problem in our country now.  Our country had just gone through the ethnic tension, the riot, the tsunami but not long after our friendship with our diplomatic friends was tarnished so that we are alone. Because of that we went to Cuba to look for doctors.  My what! “Sam fala man save English lelebet” (as if they  know how to speak in English). 
Colleagues, I have no personal grudges against my brother.  In fact I was his Deputy Prime Minister. Those of you who served under him during that time would agree with me that I was his very loyal Deputy Prime Minister.  I worked very hard under his leadership.  In fact, this is his second term as prime minister.   He was very good last time however I wonder what is wrong this time?  That is why I was thinking we should try and sort out this brother.  However, it was his boys who are trying to topple him now and so I will be sitting down quietly here. 

We both achieved the Townsville Peace Agreement.  In fact I did it for him.

We signed the Cease Fire Agreement and the Marau Peace Agreement.  However, there is only thing that we did not succeed on and that was asking RAMSI to come for disarmament.  And therefore because RAMSI is here to do good things it is not proper to tell them to go out. No, Mr Speaker.
  I have every respect for the Prime Minister and the people of his constituency, as his situation is similar to mine.  There were four motions of no confidence moved against me when I was prime minister.  For the current Prime Minister I think this would be the third motion of no confidence moved against him.  I had four motions moved against me but I have a hard skin in standing against the motions.  I know the Prime Minister also has a hard skin. 
I would also like to ask the Prime Minister when the mover winds up the motion to reconsider the very important point raised by the mover so that you are respected at the end of the day, so that you are not seen to be greedy of power, so that you are not seen to be above the laws of this land, so that you are not seen standing up defending the many allegations against you and me as leaders, so that you are not seen as the only person in Solomon Islands.  No.  
Amongst the half a million people of Solomon Islands both of us are trying our best to participate in the welfare of our country and people.  But human as we are, we have personal weaknesses, which we should accept at times.  But if it is not personal weakness let alone God’s intervention to look at life’s destiny then let us accept it.  We call ourselves Christians and God is looking at the destiny of the 50 Members of Parliament, half a million people of Solomon Islands.  We must accept this.  And if God says no then we have to accept it too.  That is a fact of life. 
I would like everyone in Solomon Islands to respect this floor of Parliament.  Advices have come from our great leaders who have gone before us.  Many leaders of other sectors have already spoken out.  Allow Members of Parliament to decide on this political impasse or financial crisis of our country once again.  
Mr Speaker, this is our country where we are born, live here and will die in and it will not be in the interest of our future generations if they see the legacy we put before them because all of us will not be there to witness the future generations that will come after us.
            Mr Speaker with these few comments, I support the motion.  Thank you.

Hon BOYERS:  Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I would also like to thank the mover for engaging us in this debate to here a balanced position in relation to the vote of no confidence on the Prime Minister. 
            The motion we are talking about today is basically a motion of the number issue that we trying to justify by excuses, principles, morals and whatever else one can use to debate.  One of the biggest problems in debates, Mr Speaker, especially a motion of no confidence is how to be careful at throwing rubbish at each other.  This morning before we came into this House, the two sides - the government and the opposition, both prayed and thank God.  Also before we start the day’s business there was a prayer offered. 
I am going to leave religion out of this because it is up to the 48 Members of Parliament and our judgment is reflective of our position as leaders.  The outcome of whatever decision, I believe, is a decision of the 48 Members of Parliament.  On that basis, I too would like to respect the 48 Members here on the basis that we are all colleagues. 
There has been a lot said about the motion and how this motion of no confidence on the Prime Minister came about because of his style of leadership.  I find it a bit hard to believe that it has taken 18 months especially just after the Minister of Finance was removed from his position and then there was a big flow on.  The same could be said about me when all of a sudden nine went out and I moved.  I think the question is that at the end of the day one makes up his/her decision on where he/she wants to be.  So it is up to each one’s reasoning and we must make sure those reasons are right. 
The mover mentioned the style of leadership of the current Prime Minister.  I think he needs to also explain the statement that for the last 18 months the Prime Minister has been ignorant and misguided only by himself.  If he is now blaming the Prime Minister on his leadership style then he should take on the burden of responsibility for not knowing what a leadership position is all about.  If that is the excuse then that is his business.  But it has to be justified exactly the way I justified myself on the floor of Parliament why I am on this side today with the government. 
As I said we always pray before we came in here.  Politics of today is always about throwing rubbish at each other, and I have done enough of that myself.  In fact I have been the worst critic of the Prime Minister than all of the Opposition Members.  The position is when a motion is moved you would need support.  The issue here is that you say you have the number.  As far as I am concern, Mr Speaker, my position is a position of compassion.  I have already joined this government and come back. 
The question here, Mr Speaker, is compassionate leadership or is it virement for power.  That is the position.  Every one of us pray in the morning.  We pray for love, guidance, long suffering, kindness and therefore I do not want to criticize anyone too.  But my position today is that of a compassionate leader.  At the end of the day I believe if a leader can make a commitment and keep his people safe I will serve under him at that time. 
We have been talking about guns, we have been talking about RAMSI but when the opposition side moved a motion for no guns last time, it was the mover of this motion who supported guns or rearmament.  You must tell the truth.   

Mr Huniehu:  Point of order Mr Speaker.  I think the statement made by the Minister of Finance is erroneous because all Members of Guadalcanal have always opposed the introduction of guns.  Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker:  May be you can make your comments when you have your chance later.

Hon Boyers:  I knew who voted in favor and who voted against reintroduction of guns.  Everyone knows my criticism against the Prime Minister and my attacks.  If you look carefully at them, even the motion I moved in relation to the PNG plane landing at my constituency, I still stand by that.  But if you listen to my motion most of the opposition Members walked out of the House and never supported me after they encouraged me to move it, which is basically an insult to me. 
            Mr Speaker, my motion is in relation to safety.  My complaints and criticisms are no reintroduction of guns and the maintaining of RAMSI.  If I am asked to join a government and my conditions are no more guns, and the maintenance of RAMSI under its present arrangement and the Prime Minister guarantees me those two options in writing then I have no option but to support the man I know at this time is going to keep this country secure. 
As I said in my motion I do not care if I am the only one standing because to me it is the process of principle.  If it is a matter of power to someone else then so be it.  I am substantiating allegations against me and my support.  Therefore, if anyone wants to make that allegation they can go right ahead.  But I can tell you that the reason why we have so much instability is not because we have too many principles or not enough or lack of it.  I do not believe people in this country are serving their people for the right reasons.  Any instability at the end of the day is a process, time is the healer. 
The mover mentioned the bottom up approach as being sabotaged and is not going to work.  I am pretty sure the mover made use of the fisheries funds and other funds that have been allocated for the bottom up approach.  So it is not good taking money in one hand and then criticizing it as not going to work. 
The bottom up approach at the end of the day is the 48 Members of Parliament, and not the government.  Every one of us already agreed with the bottom up approach and it is up to the 48 Members, and not a government and opposition issue.  It is only the policy that you complain about.  It does not matter what policy is in place, the bottom up approach is the same with any government.  It is only the 50 constituencies that we are talking about.  This is related to the responsibility of 50 Members of Parliament.  This time there are 48 Members, so let us not complain against ourselves thinking because it does not work we try to point finger at another man blaming him as ruining it.
I work for my constituency whether I am in the opposition or the government.  The excuse that the leadership style is sabotaging the bottom up approach does not hold water. 
            Mr Speaker, there was mention of a lot of Cabinet decisions.  Many of them I do not know because I am just new but what I do know is that the sale of ICSI, the Solomon Taiyo shares was never a decision by the Prime Minister.  It was never a decision by the Cabinet.  I am going to reveal a truth and a fact here that is not an allegation.  This is because you said the leadership style is not good.  Here is a document, which I can substantiate and circulate.  It is a signed memorandum of agreement for the sale of Soltai shares and joint venture with an overseas company signed by the former Minister of Finance and the former Minister of Fisheries. 

(hear, hear)

No wonder when the Minister was sacked he pulled across some of them.  The Cabinet did not make a decision on this sale.  It does not belong to the Minister of Finance but it belongs to the country.  How much money did he get for signing the letter?  This is just the tip of the iceberg. 
What about the $5million worth of computers that were not put on tender?  The Prime Minister’s letter instructed the Minister not to proceed with the arrangement until there is clarification on the funds but the funds have already been paid.  But the donor is still waiting for money yet.  It did not go through the tender board.  This is another commission.
On the style of leadership that we talked about, what type of style?  Do not run away when the style of leadership is not good when in fact you are trying to hide the bad things you did.  We say we need to change but that is just to cover up the bad things we did.  Since last week I have been going crazy in the Ministry of Finance because there is about $28-$30 plus million worth of CWs that we are not authorized to spend and yet they had been already locked.  Government finances have been sabotaged and because of that the bottom up approach is also sabotaged. 
There are government spending and finances that did not go through the Cabinet.  This time I have to sign CWs where money have already been spent but which the former Finance Minister did not even prepare.  He bypassed the process and financial instructions.  I would like to know how this is like a bagpipe that when the whistle is blown everyone marches behind. 
            Every one of is concerned about RAMSI.  The Prime Minister has guaranteed us, all colleagues in here that RAMSI will remain in the country under the present arrangement and the gun issue is not an issue any more, it is already finished.  Yes, these have been big issues in the past in which I supported some of the comments you mentioned but I have a personal guarantee from the Prime Minister and colleagues in the government that these issues are no longer issues.  Maybe they are fine issues needing adjustment but the concern for the safety of the country is also his concern.  Because of that I made a decision of compassion by saying I give the Prime Minister one more chance. 
I would like to ask whether our system or culture is like this or not.  Do we feel sorry or sympathize with people?  You Solomon Islanders teach me how to be compassionate and that is why I love Solomon Islands and that is why I am very concerned about the tsunami victims.  When the tsunami hit on the 2 April I rang the former Finance Minister telling him that our people are suffering and so let us go down to them this time.  But he said no, I must go inside the plane, I am going to PNG.  His condolence message was given later on.  Next I rang the Prime Minister to asking for help me to assist me go down to see my people.  The Prime Minister told me to go down and find out what I might need and go through the Disaster Council.  I should have gone down.  I visited my constituency twice after the tsunami.  I visited Gizo and Kolombangara for about three days by visiting the people.  That is compassion.  If you do have compassion in your heart it will be difficult for you to love your people too.  You must read the Scripture sometimes. 

(laughter)

So at the end of the day, if we do not have compassion we will always argue about leadership.  That is what we have been hearing on the newspapers for the last three weeks.  There was fighting on who will be the Prime Minister, this one is fit to be Prime Minister, so much so there are too many Prime Ministers and no workers. 
If you take the government there will be a lot of infighting on who will be the next PM.   But anyway, at the end of the day one should not run away from his problems but deal with it.  And if the problems are yours then do not blame someone else.  Remember, remember that it was you who supported this Prime Minister.  It was me that accused him left, right and centre. 

Mr Fono (interjecting):  That is why you contradict your principles.

Hon Boyers:  My principle remains.  You heard me said it when I was interviewed about the AG.  I said that as far as I am concern he should just clear his name. The issue here is, what are your principles by moving a vote of no confidence on the Prime Minister when you should be blaming yourselves?  And I am proving it left, right and centre by saying we have a bagpiper sabotaging our finances deliberately to drop a government for the sake of power hunger.  This has nothing to do with national interest.  And that is why we are deliberating in this Parliament today on what is good for our country. 
If we talk about a change of government is left, right and centre good for the country?  What are the issues?  The mover mentioned a lot of things but which do not hold water.  It is just throwing of mud at the end of the day.  The bottom up approach belongs to all of us.  
There is mention of renting houses.  The ROC ambassadors and diplomatic corps are renting many houses of other people.  I have a house rented by a diplomat too.  Some opposition Members too have houses rented by diplomats for about one year now.  
I think if it is a rental issue, as long as it is declared under the PER and Standing Orders then it should be right.  Ask our former Prime Minister, he has many privileges too.  The Prime Minister’s position comes with some privileges no matter who he is.  Privileges seem to become more familiar not with Prime Ministers but Ministers and Members of Parliament too.  So every time we point a figure we are pointing it for the sake of an audience, using our people.  At the end of the day we have to be responsible to our oath, to our commitment to serve and to be honest. 
The decisions I make are my own decisions.  I am not a puppet of anyone.  The politics of Solomon Islands is that we must not try to be a puppet of anyone.  Just look at history.  Are we able to stand on our own?  We ring other places and say ‘come and get me out.  It is difficult for me to come out because I have been prevented from coming out, come and pull me out’.  Can you not make your own decision?  When I come to join the government no one followed me.  I made my decision based on for better or for worse.  I made my decision because maybe I can do something eventually to serve my country in a more transparent and accountable manner.  But maybe it is the number game.  Anyway the judgment belongs to each one of us.
            My position, Mr Speaker, and the effect of ethics and principles of being a Finance Minister under oath is to support this Prime Minister and the present government until there be a change then my position changes too.  Just like all of us.
            Mr Speaker, motions of no confidence, I believe, needs to be better scrutinized when debating them.  The evidences presented, we could say is like a court of law but opinions given need to be substantiated in a manner that is more respectful.  If the issues are what you are talking about then let the people decide for themselves. 
People in the country have the right to voice out their opinions, views whether good or bad.  This Parliament has the right too but at the end of the day I believe we should be reflecting our customs and our mentality of compassionate human beings in this country. 
All I am saying is whatever we do, if you cannot do it nicely then do not do it at all.  If you cannot do it in a position of principle or the process of how you do it, then do not do it.  All I am saying is whatever we do make sure we do it for the best interest of our country.  My best interest, Mr Speaker, is not to offend but to deal with the issues as I see right for my country.  
I have to swallow my spit on a lot of things but I maintain that I did my job well.  When I was needed to be supported the most I was deserted. 

Hon Fono (interjecting):  Let somebody else praise you.

Hon Boyers:  Even the Leader of Opposition disappeared when I moved my motion in Parliament last time.  Is such a leader needed by the people?  I am the only brave person on the Opposition side and may be two or three others too.  But I engaged myself and also my money in attacking the government.  I am not afraid of losing any project by attacking the government. 
Last time when I was requested to go to Taiwan I refused.  I refused because it is not right for the opposition group to go with the government delegation.  The Leader of Opposition rang me up wanting to know what my position was in regards to the trip.  I told him that it is wrong for opposition to go with the government.  This is a matter of principle.  But the next minute he left.  Sir, let us not debate leadership as it is an individual position.  
I sacrificed my project because of belief in my principle that I am not happy I am under the government side or I am under the opposition side.  Our principles reflect this.  But at the end of the day, it is just a number game.  But let us make sure words fit our actions in the process of being leaders, and not trying to find scapegoats. 
The budget is a non issue right now.  I am repairing the sabotages that have been done to government finances.  There is an old and true saying which goes like this, “a leader is only as good as the people around him.  A leader is only as good as his leaders around him.  
What we are talking about here is a number issue and not a quality issue.  We are just using this no confidence motion or the style of leadership as mere excuses.  I am the only person reflecting my position when I said that I will sell myself to a government on the condition that the Prime Minister guarantees me to keep my people safe.  What more worthy position can any leader do but to serve his country.  My personality is determined by my principles, which every one of us should have when serving our nation. Politics creates instability. 
With those few words, Mr Speaker, I resume my seat.

Hon DAUSABEA:  Mr Speaker.  I decided not to participate in the debate of this motion but because my name is always mentioned and accused of something not right and so I decide to speak on the motion. 
            Mr Speaker, first of all I believe what is needed is truth and respect in this Honorable House.  When leaders start to deviate from the truth and start to tell the public of things that are not true, that is where the nation too will go wrong because the nation believes in us.  When a Member of Parliament goes around saying something those men in the street will believe it.  That is why I said truth and respect is all I want in this honorable Chamber.  We are all mandated by our people. 
I say this, Mr Speaker, because when we swore-in last week as Ministers, the Leader of Opposition was really good when he came to congratulate us.  But the last three lines in the statement in the Solomon Star ruined the whole thing.  The statement says something to the effect that the nation deserves somebody better. 
I have just heard him accusing the current Minister of Finance for being vocal against the Prime Minister last time before switching sides.  Last time he too was very vocal against my brother of Savo/Russells.  Is this true MP for Savo/Russells? He really put the MP in the mud and then he made a u-turn and joined him.  Before we talk let us look back at what we have done in this House because our people understand us and are watching us.  Now they point finger at our new Minister of Finance on the same thing he did in the past.  I think they are just following his example.  
            Mr Speaker, there are allegations raised in the Solomon Star paid advertisement and also in the One News where I was accused for the $300,000 for sending a contingent to participate in the Samoan Games. 
To explain things much clearer, Mr Speaker, the plane that I arranged to take the teams to Samoa can only take 250 out of 300 and so I have to look elsewhere.  As the President of the National Olympic Committee I went back to the Ministry of Finance to ask that we need additional funds.  I was told to get quotations from the airlines and that is what I did.  The Air Pacific was about $12,000 return, the Solomon Airline was about $9,000 to $10,000 and Pacifica Traveler was about $7,980 to $10,000 per person.  Normally, Mr Speaker, we would go for the cheapest quote and so I contacted the Manager or the owner of Pacifica for him to arrange our travel to Samoa.
            Mr Speaker, I only knew the next day before we left that Air Nauru can only take 28 passengers and so this means the others have to go by Air Niugini on a Friday.  The cheque was made to Pacifica Travel and not to Charles Dausabea.  This is not made to my interest but in the national interest for the sporting bodies of this country to participate in the Samoan South Pacific games.  I was blamed for it.  When you do something good for people to enable them travel they story was twisted differently.  What kind of leaders are we? 
The cheque was raised after quotations were given to the Ministry of Finance.  What is the fuss about this?  It is the management, and all I need is to give them the cheque and they do it to get my 50 athletes out to Samoa.  How they did it I do not know because I did not direct them.  I would like to tell us straight in here that I asked them to do it and they did the job and we gave them the money.  It is not one airline we are talking about here but two airlines.  
Mr Speaker, I am surprised that they paid for an advertisement in the Solomon Star and put this in the paper.  This morning the mover even mentioned that the government paid for my legal fees.  I wish the government would have paid for my fees, but my lawyer just gave me my bill last week.  How can we leaders stoop that low to undermine our colleagues in this sovereign Parliament?  If you want to help me pay for the fees I can give you a copy of the bill.  Yes, because you go public saying that the government paid for my legal fees.  That is why I said that we just want the truth and respect in here.  The bill is there.
Mr Speaker, the other issue is the allegation of 5th June, which I keep on hearing so much so that I am tired of hearing it.  I think if an angel comes to explain it to you before you will believe.  Those responsible have been sent to prison for doing those things.  People who did those things at that time have been identified and are now paying the price for doing those things.  Justice has done its part on us and on them.  If our style of leadership is to continue bring the past to the present, this country will never, never go further under your leadership.  Let me tell you this. 
Every time we pray we say this is a Christian country but when it comes to the June 5th incident we say this and that.   No wonder and I know now why RAMSI continues to follow me every time because from that kind of information from the mover.  That is it.  Now I find the source in this Honorable Parliament.  The statement of evidence you read comes from a person I know very well who is a supporter of my political opponent and we have gone through this case in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.  So why bring it up in here?  As Christians we would say this is something of the past and so it should be forgiven.  Is our going to church every Sunday genuine?  May be we go just to cover up.  
Mr Speaker, I would like to say to the mover to further substantiate the issues before him.  You cannot throw everything on the floor just because it is a motion of no confidence.  No, no, we have to behave and act like sensible and responsible leaders in this honorable chamber. 
Mr Speaker, the other thing I was accused of is the takeover which I knew nothing about.  The mover said that on that morning we got people to kill his people.  Mr mover, I would like to ask you to do a good research before you make such a statement because that can amount to legal challenges even though we have the privilege to say anything in here but we have to tell the truth in here. 
The MP for East Honiara has been shot at because he stopped illegal payments made on the government at that time.  Twenty eight (28) bullets were shot at my House.  This case was reported but was never investigated by RAMSI until today.  But they are following the MP for East Honiara as if he is a criminal. 
Information was sent to the Police, Mr Speaker, which led to five RAMSI vehicles landed at Fishing Village yesterday.  They went there to find information that the MP for East Honiara paid and gave mobile phones to the people there to riot.  Mr Speaker, if this is the kind of leadership that is going to take this country after this government then I feel sorry for us.  I feel sorry because we will continue to be harassed. 
I have to ring the Assistant Commissioner of Police yesterday to express to him my disappointment and to express to him not to listen to rumors.  I want to tell you that if you take over the government next week I am going to sue you over my unlawful detention at Rove Prison for 8 months for telling lies.  Yes, my counsel is ready to do that because the time of appeal is already over and there is no appeal.  
Mr Speaker, we are leaders but why do we run to the media over any small things misleading our people.  At the end of the day it will cost this nation over something that should not have happened in the first place if we had told the truth with respect. 
Mr Speaker, the mover has made some serious allegations.  He is my brother but I do not know why he turned against me like this.  When we won the elections last year we have always been together, even during our younger days.  I believe he has been fed to say those things against me in here.  
Every time I heard those in the Honiara Hotel saying that they do not want the MP for East Honiara.  But I am not even the Prime Minister too.  You ran away from those positions and that is why we filled them up last week.  Minister’s position does not matter to me.  As long as justice is exercised for my people is all I stood for. 
Mr Speaker, I find it very, very shallow the excuses in asking the Prime Minister to resign.  This chamber does not belong to your father and mine but it belongs to the people of Solomon Islands.  Let me say this to you otherwise you think otherwise.  Since 1990 when I first came into parliament, Prime Ministers always change because of people.  Some changes were genuine and some were just for political expediency.  That is what I can say about the changes.  From 1990 until today I can see what is happening.  I had more knowledge and experience when I recalled those times. 
Mr Speaker, the excuse that it is because of the style of leadership, I cannot understand because they were in Cabinet and I am only a backbencher.  All those decisions are Cabinet decisions and are on Cabinet Papers.  There is record that the Minister of this and that ministry says this and that.  This is all in the Cabinet Office.  So how can you stand up here and say because the Prime Minister said this and that and that is why I do not like him.  But if you go through the minutes the name of the mover is even there.  The decision for us not to attend the Forum was made by some of those who ran away.  They have been very vocal in telling the Prime Minister not to attend the Forum in Tonga.  This is on the records.  Now we come here saying we had not supported that decision.  Why don’t you say that so that it is down in the minutes of the Cabinet meeting that you attended?  Why come and tell it in here this time?  Why don’t you walk out of the Cabinet meeting at that time to show your disagreement over that decision?
I can remember one time the mover walked out of a Cabinet meeting because the former Minister of Finance did something he is not happy about.  We have the problem of calling him up at Ngalimbiu on his mobile phone to tell him to come down.  That is the kind of thing I expect if you disagree with any Cabinet decision.  Not that you support the Prime Minister to go to Taiwan and then  later you come in here telling the nation that it was not a Cabinet decision.  That is not right. 
Mr Speaker, I do not even know the leadership style the Honorable Prime Minister was accused of because I was not a member of the Cabinet.  But if there is anything this nation deserves it should be to thank the two of us including the MP for Savo/Russells, the former Prime Minister for taking over the government in 2000 and just after seven days we signed the peace agreement for people of Solomon Islands.  Instead I was accused of getting a SR88.  Are we going to be okay?
Mr Speaker, like the MP for Savo/Russells rightly said, this government must blame itself.  One of our prayer warriors ran away from us and so there is no prayer warrior on this side.  But I can say that you are going to fall down there too Honorable Leader.  Be careful of them. 
Since coming out from prison they introduced themselves to us as the prayer warriors of this government so that it stands firm and not fall down.  Even the former Minister of Finance went to the Solomon Star saying that this government is going to reign for four years instead he is the first one to run away. 
I am telling the truth, this is in the media; it is in the Solomon Star.  He boldly went to the print media, Solomon Star, saying that this government is going to last four years but a week later he ran away.  So my Leader of Opposition, be careful of them.  If they run away from us then surely they can run away from you.  Let me forewarn you, my brother.  Let me forewarn you.  
When they were still on this side, we used to pray in Cabinet, and my goodness, the Cabinet seems to be up there.  They went and tell the nation that this government is committed to the BUA.  I did not know about this because I was in prison and when I came out all the BUAs were laid out already.  Every paper work on BUA and every program are there already.  When the BUA was launched I was still in prison and when I came out I just go along with them.  
Mr Speaker, I would like to say to us in this Honorable House just like the MP for Savo/Russells rightly said that this is not a political impasse but a financial crisis.  This is true.  About 88 CWs were raised.  

Hon Fono (interjecting):  That is for lobbying.

(laughter)

Hon Dausabea:  No, it is for them to run away to that side, to you.  I am telling us the

truth so that everyone would know.  I would just like to warn us Leader of Opposition because when they were on this side they encourage me that we will go after four years.  Be careful otherwise you are only one week. 
Mr Speaker, I would just to clear the allegations made against me by my brother, the mover, which I categorically deny in this Honorable Chamber.  If this motion is just for the sake of mudslinging in this Honorable Chamber then this is not the venue for it.  People of this sovereign country expect truth and respect to come out from this House and not political expediency.  
Mr Speaker, the mover also mentioned $300,000, which the Minister of Finance gave me.  This money was given to assist me complete my motel.  I have already spent about several millions on that motel through my own efforts just to uplift the face of Malaita.  I did not receive that assistance to make money but it is just to uplift the face of the province.  If that motel was not there most of you here would have slept under the rain in Auki.  

Hon Fono (interjecting):  Why not other motel owners, but you yourself?

Hon Dausabea:  This is government fund.  I can show the list to you, Leader of Opposition, of those who benefited from government funds in Malaita.  So if you are in government, are you not going to help private entrepreneurs?  Is that your policy?  People of this nation should listen and know.  Let us be honest to our people.  You bring in this issue and throw it on the floor saying the Honorable MP for East Honiara received $300,000 from the government.  I can get this $300,000 from my exports but the government is willing to assist me.  I would like to let you know.  And that is the government of the people for the people and by the people.  You go across, foreigners come in and they takeover the business sector of the country, which the government never assists.  Just look at the MP for Renbell who suffers over his ship this time but the government never assists.  So who is the government going to help?  Who is the government going to facilitate?  The Leader of Opposition now also received assistance last time.  Let us be honest to our people by telling them the truth that the government is going to help them.  And is it going to be help merely in words? 
Mr Speaker, I find it very intriguing too that the AG was also accused as anti RAMSI.  Nobody is anti RAMSI.  You only need to go through what I went through for you to know what you as a Solomon Islander is expected under our laws practiced in the past.  I believe some of you will cry only after two weeks in prison.  You only need to go through to understand what I am trying to tell you now.  
People tell them lies and they would follow it up.  Why not assess information first to know whether they are credible or not?  Why?  This is because information is coming from the other group.  They are even heavily involved in this motion of no confidence and this meeting.  I know they went to specific places by traveling in RAMSI boats, canoe and helicopter.  Leave us Members of Parliament to solve our problem on the floor of Parliament. 
Mr Speaker, I do not want to bore us any further but I just want to reply to the accusations made by the mover against me today.  I would like to tell the mover and set records right before sitting down that the bill for my legal fees has just been handed down to me last week.  The government did not spent one cent on my bill as yet.  That is to put the records right. 
On the issue of 5th June, an event of about seven years ago, which you are trying to inform this House about, I would like to tell you that the MP for East Honiara has been cleared by the High Court and the Court of Appeal on this issue.  Never at any time have I killed your people as you claimed in here.  Not at all, I am a leader.  It was me that my own people almost killed just because I disallowed payment from the Treasury.  
I stood the test of time and I became a victim at that time.  My side of the story has never been investigated.  Therefore, if you say that RAMSI is here to enforce law and order then for who is law and order enforced?  That is the question I would like to ask.  This government supports RAMSI to be in this country.  This country needs development but as time goes on things change and so improvement must be seen in the structure.  We cannot say things must continue as they were in the past.  No, that is not right.  But we say that the situation has improved.  Where is that improvement not reflected in the structure and in their operation? 
RAMSI is here to stay, and must be fair to everyone whether you are in the Opposition or the Government.  I told the Deputy Commissioner of Police yesterday by phone that I do not change.  I just want to be respected just like he is being respected and not to treat me like a criminal on the street.  This is happening because you are giving them information and I become a victim. 
Mr Speaker, today we will decide the fate of the Prime Minister.  That is what the Leader of the Opposition has been vying for.  I hope you will come up with one candidate otherwise you came up with three and this would be a problem.  Anyway, Mr Speaker, I just want to clarify issues raised by the mover against me in order for my people to understand because only one side goes to the media, we on this side are just keeping quiet because we are not of the media.  We only sit down and sort things out between people. 
With these remarks, Mr Speaker, I resume my seat.

Hon ZAMA:  Mr Speaker, before I make comments on this important motion, I would like to make a few comments with your approval, Mr Speaker.  I have been barred from Parliament in the last sitting and so I just want to take this opportunity to first of all tell my people of South New Georgia, Rendova & Tetepare constituency that their MP is still well, alive and free and is now attending and enjoying Parliament Meetings. 
People said that I have been locked up for 20 months.  That was the judgment.  On the 24th September, Mr Speaker, the High Court made three orders.  Firstly, my appeal to the High Court was upheld.  Secondly, the judgment by the Magistrate Court was quashed (thrown outside) and thirdly, Mr Speaker, I was acquitted and that is why I am now in Parliament.  All along Mr Speaker, I have been enjoying parliamentary privileges and my case has made legal precedence, which upon that basis that man sitting down there was made free and enjoying freedom to be sitting there when he should have been charged for conspiracy too. 
(power disruption)

Sir, in fact I do not want to speak on this motion but I am urged to talk on this motion raised by my colleague, MP for North East Guadalcanal.  I went and saw him when his father passed away, and that was never political.  I just want to tell him that I am with him and support him in his time of sorrow.  Unfortunately the reasons raised by the honorable mover when moving the motion of no confidence have no basis.  He talked about leadership style, he talked about other things and he also talked about personal issues of the honorable Prime Minister.
            Mr Speaker, human as we are, we have weaknesses and failures in life.  Nobody is a saint.  The reasons raised by the honorable mover have never been raised in Government Caucus and in Cabinet.  I believe, Mr Speaker, that is the avenue whereby any differences in leadership and amongst leaders in the government should have first been thrust out than running outside blowing out hot air.  You were part of the government and as a responsible leader you should have sort those issues out in Government Caucus and Cabinet.  But now I know that you are very irresponsible, individually and collectively, those of you who defected from the government.  Individually and collectively, all of you are very irresponsible leaders.
            Firstly, you never raised these issues as leaders in Government Caucus and in Cabinet.  You never raised them.

Mr Huniehu:  If anyone questions he is sacked.  

Hon Zama:  No, nobody was sacked.  Only some of us have been sacked because we raised real issues affecting this country and we still stand by those principles and issues we believe in. 
Mr Speaker, the honorable mover should have thought very carefully and thorough the issues he raised.  I found no basis whatsoever for those reasons rather than mere political expediency.  That is childish stuff crying over something that should have been resolved in Caucus and Cabinet. 
            Mr Speaker, for the last four to five weeks this country has gone through a lot of uncertainties politically and economically.  We are causing a lot of anxiety in the minds of the private sector.  We have caused confusion and misunderstanding to people in the streets as well because a lot of these confusions and misunderstanding were deliberately orchestrated by none other than the former Deputy Prime Minister and my former friend, the Minister for Works.  They deliberately orchestrated confusion and misunderstanding.
            Mr Speaker, some of us received offers by the Leader of Opposition to move side.  I was given a letter, Mr Speaker, by the Leader of Opposition just after I was moved to the Ministry of Finance and in that letter the Leader of Opposition said that I am the best candidate for the Ministry of Finance portfolio.  Enough of sweet talks, Leader.  He was suggesting to me that I was the best Minister for Finance but this kind of politics takes us nowhere and this is why for the last 29 years Solomon Islands has never moved.  
The honorable MP for East Are Are must be responsible for not moving Solomon Islands forward.  Why, because they have been playing politics, house after house, session after session.  On whose interest, Mr Speaker?  Whose interest?  They do not put the nation first.  They do not put the people first.  They are thinking about their own small interest.  That is why I said they are very irresponsible leaders, and I want their constituencies out there to listen and not to vote them back again because they are very irresponsible.  They do not put their people first, they do not put the nation first and their priorities are wrong. 
Just as much as I would like to support your motion your intentions are dirty.  You are not genuine because if you are genuine, colleague mover, the MP for North East Guadalcanal you should have raised those issues in Cabinet and Caucus.  But you run away outside and it is from outside that you bark, to me that is a different intention my colleague brother.  So here we are trying the numbers game again.  You may have the number but you are putting this country at ransom because I will tell you why.  The MP for Rennell/Bellona does not know what he is doing? 

(laughter)

He thinks that he can pull down the government today and form a new government tomorrow.  I am sorry it is very hard.  It is not that easy my friend. 
            The Grand Coalition for Change Government took office and it took it almost six months to one year to formulate its policy.  Mr Speaker, in view this government has some of the best policies this country has ever seen and enjoyed.

(hear, hear)

Yes, the MP for East Are Are will laugh but he is guilty.  These guys here have nothing other than personal dirty intentions and motives.  Mr Speaker, these guys are playing childish politics because they were telling us, ‘this is the money bag if you come across we give you the money’.  In fact I moved up my stakes to half a million going up to one million.  I just want to try them and I was proposing to them that if I moved across I would be your candidate for prime ministership. 
Mr Speaker, moving a motion of no confidence one after another is pure lunacy and nonsense for political stability in Solomon Islands and the progress of this country moving forward.  We as leaders, 48 of us now, I wonder what the views of the late MP for Aoke/Langa Langa and the late MP for East Malaita would be.  But I know they are in their graves seeing leaders playing politics. 
One of the reasons and may be the main reason is that we have been playing politics for the last 29 years at the expense of our people.  This is at the expense of our people.  You may be laughing but this is an issue.  You can take the government tomorrow but it will take you up to the end of 2008 to come up with a policy.  You can never leave the people of this country in abeyance and in suspense.  Even now, for the last four weeks you created uncertainty and anxiety in the minds of the public and especially the private sector.
            Mr Speaker, we should have enough of this.  This motion, in my view, should never have been accepted in the first place because the Leader of the Opposition, someone who really wanted to become a Prime Minister, my brother just come over and join the government so that the best policy this government has seen will continue.  This government is very much constituency focused in terms of its BUA.  It is constituency focused, it is people orientated, it is growth centered and it wants to create more opportunity for people in the rural areas.  We think of our people first because for the last 30 years we have forgotten our people where the bases of our resources have been lying idle for the last 30 years. 
The MP for East Fataleka, my colleague brother, thank you for all your prayers.  You left us and so we missed your prayers but I believe when you sit on the Opposition side you continue to pray for us.  This morning I woke up and prayed.  I prayed asking God to give us wisdom to think through the issues that have been raised because sometimes our minds are flawed from thinking clearly. 
I woke up at about 1 o’clock this morning and prayed especially for my colleague MP for Fataleka so that he can continue to pray for those Members who left the government to have clear minds and clear consciences.  But we should never entertain this kind of politics. 
Getting back to the BUA policy, a lot of people on the streets, a lot of people sitting in high offices and even the 48 Members of Parliament do not even understand BUA (Bottom UP Approach).  Never mind how the MP for East Are Are would want to call it, ‘grass-root whatever or grass-skirt or what, however the Opposition group would want to call it, BUA is always BUA - Bottom Up Approach.  It is people based, resource based or whatever you may call it.  If you miss people you miss resource, I am sorry your colorful names will not get the target. 
Mr Speaker, this will be the first time and we are working on a budget framework and that is one of the reasons we have not come up with the budget.  Last year I spoke with the former Minister for Minister to redo the framework of the budget.  And the former Deputy Prime Minister was very supportive of this because we were targeting the constituencies and people.  Next year this government is going to put $3 million to the constituencies.  This government will give $3 million allocation to each constituency because of its seriousness in addressing the needs of people in the rural areas to push and drive the bottom up approach. 
One of the things I have said, and even the 50 Members of Parliament sitting in here do not even understand is the bottom up approach.  The problem is that a lot of us have never gone back to live in the villages.  That is the problem.

Hon Fono (interjecting):  Tell it to yourself.

Hon Zama:  Mr Speaker, I call on the MP, the Leader of the Opposition to go and see my village.  I call on him right now to take a flight down and see what the MP for South New Georgia/Rendova means by the BUA.  I went to school cooking copra for school fees, and that is BUA.  If the Leader of Opposition does not believe what the MP for South New Georgia is saying then he should take a flight down to Munda, go to Rendova and see who the MP for South New Georgia and Rendova is, a true believer of BUA where people work and sustain their living instead of giving them money in their pockets that will evaporate to nowhere. 
Mr Speaker, this government is very serious, and that is the sad thing what I am trying to say here.  This is the saddest thing may be in my life time, if we miss this policy.  I believe the MP for Marovo and North Vella believe in what I am saying here because we are people focused. 

Hon Fono (interjecting):  We can still do that.

Hon Zama:  Mr Speaker, that is the sad part I wish to tell the Leader of the Opposition and the mover of this motion.  If you only continue with the development plan and policies of the Grand Coalition for Change, by all means you get my vote.  It is like that.  By all means, my colleague mover.  If you put constituencies first, if you put people first, if you put $3 million like we promised to put in next year’s budget for the constituencies to address the BUA policy then definitely you will get my vote.  But as we are speaking now, sorry, you are ready to dig deep apart from the offers you are giving me.  I hope my colleague from North Vella will continue to ring me because we need to talk.  He is my uncle and so we need to continue talk on political stability and development in the Western Province.
            Mr Speaker, I think my colleagues here are irresponsible leaders, and I mean the whole bunch of the Opposition Group because for the last four weeks now, going up five weeks, Mr Speaker, they have been congregating at the Honiara Hotel.  At whose expense, Mr Speaker, who is going to pay for the bill?  That is very irresponsible, Mr Speaker.  How much is the bill going to cost this government or this country or the people in the rural areas?  How much?  What do you think of that Mr Speaker?  That is irresponsible leadership.  That is very irresponsible, MP for Gizo/Kolombangara.
            Yes, Mr Speaker, the $350,000 for the cocoa project was diverted to the copra crushing mill because of the BUA policy.  There is no secret about it.  The Minister knew it and all my other colleagues knew it, even the Deputy Prime Minister as well as the MP for East Fataleka knew all about this.  There is nothing secret about it because we are serious about addressing people in the rural areas and addressing people so that people work and earn their living instead of coming to Honiara all the time.
            Mr Speaker, I think we should stop playing politics.  Mr Speaker, we must continue to debate this motion until 12 o’clock or even 1 o’clock in the morning so that everybody can raise their views and what they believe in.
            Mr Speaker, we need to be very responsible in our leadership because our people have trust and confidence in the 48 of us.  Once we start to abuse the trust that our people put on us then it is going to be difficult next time round. 
Mr Speaker, I just feel sorry for the mover of this motion because he has not done his homework properly.  He sort of jumped the gun and moved this motion.  The first he should have done is to raise these issues in Caucus so that we can amicably and prayerfully resolve these issues instead of going out and raising it from the outside.  And I truly Honourable Speaker, miss my colleague from East Fataleka, especially his prayer times with us in Cabinet and all that.  But you know the reasons they raised is very hard for me to support this motion because the practical approaches will take them time to formulate the policies and by the time they finish with the policy at the end of 2008, 2009 we will be ready for the elections and so there will be no time.  That is why I ask my colleague MP for Gizo/Kolombangara to continue to support.
            Mr Speaker, before I forget, one of the reasons why I refused to leave the Grand Coalition for Change Government is that this Government was formed by SIPRA, the National Party and other parties.  What saddens me is that they came up with these very good policies but all of a sudden they ran away from these policies.  This is like a child being given birth to and then abandoned or runaway from after six months.  That is why some of us as responsible leaders stay with the government so that policies will continue to be implemented for the people in the rural areas because they are some of the best policies this country has ever seen for the last 30 years.
            My senior colleagues from the Western Province - Marovo, North New Georgia and Simbo/Ranonga, is one main reason I was held back because the policies are like the children of my veteran politicians and when all of us runaway from the very good policies that addresses issues in the rural areas then it is acting irresponsibly.  
Mr Speaker, if the Leader of the Opposition and the mover can assure me that they will take onboard the policies of the Grand Coalition, never mind you change the name but adopt all the policies of the Grand Coalition.  I say this because you will have no time, Gizo/Kolombangara, East Guadalcanal and East Fataleka and the former Deputy Prime Minister to formulate new policies.  This is true.

Hon Fono (interjecting):  We already have it in place – the document.

Hon Zama:  You will have no time.  As of when do you have those policies.  The other colleagues ran away only three weeks ago.  Do not tell me that those are outdated policies and policies that have no bearing and effect in moving forward and progressing into the future.  Unless I those policies are rural focused and people centred, I am sorry you will need to dig deep to convince me.  But let us be more responsible, Mr Speaker, in addressing the issues affecting this country.
            I know the former Deputy Prime Minister has made delivery of his six canoes and three sawmills.  I hope these things are now serving his people and that is exactly what we are trying to address this year onwards in moving forward because our people for the last 30 years have been spectators, my former Minister for Education.  We need to really dig deep and look into areas where our people have been left out because we cannot allow them to continue to be spectators.  They have the resources and so they must play, our people must participate.  Unless we the 48 leaders continue to play politics by moving motions of no confidence after motions of no confidence then this country is not going anywhere.  That is why this country must be stable to maintain continuity in our policies.  Our policies must be implemented because next year it is going to be $3 million for the constituencies, former DPM and you will have more canoes, more Lucas mills for the people, you will cut timber for more houses.
Yes, for the people of the Western Province, I thank the now Finance Minister for trying to facilitate the people who have been living in distress and despair.  For the last eight to nine months progress has been very slow or even nil and people in the Western Province, my people are still sleeping under tents today.  The Cabinet approved the policy in July and in July when I was not yet in Cabinet, and so I am never a part of it and since then we are waiting.  But I am glad that the present Minister of Finance is picking that up and very soon this will be implemented through the BUA policy and through Members of Parliament so that they take effective control and ownership of the delivery mechanisms to ensure houses are built so that people can live in good and decent shelters. 
With that said, Mr Speaker, I find it difficult to support this motion.  It is quite difficult honestly, although I would like to my colleague for East Guadalcanal.  The reasons he raised are very personal and do not address the issues he would have like to raise.  I think this will only continue to create political instability in the minds of our people and as leaders we must be responsible.  We must be responsible.  We cannot continue to leave our people in abeyance and continue to let them hang in suspense, and therefore Mr Speaker, I find it difficult to support this motion, and with these remarks, I oppose this motion.

Hon WAIPORA:  Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very, very important motion affecting the whole nation today.  Today we come to bury our Prime Minister.  Right from the beginning when I took my oath at the Government House, I meant that I will be loyal to whoever is my leader, and I still keep to that principle.  Even during the time Ulufa’alu was Prime Minister, I gave the same loyalty to him until we were toppled by the coup.  As a man of principle, today I will die with the Prime Minister.
            Sir, I have only four points to make.  First I want to thank the honourable mover for his very important motion he brought to Parliament for us to look into, and it is up to us now as leaders of this country to think very seriously before we make our decision on the verdict of the Prime Minister today.
            As Minister responsible for Provincial Governments, I want to say I have been working very cooperatively and I owe a lot of thanks to the premiers of the nine provinces for working together with me for the last two years as their responsible Minister.
            Mr Speaker, early this year the government came up with the Bottom Up Approach policy development and so the Ministry of Rural Development and Indigenous Business Affairs was created which led to part of my Ministry moving over to that new ministry to concentrate on rural development in order to realize the bottom up approach and I remained with provincial government and institutional strengthening. 
Sir, I am happy to tell this Parliament that with this new policy by the government this time with the assistance of AusAid through RAMSI, the UNDP, European Union, have together given $100 million for institutional strengthening in our various provincial governments throughout this country.  This money is to help us prepare ourselves go into state government we have been talking about.
            Our provinces have been criticized as ineffective, not working properly and a waste of money but this is because successive governments have not looked seriously into the problems of the provincial governments.  The system is okay but it is us human beings who are not good and that is why provincial governments do not function properly.  That is why I am trying my best to bring in a program managed by the UNDP in my Ministry so that we can work and closely look at problems our provincial governments are facing today.
            Financial management is lacking and weak as well as administration management.  There are many other institutions in the provincial governments that are weak.  We complain about agriculture officers not going around the provinces but this is because they do not have financial assistance to go around.  They do have logistics such as outboard motors, vehicles and other things to enable them do their work properly.  This is what this government through my Ministry is trying to do.  I only hope that whoever takes my place in the new government must continue with that program.

(hear, hear)

because this is very important.  We cannot blame the provincial governments.  We must blame ourselves and blame the governments for not putting in place right policies like this.  If you would only give me another two years to remain in this Ministry, I can tell you, and I am talking very confidently today Mr Speaker, you give me time and you will see the difference.

(hear, hear)

This is very, very important.  I am prepared that if I am given time I will provide financial provisions adequate for our provincial governments in the country.  I can assure you that I am going to improve your provinces.  Today I can tell you that the premiers of all the provinces, the nine provinces have confidence and trust in me under my administration and they would be very sorry, I can honestly tell you, if I am leaving them.  This is true.
            Mr Speaker, I am surprised with my colleagues, the nine of them who went across to the other side.  When I was appointed Minister, Mr Speaker, whenever there is any problem I go straight to the Prime Minister because he is my boss and I tell him what I am not happy about or ask him why he made that decision.  I am not afraid of him.  If you are afraid of him then why do you complaint.  You should not complain but go and see the boss.  Why did you complain?  You are like little children who has a small complaint and then he/she runs away.  
             Mr Speaker, the honourable mover of the motion, during the teachers’ strike that has just happened he struggled with it until the Minister of Finance and me assisted him.  But do you know what I found out, Mr Speaker?  It was the Minister himself who failed to do his part.  Yes, that is what I found out and that is why I have to send some of my staff over to come and sort the problem with your staff.  We must not talk for nothing.  Some of us give little time when we were Ministers in our Ministries. But the rule is that 80% of your time should be given to the government and 20% is for you to do whatever you want to do.  In every day of work, 80% of your time must be in the Ministries.  It is fitting for people to complain about the government because we give little time and are half-hearted in our work.  We become administrators of our own.  Instead of being policy makers and directing our staff to do the work we go out somewhere else.  But that is not the case Mr Speaker, and that is why we have this problem.   
            Mr Speaker, in talking about the teachers’ strike, that is what I found out, former Minister of Education.  Both of you sitting down there, the former Minister of Finance did not sort out their money quickly and so I was involved.  And because I was involved the problem was solved, but they are still going to strike, I can guarantee you because their problems have not been sorted out.  It is just a very simple matter that caused the teachers to go on strike.
            Mr Speaker, as I have said, there are only four points that I want to talk about.  My honourable Minister for Education said give us time to talk but we would like clear ourselves, the government side of what we have been accused of.  Today is the time for us to clear ourselves and to defend ourselves because we are going to die.  Mr Speaker, I want to ask you to give us time to talk.
            Last night I heard news coming from the Honorable Leader of the Opposition accusing me that I made a threat on my member.  As an elder of Makira, I think it is good for me to advice my colleague because you never know what is going to happen.  You are making people angry because you jump here and there, and that is why I warned him.  I told him not to behave like that otherwise people will be angry with you.  I told him it would be better for him to come to where all of us from Makira are so that we shelter in here.  That is what I told him

Hon Fono (interjecting):  Didn’t you force them?

Hon Waipora:  Waswe?

(laughter)

What did you say?  I already saw it with my eyes.
            Mr Speaker, we have gone through such an experience and anything could happen if we fall down.  That is why I told my colleague to be careful otherwise some people might be angry with him.  I think it is better that he comes and stays quietly with us here. 
Mr Speaker, I want to tell my colleague wantok that he has made a very big mistake by stepping down on what our chiefs from Makira did on 16th August 2007 when they enthroned the Prime Minister as our chief in Makira.  That is why we respect him and we stayed with him.  It is only him who does not respect him.

(laughter)

Mr Speaker, he is our chief.  What type of chief is in Ulawa/Ugi?  It is them that gave the power to the Prime Minister and that is why those of us from West Makira, Central Makira and East Makira stick with the man who was enthroned as the chief of Makira.  Mr Speaker, you have to answer your chiefs of Ulawa and Ugi why you are like this.  You must have some answers for them. 
I want to clarify what the Leader of the Opposition heard and which makes him jump up very quickly.  He is a man who jumps up very quickly.  Any small thing he jumps up quickly.  My goodness!  Can’t he hear anything and let it fall to the ground?

(laughter)

            Mr Speaker, I want to tell the mover of the motion that this is a childish motion.  It has no substance to throw out the government.  We need to work for our nation and the lives of the 500,000 people in this country.  When we move such a motion we must be very serious about these things.  When I listen to your motion I can read it as very light.  And this is the view of an old man talking to you.  You are only a young person and I am an old man.  Your motion is very light and does not worth the paper you write it on.
            Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk and I oppose the motion.

(applause)

Hon TOSIKA:  Thank you Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to speak on this motion of no confidence.
            Firstly I would like to thank colleagues in here for standing firm with the government until today.  The first reason I stood with the government and not moved is basically because I hold the Bible in my right hand and I swore under oath to serve this country and this nation with my whole being.  That is the first thing I did and so I cannot deceive myself. 

Hon Fono (interjecting):  That is normal

Hon Tosika:  Petty politicks is what makes this country not moving forward.  How is it normal?  If God looks through your heart and my heart, He will find that your normal thing is corruption.

(applause)

I find it very hard to comprehend the move made by Ministers of the Crown to the other side. 

Hon Fono:  They resigned.

Hon Tosika:  Yes, they resigned with no reason.  It is hard for me to comprehend it because they are the most senior people I look up to, to lead us, the new ones in Cabinet and in the country.  They are the very people who sit close to the Prime Minister.  They are prayer warriors, and I must tell my brother MP for Fataleka that you have forgotten your Bible in Cabinet.  The human being has moved but his Bible remained in Cabinet.  Every time we pray we ask God to give this government four years, and ask God to help this government stay in power.  That is your prayer.  The MP for East Central Guadalcanal most times prayed, you prayed, all of you prayed.  I then ask myself to whom were they praying to?  Were they deceiving us?  This is a question I am unable to find an answer to.
            Today the former Minister for Education stated the reasons why he moved this motion.  And I support the Member for Savo who said that this motion is a government motion.  It is not the opposition’s motion but it is a government motion.  The government wants to topple itself except for not good reasons.  The reasons you stated when moving this motion do not have substance.  They are purely personal and childish. 
As a government we have not at anytime like what my honourable colleague has said heard you ask those questions in Cabinet and most of the things you mentioned are Cabinet decisions for which most of you are advocates of those decisions, those of you who went to the other side.  The Opposition is okay.  They stay intact.  They were very genuine.  But I do not see any genuineness of those of you who defected and went to the other side and then introduced this motion in Parliament.  As my colleague MP has said all of you are irresponsible. 
            I am someone who just stays and watch because I am new but you are very close to the PM.  I can say that you ransacked this country.  Another thing too you locked yourself up at the Honiara Hotel for so long not allowing your voters to come to you.  They are the people who put you in power.  I am quite surprised to see that the militants, a lot of former militants are your securities.  You talked about militants in 2002 and then you ask militants to look after you at the Honiara Hotel.  What is the genuineness of that reasoning?  Is that right?  Let us think about this first. 
Also a lot of you have been jumping here and there.  I cannot understand whether this is for money or what.  That is what you are doing and that is why this country cannot move forward.  I am very surprised and also sad too that a senior person like the DPM (my uncle on the other side) who should stand strong with the Prime Minister and should be the right hand of the Prime Minister has taken the spear and threw it on the Prime Minister. 
            With these few remarks honourable colleagues, I do not support this motion.

(applause)

Hon TANEKO:  Thank you, Mr Speaker, I will be very brief in debating this very important motion. 
            Mr Speaker, I start to question myself as a Member of Parliament on this motion.  I have been voted to come into this House under the constitution of Solomon Islands since independence to represent my people as their voice in this house and as their legislator for the betterment of this nation.  But I start to question the motto of this very House ‘to lead is to serve’. 
Sir, I start to question the legislating body of the constitution, the freedom of expression, the freedom of right under Chapter 2 of the constitution.  But when it comes to quality leadership I start to have questions.  The secrecies in Cabinet and Caucus are no longer there, as my Honourable Minister for Police has said. 
I served the previous government for four years and was loyal and faithful to that government until this house was dissolved.  I am happy to declare in here that my people respected me for having a clear conscience and making my decision as a Member of Parliament in leading my people because no one can convince me to jump here and there.  To all my chiefs in Shortlands and my people, I thank you for not disturbing me to influence my conscience so that I can make my pure decision on whom I shall serve. 
Mr Speaker, it is hard.  When I got into Parliament I was thinking about the oath of allegiances we made when we were swear in as Member of Parliament and as a Minister on the secrecy of Cabinet.  Mr Speaker, may I say this in this House to the 50 Members that the Constitution is supposed to be adhered to.  However, this does not seem to be the case anymore.  
            The truth is that the Bible says ‘ask and you shall receive’.  But when you receive your name is publicized, criticized and condemned, and so what are we going to do?  Are we going to come in here, sit down and be dumb without developing the constituencies? 
One Member said, get another ship.  I am going to have three ships.  The second one is coming.  I am going to work.  Because if I do not ask I will not receive and if I do not knock the door will not be opened to me, if I do not seek there will be nothing, and so we are violating the truth, the word.  John 1.1 says “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.” 
If I ask and you do not give me, praise the Lord.  But if you give me please do not complain about it, do not criticize and do not put it on paper because this is not representing the people, this is against what you have promised to the people.  If I ask and you give me, thank God because I receive it.  But here is a paper, and I am talking so that the people can see, when Members of Parliament receive we criticize each other because somebody receives.  Therefore, Mr Speaker, if you check the Hansard of the past four years, I always say let us distribute equally to all 50 Members of Parliament. 
            Bottom up approach, I have seen it, Mr Speaker, and I thank the previous government that my people from children, women, men who have never visited Honiara before are now coming to Honiara because of the M.V.Bikoi.  We can now prove to this Parliament and so thank you everyone.  Is this bad? 
People are starting to have access to town and are starting to see and feel motivated with new minds.  Children, old women and old men are coming to town, is that not good?  What kind of leader is that?  I start to wonder as a wonder as a leader.  Shortlands harvest timber but there is no development.  Why?  It is because previous governments have not taken development seriously to put it back to the constituencies.  There has been no BUA.  Whose decision is that for the last 29 years?  I thank other Ministers who are doing reforestation but where is the money for reforestation on land that have been harvested.  Where?  Where is the road?  We the 50 Members of Parliament are answerable to this question.  Are we going to play around like this?
            I thank the mover of the motion but there is no logic to this motion and no ethical practice to it.  I did not hear their voices in Cabinet so that I can support them and talk to the Prime Minister.  I can tell the Prime Minister to come back to the rules because what he might be doing is not right.  However, I have never heard his voice in Cabinet so that I can support him so that until he came out and barked outside.  I would love to hear his voice in Cabinet and in Caucus so that I can support him.  
Mr Speaker, it is not the house that will be glorified but it is the builder.  When we put a leader we are the ones supposed to build that leader, we have to support him in his leadership.  Are we going to play around until we reach 30 years?  This country will be 30 years old and yet our people still wear torn trousers, have empty stomachs – the people who voted us and gave us power.  This makes me sad.  
I have seen the reality of the Bottom Up Approach.  My people produce and get money from only one product, which I always repeat in here many times, and that is copra.  People are enjoying themselves and people have money for Christmas because of this one product.  We must tell the truth in here, Mr Speaker, all of us 50 MPs.  
I am not finger pointing but I talking in general to us MPs.  We are here to legislate and tailor the constitution - the law of Solomon Islands for the betterment of those people who voted us here for their future living.  But if we come in here and finger point at each other, then I do not see that as right.  
May I ask the question, Mr Speaker, do we really follow the constitution that is suitable for our people in the village?  Is it good for us?  In our culture do we finger point each other?  Can that way of life or the system - the legislature will give us peace and sensibility.  I don’t think so, Mr Speaker. 
Bringing back the past and putting it on the table and renewing it will not give us peace.  This is a so called Christian country where every Sunday we go to church.  But here we are still repeating ourselves, we cannot forgive and forget like what the Bible says.  I am starting to wonder what Christianity is for.  Why do we build churches, why we have pastors?  Why?  Why do we have to do this?  This is the truth.  
If the Supreme Almighty sends down lightning to this earth can we still exist?  The answer is no.  So we, the 50 MPs would do better if we surrender and humble ourselves.  I thank the Prime Minister for being humble.  I have seen him all the way, throughout this leadership crisis, he humbled himself. 

Hon Fono (interjecting):  If he is humble, he should resign.

Hon Taneko:  No, he will not resign.  This is the House to remove him or not.  For me to jump here and there is not leadership, Mr Speaker.  We criticize but the message is very clear.  We must tailor the legislators, every law and every constitution to cater and be suitable for Solomon Islanders so that we do not fight each other like what is happening now.  So that we do not finger point each other, repeating the same things causing problems to ourselves.
Mr Speaker, as leaders let us be humble and reunite our hearts and rebuild this nation.  Some of us have not yet recovered, but they are starting to criticize us now.  So what are we going to do?  Are we going to remain like this?  No, let us help each other, let us shoulder each other. 
All my colleagues MPs who left the government, I would have appreciated what you done if we had discussed those issues you raised together in caucus and cabinet so that we can talk to the leader about the things that are of concern to you at the cabinet and caucus level.  That is the time I can have peace.  But I am sad when they left us, but I still love them today.  I am praying for them so that they can have the conscience to serve whoever they are going to serve. 
If it is God’s will, Mr Speaker, today my Prime Minister will be removed from power.  It is the decision of the Almighty, but we must have the right motives in our hearts.  Make sure we have the right to the ballot power to give power to someone.  But if we have differences many times, Mr Speaker, then I do not think we are giving this country a better future.  
Mr Speaker, the same criticisms have been made ever since I was on the other side of this House.  There are same criticisms coming on and on, out and in and out.  No, this is not better for this nation.  The children, women and men whom I represent in the Ministry are crying.  They are crying, Mr Speaker, every one of us in here.  I think the only best motion is to dissolve the House so that we go back to the polls.  May be that’s the best way so that people can select their new leaders.  
I am sorry about this side and that side.  For myself, I am happy even if I do not come back.  But I want to tell the House that it has been too much for this nation in the last 29 years, Mr Speaker.  Political issues and arguments brought up every time are always the same. 
Let me talk about the provincial level.  The question to ask ourselves is, what have we been doing for our people?  For my people, today I have seen changes taking place, I have seen people enjoying the Bottom Up Approach.  This is a reality.  This is a true thing. 
My leaders, let us come together and reunite our hearts for the same common goal to change Solomon Islands in the way we represent our people, the 50 constituencies and the MPs of our constituencies.  That is all we want.  That is all.  But I have said earlier that the constitution and the democratic process is the problem because we still follow the Westminster System brought in here by somebody.  
I believe and wish all lawyers of Solomon Islands are listening in.  And if they listen in, can they help us tailor the constitution to fit our culture so that we respect each other and we can go forward for the betterment of the legislature, the constitution and the laws of Solomon Islands.  
I don’t think, Mr Speaker, the recipe for the legislature, the constitution and our laws are right.  The law itself will interpret that for me.  But according to my layman’s canal mind, we always abuse our culture in here.  But when we go outside of this Chamber we become friends again.  
In here we use all sorts of words accusing each other but when we go home we do not do that.  I am saddened by this attitude.  I am sad to see this happening.  This is reality and the truth.  We come in here throwing mud at each other, spoiling each other, and some have already left us, God bless those good leaders who have gone before us. 
Here we are, this new generation, what will the next generation to come be like when there will be more academics and the educated.  Are they going to be the same as us?  Are the processes and laws going to be tailored to become more difficult other than the laws of Solomon Islands?  May be there is need to get back to God’s given culture so that we can respect the motto “to lead is to serve”. 
A leader must be tough, he has to make sure his children are doing the right thing.  That is what a leader is supposed to be.  A leader is not a follower according to Deuteronomy 28:11-13.  A leader is not a follower.  He has to make tough decisions so that his children are doing the right thing.  When a chief does not make strong and firm decisions in the village, the village will be in disarray.  Everyone will do things over boundary, go fish everywhere beyond boundaries and so on.  This is simple terminology of the laws of culture.
Mr Speaker, I am sad to see the difference that exists today.  I appeal to all MPs in here that this vote of no confidence moved by the mover is brought in here because of the democratic process.  I agree with that because that is democracy.  But let us ask a simple question, am I doing the right thing?  Do I have a right motive of doing it?  Why am I doing it?  Will this benefit my people - the 500,000 beneficiaries – the Solomon Islanders - the children, men and women who are waiting and longing for stability in the country, Solomon Islands?  All they need is service.  Everyone in this House believes that 74% or more of the budget is spent up to its level, not the bottom.  
The approach the government is doing now is working very well.  I have seen it and witnessed it and it is really working very well.  Now we are thinking of renaming the bottom up approach.  Even if you do that it is still the same.  Let us empower the village.  
If we are not happy here then let us empower the chiefs so that they run the government in the village, they have executive bodies in the villages, they have their own prime minister, their own president or chief or whatever so that they can govern themselves so that the budget is given down to them so that there is no difference in this legislature at the upper level.  Let us strengthen the lower level, the rural one, the bottom up.  
Mr Speaker, we can say many things in here.  But I would like to ask the mover of the motion to withdraw the motion.  I respect him.  If he would have been vocal about that motion in Cabinet I will support him and ask the Prime Minister to detour from whatever he might be doing if there is evidence to prove that what he is doing is not right.  I would be happy to do that as a leader.  However, I fail to hear any of those complaints in Cabinet and in Caucus. 
At Cabinet level we keep the secrecy of Cabinet decisions but today, sad to say, this is no longer the case.  We talk in Cabinet and the next moment what we say goes out.  So what kind of law are we going to follow?  We hold the Bible, as one Minister has said, in one hand but what are we going to do now.  When we were sworn in, we say the promises but we did not follow them.  The Bible says there are two things if we do that.  The first is curse and the second is blessing.  May be that is why we ended up this way.  
Mr Speaker, whilst I appreciate what the mover said, I would like to ask him (and this is from my own conscience) to withdraw the motion.  I ask him to withdraw the motion, and I am sure the other eight who followed him agree with me.  I respect them, some of them I highly respect.  If something can be done only in that I believe my conscience is right to support the concerns they have, and after consultations with the Prime Minister he does not listen to what the cabinet and caucus is asking him then it will be very, very clear to the conscience of some of us on this side. 
Mr Speaker, I oppose the motion. 

Mr SOFU:  Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to also share my contribution on this very important motion.  In so doing, Mr Speaker, I first would like to thank the honorable Member of Parliament for North East Guadalcanal for seeing it fit to bring this motion into this chamber. 
            Mr Speaker, I also wish to acknowledge the honorable Prime Minister’s leadership for the last 18 months.  Mr Speaker, I do not feel like contributing to the debate of this motion but since some Members of the Government side who have contributed, repeated the same things saying those Members who have defected did so without any good reason.  They said we never consulted the Prime Minister.  The honorable MP for South New Georgia/Rendova/Tetepare, the Minister for Education who is watching me now was saying today that we are not true leaders.  How do you measure us?  How do you measure our performance?  How do you measure our characters in our communities? 
I wish to inform you, Mr Speaker, that we were voted in the same way the people of Rendova/Tetepare did to him.  I wish to inform this Parliament, those who are watching from the gallery and also the nation that all of us are leaders.  The fact that you trust us enabled us to be voted into this House.  I want to say this to my friend, the honorable Minister for Education.
            Mr Speaker, today the Minister for Education mentioned about supporting of cronies.  I will give you one small example before I sit down.  But first I would like to refer to the statement made by the honorable Minister for Women and Youth who said that we did not consult the Prime Minister.  If you read the Solomon Star, my good honorable, the Prime Minister put it very clearly that $12.5million was spent on vehicles.  On three occasions, Mr Speaker, I reminded my good Prime Minister and I still remember when I reminded and consulted him that the public is watching us closely now because even a Minister has two vehicles.
            Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this honorable House there are entitlements in the government system.  Members of Parliament have their entitlements under the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulation.  Public Officers are guarded by the General Orders.  Constitutional Post Holders and Permanent Secretaries’ terms and conditions are spelled out very clearly in their contracts as well as the conditions of essential services. 
Why did Ministers have two or even three vehicles?  That is not right.  Mr Speaker, that is an example that is not good.  It does not reflect well the image of this government, a responsible government that we all want.  No one criticizes the Bottom Up Approach policy because we all agreed with it and we want it, even my good Prime Minister I know wants it.
            Mr Speaker, the honorable Minister for Provincial Government sitting down there repeatedly said earlier that this is childish attitude.  He must understand we are not children.  We are mature national leaders representing our important people in our various constituencies.  He must understand this, Mr Speaker.  This is the only place to iron out things.  This is the only place to put things right, and not in the media and outside the floor of Parliament.  This is the right place for it, Mr Speaker.  Mr Speaker, Members who talk like that must think again.  I said earlier on today that we were elected and voted in the same way and we are national leaders. 
            With these few remarks, Mr Speaker, I support motion.

Mr HUNIEHU:  Mr Speaker, I just want to briefly comment on the motion before this Parliament, particularly paying special attention to bigger statements and issues relating to finance in this country, where I think the Manasseh Sogavare Government has miserably misled this country and also for hiring a Minister of Finance who has lost touch with the interest of the people and has no principles.
            Mr Speaker, I started the campaign to unseat the present Prime Minister on policy issues.  I was raising issues I think were pertinent to the management of our financial resources and our nation as a whole.  In the last two years, I continue to remind the Prime Minister that he has been handed a button in this race to take up leadership.  He has been handed the mantel of leadership to lead this country forward and not backward.  At no time have I personalized issues in the last two years.  This has led to my submission to this Parliament to move a vote of no confidence on him during our last meeting of parliament.  The reasons for doing so were very much subjected to my strong conviction that this nation had been steered and navigated outside of national interest.

 

            I withdrew the motion, Mr Speaker, basically because we did not have the number.  And Sir, if I had moved that motion at the last meeting, the motion now would be disqualified to be moved at this meeting.  Sir, I now believe that I took the right decision at that time for not moving the motion of no confidence. 
            If this motion is about leadership provided by the Prime Minister, then all of us have to remind ourselves that just in front of me and behind the Speaker is our national motto, ‘TO LEAD IS TO SERVE’.  The Government and the Prime Minister may have their own interpretation on what the motto ‘TO LEAD IS TO SERVE’ is.  I have my own interpretation as well as all Members of Parliament have their own interpretation.  Academics have their own interpretation and the rural people of this country have their own interpretation on what ‘TO LEAD IS TO SERVE’ also means.  I think we should not accuse ourselves of being lenient but we should seriously address what our people think about this important motto, TO LEAD IS TO SERVE’. 
I have passed the judgment, Mr Speaker, that this Prime Minister has led this country, has navigated this boat into shallow waters and we have been sinking.  That is my conviction and that has been my conviction.  Records will prove this, Mr Speaker.  I will try to justify why I say this before my good MP passes his solution on the comments.
            Our people’s interpretation of leadership is to take their concerns and interests foremost.  Our people in the rural areas who elected us here want the government to listen to their majestic voices in terms of governance.  Our people want to see us develop a partnership that will advance the interest of this nation beyond our own selfish interests, Mr Speaker.  Our people in the rural areas want a consultative government so that they can be free to practice, to exercise their rights when submitting their views and interests to the government.  Our people want a responsible government, a government that practices transparency, accountability and is fair to the people.  Our people in the provinces and in the constituencies want to see a government and a leader they can trust to manage the future destiny of this country.  Our people want a leadership that is humble.  When you have to bow out because you do not have the number, you do not create animosity.  Leadership is all about humbleness and is not about argumentative.  You can add on what you think your interpretation of leadership is.
But Mr Speaker, I failed miserably to see this Prime Minister adhere to some of the fundamental principles that I have just mentioned.  I was going to publish this in the media when I picked up hundreds of copies of the public criticizing this Prime Minister on various issues.  Comments like he is confrontational, he is a Mugabe type of leader, he does not listen, he does not want to have audience with the civil society but accuses them only of representing a few people in our country.  And if you dare to log into websites like the People First and Tutuvatu, you will only see one thing.  Indications from the public misjudge this leadership very seriously.  That is why my first attempt was nothing but to tell the truth to the people of Solomon Islands. 
Sir, did the Prime Minister listen to any of the statements, criticisms I have been making during the last two years?  He does not and he did not.  Sometimes it makes me wonder to think what sort of leader is this?  I understand why he has been behaving like this.  I fully understand.  That is why when the MP for South New Georgia/Rendova talked about this government as having the right policies, I totally reject that sort of statement. 
I said in this Parliament many times that Solomon Islanders are fond of saying the right things and doing the wrong things.  That is what I believe the Prime Minister and the Government is all about.  I also fail to see my opposite colleague, the Minister of Finance address systematically what he is going to do with financial issues in his budget speech.  He did not explain it, instead the MP for Rendova said something much closer because financial management in our country is foremost important and many Solomon Islanders are wondering about many issues that are coming. 
Sir, I have described what leadership is.  People in Solomon Islands want to see a fair leadership - a leadership that is fair to all, and not just a few Cabinet Ministers.  I will come to this later on.  All the things happening now is all about nepotism, favoritism, unfairness, and abuse of public interest and public trust.  That is why not only the Opposition is calling for a change of leadership and a change of government, but it is a unanimous decision.  There is a feeling amongst the people of this country that it is time this Government and the Prime Minister must go.  And the moment of truth is here with us. 
You can talk about the bottom up approach but how can you justify and quantify that?  What is happening to the bottom up approach?  Nobody is saying it is a wrong policy.  It is just a change of name, it is just a redressing, it is a rural development policy.  Do Ministries within the government undertaken to implement the bottom up approach policies?  As far as I am concern, Mr Speaker, nothing very positive have been done, it is only rhetoric, it is just mere words.  If it was implemented, Mr Speaker, all the projects were approved, 90% of them were given to Cabinet Ministers, a few backbenchers and a few outside people.  Is this a fair leadership we are talking about?  The same goes to other ministries like the Ministry of Tourism.  The same goes to the Contingency Warrants which were signed may be last week by the Minister of Finance to appropriate for more projects.  I cannot see any Members of the Opposition as beneficiaries.

Hon Boyers:  Point of order, Mr Speaker.  I never signed any contingency warrant whatsoever.  All the contingencies are done by the former Finance Minister. 

Mr Huniehu:  I hope the Minister of Finance stops passing the bucks around.  We are not here to pass bucks around but we are here to debate the motion of no confidence.
            Mr Speaker, I am talking about the leadership issue here, and I can confirm to you that the public is waiting for the delivery of many projects.  What about the 26 sawmills, Mr Minister of Finance?  How were they distributed? 

Hon Fono (interjecting): East Honiara, Central Honiara.  Is there any forest in these constituencies?

Mr Huniehu:  There are no trees in East Honiara and Central Honiara.  What about Members of the Opposition whose projects were approved, letters written to them but failed to collect the sawmills?  What has happened?  This marks the quality of leadership that people have been complaining about.  We must not politicize these issues. 
Now listen to me Minister of Finance, do not listen to the Leader of Opposition.

Hon Boyers:  Point of Order Mr Speaker.  This is a motion against the Prime Minister.

Mr Huniehu:  I will be asking the Minister of Finance to publish the list of all the projects.  Is this how you implement the BUA policy?  Just dishing out projects to a few people?  This is not fairness and that is why people are complaining.  You have been politicizing all these in order to maintain your solidarity and your number. 

It is wrong to use public money to build hedges around you for your survival, for your stability.  It is wrong and it is wrong.  If we are to implement the bottom

up approach policy you have to redirect all the developmental ministries on how funds allocated to these ministries will be implemented.  For example, the Ministry of Agriculture sent hundreds of surveyors throughout the provinces to earmark farmers who are genuine and real to be assisted.  When submissions were made to the Minister of Agriculture and Cabinet most of those who got the projects are people living in Honiara.  What more proof do we want?  What other proof Minister of Commerce.  The same is with the Ministry of Commerce.  This is public money and we have to be accountable. 
Previous speakers were saying that we have to be responsible, we have to be fair, we have to be mindful about what we do and we have to do this and that, but like my colleague Minister for Rural Development who is a lost person, a lost Minister…

Hon Kengava (interjecting):  I am still here.

Mr Huniehu:  Well, he is here in person but he is absentminded. 
Mr Speaker, that is why the bottom up approach is receiving criticisms from the people because instead of devising a policy on the bottom up approach on how to implement, strategize and get funding, we are out of focus.  I must say this that never mind we talk about the bottom up approach, if we continue to scare our aid donors, our policies will never be properly implemented and financed.  If we continue to have a Minister like the Minister of Foreign Affairs who spent three quarters of his time traveling overseas at public expense, nothing will happen, Mr Speaker. 
I want to know how much money is costing taxpayers of this country in this fiscal year for his overseas trips.  He went to Cuba to get Cuban doctors.  But where are the doctors, Mr Speaker?  Are they coming?  Mr Speaker, I bet you.  I do not see any of their faces yet, only Taiwan is here so why shouldn’t we ask more doctors from Taiwan.  There are better qualified doctors, graduate PhDs from Taiwan and so we should ask more of them to come here. 
Sir, we have to redirect our foreign policy in order to be more conducive for more donor partners to come and participate in the country’s overall development.  However, because of our poor relationship with outside countries, we are not having talks with important aid donors, and this will be reflected in the budget. 
We have not even held a donors’ consultative meeting in the last two years.  I do not know what is hindering that.  It is one of the normal things the government should be doing, and that is to have consultations with donor partners to discuss projects that must be implemented for our rural development policy with them, Mr Speaker.  How can you do that? 
The Prime Minister said from time and time again that we do not need aid.  I am surprised at such an irresponsible statement made by the Prime Minister.  If you look at Hansard, he talks about sovereignty but sovereignty does not mean we should not be receiving aid from our donor partners.  No. 
Sovereignty is about providing food on the table and not about creating obstacles.  And when he talks about sovereignty he is doing the opposite too.  What sort of sovereignty is he talking about when his actions and practices are totally opposite to what he is saying? 
I totally agree with this motion of no confidence.  I think it is an act of God’s intervention that it is moved this time by none other than one of the defected Ministers.  And why did they defect, Mr Speaker?  They defected because they cannot continue to serve under a leadership that says the right things and yet is doing the wrong things. 
People in Solomon Islands and everybody, have you not heard it?  I am surprised.  These people talk about the bottom up approach as very good.  Just last night some rural people came and shared their thoughts on what the bottom up approach is.  All the things we are doing here are political.  When we are engaged in political interaction, political debates, the people in the rural areas are suffering.  If the government is doing the right things, Mr Speaker, do you think it is necessary to move votes of no confidence?  No, we are abusing the fundamental principles of our motto, ‘TO LEAD IS TO SERVE. 
People are there but the honorable Prime Minister handpicked some doctors to fill up some vacant posts.  Where are they now?  They have been sidelined, not to be heard again, they are no longer writing in the Solomon Star.  That is the price you have to pay, Mr Speaker. 
The cost of leadership when you are not able to lead the country in the way people like, you would expect such things to happen.  I hold the Prime Minister absolutely responsible for this political chaos. 
In the year 2000, Mr Speaker, when I was his advisor, we made an application to the Republic of China for aid of about $800,000 to carry out political reform, establishment of political parties in this country to regulate political parties and review of the whole electoral system so that we can create political stability to avoid what is happening now, Mr Speaker.  He received the money and the cheques, but do you know what he did.  He paid salaries with it.  Mr Speaker, you cannot deny you did not receive the money because you received it.  I still have the project with me.
Had this political reform taken up or under taken at that time, all these mess will be no more.  I strongly urge him at that time that the way to serve this country is to avoid political differences and so there is need to regulate political parties to have mechanisms that create stability so that people, overseas investors and aid donors can have confidence in a system of government that recognizes the fundamental principles of good governance. 
Anyway, Mr Speaker, I have a note here telling me not to be long and so I will have to conclude my speech in just a few minutes’ time.  I hope this motion will pass because this motion is the people’s motion.  It is the little people’s motion.  People in this country want to see change in leadership and it must happen. 
Some Ministers may not want to believe me but I can make this appeal to you that I think it is time you have a change of mind.  It is no good trying to defend a sinking boat.  The only way you can save yourself is to jump out of the boat and go into the life rafts.  What sort of politics is this?  I want to be saved?  I don’t want to die in a sinking boat.  But Solomon Islands politics is different.  When you know you are going to die you just keep hanging on.  
You know, the Minister of Finance, is one person I am very surprised of.  He has no principles.  He crosses the floor of Parliament three times in three weeks.  What sort of person is this?  I cannot trust him to manage the economy of this country.  
How can we trust him, Mr Speaker?  He has built a reputation that nobody will trust including your opposite number in the Opposition.  I hope he will rethink his position.  He was talking about his position today but I know he is on the wrong side.  I know you have been moaning, you are now remorseful for doing the wrong thing.  So just jump over from there and join us.  But we will very much speculate if you do that because whether you are genuine or not because as a good friend I misread you. 
In fact you are the one who is telling Members of the Opposition including me that you are going to take up the case with its affidavits which the former Minister of Education read out today.  You told us that you are going to take the Prime Minister.  You have those affidavits and statements with you.  If you didn’t have them with you now then what you are telling us is not true.  But I am 100% sure and I believe that you have them with you.  So how can you reconcile that big difference? 
That being the case how can you reconcile your books in the Ministry of Finance?  Aid donors do not want to speak to you because they doubt you already.  They are saying what kind of Minister is this?  People are saying we think he is an Araikwao but he is just below our local people.  That is what people are saying. 
I entered this Parliament in 1993 and I have never changed sides.  I never say anything new.  I always say the same things over and over again.  I say that we need good governance, we have to re-governize, we have to cut costs in order to save resources to be redirected and reinvested in the rural economy. 
Mr Speaker, when 15% of our resources are allocated to rural areas and 85% to public expenditure, is that being responsible.  That is irresponsible, Mr Speaker, an irresponsible budget.  I think this year it will be 90% public sector and 10% development. 
We are talking about responsible government and so I would like to clarify my interpretation of it.  We have to allocate more funds and it must take all of us here to make the consensus.  We have to reform this Parliament in such a way that Members of Parliament are involved purely in parliament business and not anyway else because that is what we are elected for. 
With those few remarks, Mr Speaker, I hope Ministers and backbenchers of the other side of the House, if you think I have convinced you then there is no need to sit on that side.  You don’t have to vote no, you abstain.  If not then you go to the Library when the voting takes place.  That is what some Members of Parliament do when they do not want to be seen as saying no or saying yes and so they abstain themselves.  But I know many of you want to abstain from voting in this motion.  Please do that because that is the calling of your people. 
With those few remarks, Mr Speaker, I support the motion. 

Hon OLAVAE:  Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me the floor.  Mr Speaker, before I contribute briefly towards this motion, I would also like to thank previous speakers who contributed significantly towards this motion and also the mover of the motion, my friend, the former Minister of Education. 
I want to make clear, Mr Speaker, my position as to why I am still with the government.  I want my people of South Vella La Vella constituency to know this. 
Mr Speaker, I made my decision why I have to stick with the present leader after careful thought and consideration.  My decision was based after looking back at track records of the last 29 years in terms of our political history and our economic performance. 
Mr Speaker, so far I fail to see this country having best leaders since obtaining independence politically and economically.  That is why I cannot be easily convinced to move across or change allegiance from one camp to another because I have my own principles. 
Look at the track record of the country’s economic performances in our politically history.  We can talk about leadership but our economy has been deteriorating over the last 29 years. 
What I believe in are the policies of the government.  Just look at the economic policies of successive governments that we have had.  These policies did not bring about any change despite of the wealth of resources we have been blessed with. 
This country is blessed with a wealth of resources.  We have been blessed geographically in our scattered form and in our bottom up approach measures, God blessed this country.  Mr Speaker. 
Why are we lagging behind other small Forum Island countries?  That should be our priority – right policies.  I am still with the government because of its policies. 
Last year, Mr Speaker, prior to this government coming into power I was at the Honiara Hotel and a few of my colleagues here were at the Pacific Casino Hotel.  I serve my first term with the previous government, and I can see that that government continued to follow the same old style of leading this nation.  Then you know what happened last year when the riot came when we experienced the April 6 riot, when most of us were bombarded at the Honiara Hotel and the Pacific Casino.
The colleagues who left us, who changed allegiance from this government a few months ago were the ones who came and lobbied us, and so I and the former Minister for Communications were the first MPs to cross the floor to join this government.  The ring leaders or the lobbyists were the former Ministers that deserted this government.  They were the ones who came and lobbied us because of the policies of this government. 
Now because I am a staunch believer of this policy - the Bottom Up Approach policy, I was convinced and I joined them.  When this government came into power it continues to implement some of its policies and it also increased the constituency allocation fund, for which some of us have already started to implement our projects in our constituencies and it has been working very well. 
That is one reason why I do not want to jump or change allegiance from one party to another because I am a believer in doing things.  I believe in timing.  We have been losing a lot of time politicking and I do not believe in politicking.  Time is important because we only have 12 months a year.  Throughout the world there is only 12 months in a year to implement whatever any government or any country wants to do for its people. 
We have been losing a lot of time in the last 29 years.  I cannot leave this government because of its policy.  It is the first time that a government came out with a policy that is rural focused.  Its policy is based on how the rural people will participate economically in rural development. 
Mr Speaker, anything that cronies may make decision outside the bounds of this good policy intention by this government, is not the right way because the policy is still with this government, it is still there, still intact.  Human beings can move but the vision and the good intentions of that policy are still with this government.  That is why I cannot run away because they left us in the cold after they lobbied us.  Most of us belonged to the other political party group. 
When the riot happened because of fear we left our party and we joined this government.  The eight cronies who left us last month left us in the cold because this is their policy.  I cannot change allegiance because this policy is right.  We were the ones who elected the Prime Minister later.  The Prime Minister, myself and the others were with the other camp that elected the MP for Marovo.  So we only implement the good policy intentions of this government. 
What I want to let us know here, Mr Speaker, is that if it happens this government falls and we are going to choose a new leader, I do not want old politicians who have been serving this nation for more than 20 years or three terms to be elected Prime Minister.  I want a young politician to be elected Prime Minister.  Look back at the records and see for yourself that the last general election shows more new MPs voted into the Parliament.  This shows people wanted change.  This should determine how we are going to choose the next leader if anything happens to this government. 
In the past we know that political lobbyists are business people.  They lured all of us and we forget about our people.  We forget the promises we made to our people.  I do not know how each one of you came into power.  I do not know what you promised them. 
Now that you are in power I want all of us to make use of government revenue.  The nation’s business is government revenue.  So let us put the right allocation to the constituency level for the productive sector. 
I know this government, Mr Speaker, has done something better than what we experienced in the past.  This government is working.  My Ministry is working on a budget framework that will guide the rural development ministry to formulate how money will be allocated to the new ministry.  That is what I am doing now because this was not done in the last two years. 
Mr Speaker, if anything happens to this government I want any government that takes over to embrace this policy.  I do not think the Opposition will take over.  I know there will be another government.  May be this government will somehow get the number in a few hours time, I do not know.  But I am urging all of us here to have a good last prayer so that all of us know where we will vote in a few hours time.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.  I just want to make it clear to this House that I will still be with the government because of its policies.  If these policies are going to be transferred to a new government because of the political lobbying that is going to take place in a few weeks time, I do not know where my position will be.  It all depends on where the policy will go or where the number will go.  But my position is very clear I will always be with the government, I will never be with the opposition. 
Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I resume my seat.

Hon KENGAVA:  Thank you Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the motion moved by my good MP for North East Guadalcanal on this motion of no confidence. 
Mr Speaker, I will be very brief.  I would like to contribute in response to what I see as in the national point of interest Mr Speaker.  The point I am going to raise is very much a concern over the effects such a motion like this one will have in years to come.
Mr Speaker, the motion, first of all listening to the mover, to me it is very much a personal attack on the Prime Minister in order to prove the question of poor leadership.  I do not expect such a motion to be tabled on the floor of this Parliament but rather I expect a motion to attack any failures of the Grand Coalition for Change Government on its policies and programs of the past two years. 
Mr Speaker, I did not hear any attack on the failures of the policies of the current government.  But rather it is a shame that we attack each other on personal basis on the floor of this Parliament telling the people of East Choiseul that they do not have a good leader on the floor of this Parliament.  According to my custom this is not good.  Because of that, I see this motion as lacking substantive reasons to be accepted as reasons to remove the Prime Minister  
Sir, the mover emphasized very much leadership as the main reason to remove the Grand Coalition for Change Government.  We must not forget Mr Speaker, that when you remove the Prime Minister, it is not the Prime Minister that is going to be removed but the government as a whole.  It is the whole government set up, this side of the House that is going to be removed.  Let us not forget, Mr Speaker, when we use the Prime Minister as the means to oust the Grand Coalition for Change Government. 
In talking about leadership, Mr Speaker, I think let us look at leadership qualities.  This is a problem in Solomon Islands in terms of political leadership.  Even the Leader of Opposition will have a problem as a true leader in this nation because that is the problem this country has been facing for the last 29 years.  
Our problem is that we do not trust our leader, the Prime Minister.  We do not support him to bring through policies and programs of this nation.  Instead we are more entertained to bring down the leader that we put in place.  That is our problem.  
What kind of politics is this?  What kind of country is Solomon Island?  For the last 29 years that was the kind of setup in politics we have where we put up a leader and then we bring him down again.  Because of what?  It is because of personal grudges, personal complaints.  The Government’s policies are not attacked in this particular motion.  I cannot see any failures with the Grand Coalition for Change Government’s policies.  We are merely attacking the leadership style of the Prime Minister.
There is nothing preventing me, Mr Speaker, to move another motion of no confidence if the Leader of Opposition becomes the Prime Minister tomorrow attacking his leadership.  Is that the way we want to go in the next 10 years and bring down Solomon Islands?  Let us not have this country.  There is no use playing hypocrites in this country.  Let us be serious. 
If we want Solomon Islands to become a strong united nation let us not attack leadership but let us help leadership to grow in this country.  Let us attack the policies and what we have in this country if we are going to do any better. 
Sir, there is no guarantee that if the Opposition takes over the government may be next week or so that a motion of no confidence will not be moved next month, next year etc.  Why?  This is because the system and the procedures in the House allow us to do that.  It will come for sure.  
This is the cause of instability in this country.  I am very worried and concerned about this.  Although the MP for East Are Are said I am lost, I am not lost but I am here assessing the whole situation in this country, and this is my prediction.  Solomon Islands will follow the same road of instability in the next ten years unless you change your attitude and support and trust whoever is the Prime Minister of this country.  I am very concerned about this. 
I believe in Solomon Islands too, Mr Speaker.  I do not believe in my own little province.  No, Choiseul is part of Solomon Islands.  If so why do you allow this motion of no confidence to be debated on this floor?  At whose interest Mr Speaker?  Is it for Solomon Islands or yourself?  Is it for your constituency, for your province or your party?  What is it Mr Speaker?  Or is it for somebody’s interest?  Tell this nation!
Sir, the attack on the Prime Minister’s leadership must be viewed on the kind of leadership each one of us has.  If we say somebody’s leadership is not good then ask yourself what kind of leadership style do you have as well?  What is your style of leadership before you criticize somebody’s leadership style?  
If the MP for East Are Are becomes the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands tomorrow what kind of leadership style does he have?  Will he be a strong leader, a patient man, religious, kind, a yes no yes no type?  If the Leader of Opposition becomes the Prime Minister tomorrow what kind of leadership style do you have?  Will you be the strong man like you always are in the media, or a yes, yes to foreigners?  If the MP for Vella La Vella becomes the Prime Minister tomorrow what kind of leaders would he be?  Will he be a ‘yes no type’.  This is the question we must ask ourselves when talking about leadership.  You must first of all check what kind of leader you are.  What kind of leader are you?  If you do not know and cannot provide it then do not criticize another person.  You have not proved it yet Mr Speaker.  I think that is the question when we talk about leadership.  Therefore, this motion is attacking the wrong issues which are not in the interest of this nation. 
If this motion attacks the policies of the government, then yes I will be more in your favor.  We are trying to use a personal style of leadership of somebody to say that this government is not good.  We are being hypocrites because we ourselves cannot show to this nation what kind of leaders we are.  When you sit on the Prime Minister’s chair we will judge you too. 
But sad to say Mr Speaker, the fact that nine former members of Cabinet have left the government to join the other side, and one of them moved this motion already reveals to us the kind of leadership that group of former Cabinet Ministers have.
            Yes, it is not wrong because you are too blind to see.  When you say you are right you would not see anything wrong.  The same as what you said about the Prime Minister.  I think that is it.  You must first check yourselves when you talk about leadership.
            Sir, the Grand Coalition for Change Government is being betrayed.  That is the point I want to make here.  It has been betrayed by the very people who formed it in May 2006.  It has been betrayed by the nine Ministers who left the government. 
Yes, the Government has been betrayed when everybody in this nation puts their faith and trust in this new government that brings stability and change with the new bottom up approach policy addressing for the first time as a priority rural development.  But look at what has happened.  Just after about two years the very people who formed this government left.  There is a lot of Judas in here. 
            Mr Speaker, I joined this government because I believe in its bottom up approach policy because it is rural focused.  And when the government established the new Ministry of Rural Development and Indigenous Affairs, I said to myself that the government has now formed the mechanism to deliver this policy.  Yes, it is going to deliver.  But because you think you can do better, so do what you want.
            Sir, who do you think really encouraged me to come and take up the new Ministry?  It was none other than the mover of this motion, and the former Minister of Development Planning.  They know that I am neutral in this Chamber and so they said ‘come and help us’.  They said ‘you are the former premier of Choiseul Province, the founder, an experienced rural politician and so we know you can do it’.  I said ‘yes I will do it once the new ministry is formed’.  I came in and then Judas betrayed me, and they left.  Is this the leadership style we want, Mr Speaker?

A member (interjecting):  Follow them.

Hon Kengava:  No, I cannot follow Judas, Mr Speaker.  I cannot follow Judas but I will follow Saint Peter.  That is the point.  So the question is this.  If there is a government formed next week made up mainly of the Opposition Members, is that the style of leadership you are going to show?  People you do not trust after 12 months will betray you.  You must be very careful of this.  We are not play around with numbers and politics but we must be concern about the people of this country.  We must put them first and foremost. 
There will come a time, and I must say this on this floor of Parliament, when some provinces in this nation will say enough is enough.  It is enough of being played around, being towed around and being pushed around by politicians like us.  There will come a time this will come unless we change our style of leadership. 
Too many times I hear hear, hear but nothing is happening.  We are playing around with people.  There are more young people coming out soon who will become leaders of this country and we do not know what kind of leaders they will be.  Let us not think we are the only ones who will be parliamentarians.  In 2010 we do not know what kind of parliamentarians will be in this Chamber.  If we do not prepare the way to tell them that Solomon Islands is one nation, I am warning you let us not play politics very much in this country.
Sir, I think the style of politics in this country is where leaders are prepared to fall for corruption, bribery, power hunger thinking they can do better than another person, listening too much to outsiders or people inside without consulting their people and listen to their views and concerns and consulting each other on the floor of Parliament, in Cabinet and in the Opposition Office.
Our whole idea of politics here from what I have observed and experienced in the last two years is nothing more than to bring down the government.  From day one when the Grand Coalition for Change Government came into office a motion of no confidence was moved against it until today.  Can you develop a country by doing that?  Can you serve the people of this country if you continue to destabilize the government and this nation through motions of no confidence?  Although it is your right but we must use the little thing that we called ‘commonsense’.  There is time for everything.  There is time to move a motion of no confidence and there is time not to move it.  Right now is not the time to move this motion.  You can say this is the time because you want the motion of no confidence.  But I can tell you that people are tired of motions of no confidence in this House.
We can be smart, Mr Speaker, because of our position, our status as national leaders, or what we have, we can speak on this floor of Parliament but the little man down in the village, women and children are watching us.  In my view, people in the rural areas right now are watching and are fearful of what is going to happen.  Are we going to move forward or move backward, right or left or stand in the middle?  That is the responsibility of all of us in this Chamber to answer.
I know the MP for East Are Are is very proud and confident that he has the number.  He said if you do not want to vote go to the library and wait there but I know you are very confident.  Winning this motion is one thing and forming the government and running this country and governing it is another thing.  Think about this.  That is the point you must remember. 
I am telling you the facts.  I am telling you what is happening in this country.  If you know it then why did you bring this motion to destabilize the nation?  I am a leader and I am speaking right now.  Who said you are not a leader, you are the Leader of the Opposition.
Sir, Solomon Islands will become how we politicians build it.  It will become what we say, what we do, what policies we are doing etc, and it is very important.  We can keep it together or break it up through unstable political practices.
Sir, I think the continuous political row experienced in this country right after the ethnic tension is not a good medicine for this nation.  The continuous unstable, uncommitted leadership and continuous row over the last 29 years is not good for the future of this nation.  We must find a mechanism or formula to end instability in this country.  And whoever is the government may be tomorrow or may be if we continue must address this point to minimize political instability in this country.
Sir, the bottom up approach policy, in my simple understanding is a very good policy for this nation.  Many governments in the past have attempted to find ways to address problems in the rural areas.  It is a rural development policy or in other words it is trying to address the rural needs of our people.  Past governments and parties have been trying to put it in different ways.  The current government terms it as the bottom up approach development policy. 
The Grand Coalition for Change Government (GCGC) makes this policy as a forefront policy to try and implement and rectify the situations we have just experienced from the ethnic tension.  I accept to undertake this policy as a national leader when the new ministry was formed because I want to contribute my quality into this particular program.
I know the Honorable MP for Savo/Russells is a very experienced politician, very smart, knows a lot of things to say.  It disturbs me but you would not disturb me right now.  I made up my mind to say my piece on behalf of my people of North West Choiseul.
Sir, it is a good policy but what I found out is this.  The bottom up approach policy is being criticized mostly because it is being misunderstood.  It is being misunderstood because of the following facts:

  1. There are certain Cabinet Ministers who have no faith in this policy.  As a result they pulled out from the government.
  2. There are certain public servants in this country who have no faith in this policy and want to destroy it.  The reason is for them to tell us but these are the effects.  If the implementation policy fails then public officers must be accountable.     
  3. There are certain business houses in this country that see the bottom up approach policy as a threat to their prosperity here in Honiara.  This is a fact.
  4. Lastly, the Opposition Group always thinks it has better programs for the rural areas and so misleads the public and leads them astray when they know very well that the bottom up approach policy is very much a rural development focused program.  This program has started already.  It has been done already.

Sir, I will now try to talk a little bit about political instability and then end my contribution.  First, motions of no confidence regularly cause disruption to government programs, brings about stagnant politics in this country and today the Opposition has taken the opportunity to move this motion against the Grand Coalition for Change Government in order to bring about their own policies and own plans.
            The defection of the nine Ministers is the main reason why this Government is shaking.  To me this is a very shameful act by the former Ministers because instead of being faithful to the Cabinet and to their leader they have shown otherwise by going out through the back door.
            Thirdly, there is of course what the Finance Minister stated as financial sabotage of government finances.  That is why it can be seen as the government failing to implement the bottom up approach.  There are lots of things happening in the Ministry of Finance that are not in line with financial regulations.  Some of them were purposely done in order to delay or drag down the implementation of the bottom up approach policy.
            Sir, those are reasons I can see as obstructions to the successful implementation of the Grand Coalition for Change Government’s plan to implement the bottom up approach policy.  It is not because the government is failing.  There are a lot of factors.  Why?  This is because this is the first time that people in the administration, in government and in Parliament know there is a change of approach and so they do not want to accept it somehow.
            Finally, Mr Speaker, a change of government, in my view, may not be promising for Solomon Islands at the moment.  I repeat that a change of government may not be promising for Solomon Islands right now.  The timing may not be right because it is not of national interest, in my view.  For my people down in North West Choiseul and the Choiseul Province as a whole and also the Shortlands, I must say that we have suffered enough traumas and difficulties in the life of this country in the last 29 years, especially after we suffered from the Bougainville spillover effects, the ethnic tension, the April riot last year and again the tsunami disaster this year.  What can you do and what can we do to remedy these situations? 
The only hope for my people is this current government but if the Opposition says it is moving this motion because it can offer something better, I would like to see that happening.  But we will not sit down and wait to see you do that for us.  We will not be silent too because a new government must meet the requirements of the people.  Right now this government is doing a very fine job.  But the Prime Minister’s style of leadership has been used as an excuse to bring down this government, and I do not accept it.
            Sir, if a new government comes into power next week, I would like to put these points ahead or may be some signs of warning.  First it must make sure Solomon Islands does not become aid dependency once again.  It is not good for us at all cost. 
Sir, I do not want to see Solomon Islands recolonized in whatever form you may call it whether economically in the name of peace or in the name of what.  You must not recolonize this country again. Sir, most importantly we must not delay or drag the move to bring about state government to the people of Solomon Islands.  This is a must. 
            Sir, last of all, if the Opposition puts on a new calico on the bottom up approach policy from wearing a dress to wearing a grass skirt, there is only one thing I would like to ask the new government.  Do not recentralize development in this country.  Do not recentralize politics in this country and do not recentralize the financial policies of this country.  If you are going to do this then you are bringing us back to the time of our independence.  We should move out from this.
            Sir, in conclusion, I think my people are getting tired of political instability in this country.  I myself I am watching.  I am not lost as claimed by the MP for East Are Are.  I am watching and observing the politics of this nation, and it is not to my liking, I can tell you, Mr Speaker. 
We are not serious about the nation.  We are only serious about our own selves, our own constituencies, our own little circles, who your friends are, your parties and whatever and not serious about this country.  It is time to pull out from this.  Had the Grand Coalition is given a chance to complete its term it would have proved otherwise.  However, there are some leaders who think they can do better.  If that really happens I am going to watch and see where it will really happen.
            Sir, the motion is very much a lamentation of a former Cabinet Minister who failed to lead the Grand Coalition Government successfully to complete its term of office.  That is how I would summarize this motion.  I took the oath of allegiance as a Minister on behalf of my people to support the current Cabinet.  If the leader, who is the Prime Minister, is brought down, let my comrade from Choiseul be the first Prime Minister to be voted out of office.  Let that be history.  Let those of us from Choiseul create history.  Why not!  And I am ready to go down with him.
            God bless Solomon Islands.  I oppose the motion.

(applause)

Hon AGOVAKA:  Thank you, Mr Speaker, for recognizing me.  First of all I would like to thank my colleague, the Member for North East Guadalcanal for moving this motion we are now debating today.
            Mr Speaker, what the Grand Coalition for Change Government really wanted was to bring about change to our country, Solomon Islands.  When some of us went to the polls in 2006, we thought about bringing change to our country and we wanted to change some of the old politicians who have been wasting their time politicking in our country rather than doing things to bring about economic and social development of this country.
            My people of Guadalcanal and in particular Central Guadalcanal, I would like to clear certain issues that perhaps cloud this vote of no confidence.
            When the bona fide demands of Guadalcanal were made, this Grand Coalition for Change Government incorporates those demands as a matter of policy.  I came in when the policy was already made and the translation document launched.  The government saw it fit and wise that the land issue is not only a Guadalcanal issue but it is a national issue.  The issue of federal and state government is a national issue.  The issue of squatting is a national issue.  The issue of reconciliation after the ethnic tension is a national issue.  And so it incorporates these issues into its policies, which are very sound and good policies, Mr Speaker.
            Sir, some issues of the ethnic tensions are before the court and so it is a matter for the court and the judiciary to deal with.  I know that some of the guys who were involved in the ethnic tension have served their time in jail and some are yet to serve their time.
            For Guadalcanal, Mr Speaker, we cannot hang on to the past.  The order of the day is reconciliation and peace.  Guadalcanal must reconcile with its neighbors and move on to create economic and social development.  It is time we should build our islands and help our people instead of hanging on to the past.
            This government recognizes land issues and we have identified certain lands on Guadalcanal to be returned to the indigenous people and landowners of Guadalcanal.  Members of Parliament and Ministers who have moved to the other side know this because this is a government decision.  The land at Tasifarongo, the old BSA, the Tenaru/Lunga land, the Moro land and other alienated land by the government shall be returned to landowners for development purposes.
            This Government also passed a paper for the compensation of the Honiara Land and the boundaries of Honiara.  My colleague MP for North West Guadalcanal is spearheading this compensation claim for the Honiara land.
            On the issue of squatters, Mr Speaker, you would remember during the ethnic tension, Guadalcanal people chased our friends from Malaita and other islands away from their land.  They have gone home.  If you look at Burns Creek, Henderson, Lunga, Tenaru, Rifle Range and all these other places today you can see people have returned.  Why did they return Mr Speaker?  They returned because there is nothing for them in their home islands.  For example, our people from Malaita, there is nothing there for them to go back to.  We cannot chase these squatters away because there is nothing back at home for them.  And as a responsible government we have to take action and drastic actions. 
My department, the Ministry of Commerce is working on trying to put projects in Malaita to assist our people in order to create an environment and atmosphere for our people to stay back in Malaita and to return to Malaita for purposes of development. 
I am working on the Bina Harbour Deep Sea Port.  I am working on the Suava Bay fishing and industrial area.  We are working also under the Ministry of Agriculture on the Auluta Oil Palm Plantations.  These are projects of national interest we are working on so that our people have something to go back to because we tell them to move out of our land.
            All these politicking, Mr Speaker, creates fear in the private sector, creates uncertainty to our people and is causing confusion and anxiety.  I come from the private sector Mr Speaker, but when I became the Minister for Commerce I defended and fight for the right of the private sector. 
            Today with this political instability, I am very sad to hear some of the private sectors asking me what is happening in our country.  What is happening here in Solomon Islands? 
Some speakers talked about the bottom up approach.  This government has delivered some of the bottom up approach in the productive sectors of fisheries giving projects to our people in the rural areas. 
In the agriculture sector this government has given projects to our people in the rural areas.  In the forestry sector we have also given projects to our people.  And as you have just heard, Mr Speaker, the Minister for Rural Development and Indigenous Affairs who have just spoken said that it is the government’s wish to bring back development to the rural people and hence the creation of his new ministry.  
            When I returned from my overseas duty some of my colleague former Ministers of the Cabinet came and visited me at my house and we had a very good, frank and positive discussion about where we are going.  I asked them to give me time to think about their proposal and also to give me time to work on some of the projects I am working on and to continue to serve the government as I have sworn allegiance and oath to this government and this nation.  I thank them for that respect and I also respect them for that.
            Where does this take us to, Mr Speaker?  No doubt the Opposition Members have the capability, as you can see now, Mr Speaker.  They have doctors there, academics, former diplomats, Members of Parliament who have served three to four terms in Parliament and former Prime Ministers.  I have no doubt of their capability.  My question is who is going to lead?  Who is going to be the Prime Minister? 
My question obviously instills fear in me on who is going to take the position of Prime Minister.  When I spoke to my colleague, the mover of the motion he said that if the question is put he will raise his hand.  In the back of my mind I said no.  Guadalcanal is not ready to take the helm of this nation.  We need to go back to our people.  We need to have our people reconciled.  There must be true peace on Guadalcanal before we can take up the helm of this nation.
            Mr Speaker, I do not wish to prolong the debate but some of the issues the government is doing are administrative processes.  Policies are right, but I think they need refining, redefined definition and retuning. 
This Government has provided for the Guadalcanal Province $10 million, of which $5 million is for purchase of a ship and $5 million for rental of the temporary headquarters of the Province at the Ritaleven Building.  We also have support from this Government for the new Guadalcanal Province Headquarter at Doma.  These are what this government is doing for our people of Guadalcanal and we must be thankful to the Government.
            Mr Speaker, whoever will takeover the government next week, I beg you to pass these two bills.  Listen carefully Leader, whoever takes the government before its term ends must pass the Integrity Bill and also pass the bill to protect the Central Bank from people dipping into it. 
I humbly ask my colleague, the member for North East Guadalcanal, the former Education Minister not to be blinded by the notion of the post of the Prime Minister.  We are not yet ready.  I beg whichever government takes control of this country must keep the sovereignty of our country intact. 
            With these few remarks, Mr Speaker, I do not support the motion.

(applause)

Hon BOSETO:  Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me the floor to say a few words in making my contribution to this motion today.
            Mr Speaker, I first of all would like to thank the mover of this motion.  This is a very important motion, not because it is a new motion but this is a motion of some Members crossing the floor to the other side making this motion a number one motion we used to debate in this House.
            I can notice that the Opposition side already has the number.  Perhaps they are now getting tired of long speeches from this side because they are anxious to put the vote now.  Yet God can intervene at any time to speak to each one of us to vote according to our conscience.
            First of all let us see ourselves as all sinners coming short of the glory of God.  No one is perfect.  Only one who has pure blood to save the world is perfect.  And this is Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God.
            Last year, I was thinking of leaving the Grand Coalition for Change Government about three times.  I was trying to send my resignation to the Governor General.  I had it drafted but somehow I did not send it.  There are lots of complaints that the Honorable Manasseh Sogavare’s Government is not the right one, and therefore I was thinking of leaving the government.  Those of you who have just resigned in the last few weeks are very strong that I must vote not for the motion in October, not to be neutral but to be against it, and so I remained.
            But in the process of planning ahead to have a reason for establishing the base of the bottom up approach, I discovered that this is what I have been doing for the Lauru Land Conference of Tribal Communities in relation to land.  At the recent meeting of the Lauru Land Conference and Tribal Communities in Nukiki in October, we agreed to follow the three pillars of land settlement.  These are wisdom, friendship and consensus.  I call them the three trinities. 
Wisdom in Babatana means taroe nia popoloto, taroe nia vatovato ta popoloto.  Friendship means to be friendly in meetings - varakitaki ta turituri.  Consensus means to be of one mind in making decision – köke vato ta vivina.  Those three pillars are really the guiding principles of putting in order all the five areas of Lauru Island.
            Therefore, we can see that whatever government we vote for, whether we want the Honorable MP for East Choiseul to remain as Prime Minister or we form a new group and appoint a new leader, the focus of the bottom up approach is very important because bottom up is not simply to give money but to empower the people to be themselves, to discover their worth and identity, to speak their own language and we translate their feelings and their struggles.  Therefore, whoever is taking up the leadership in the remaining years of this Parliament must know that the bottom up approach is very important in the context of the Lauru people.  
The Lauru People’s Association has also been working very hard to rehabilitate the tsunami affected areas in Choiseul.  We need to have a justified budget according to the devastated areas caused by the tsunami.  Therefore, it is very important.  Now I am going to vote against this motion because my friends who have asked me and advised me to vote for it have voted against it already, which leaves me free now to make up my mind not to vote for it but to vote against it.
            The problem I can see, Mr Speaker, is not only national leaders but mature national leaders.  It is very important for us, I believe, that the place for discussing our differences, our weaknesses and our mistakes is in Caucus and Cabinet.  I have been expecting us even to point each others eyes, to speak as we seem to be much free like we speak in Parliament.  To me that is a sign of a mature leader.
            If somebody may be today comes across to the government he will be speaking against his own group.  Or if one of us going over there overnight he will speak against his own group.  Therefore to me, what is needed in future whether young or old like me, is to be mature in order to stick together.  One person who is mature is Jesus Christ himself.  He says anyone who is not for me is really against me.  Anyone who does not help me gather is really scattering.  All of us want to be together with the one who is mature to step to the cross who carry the burden in his heart forgiving and loving the world. 
            Mr Speaker, I would like us who have been working with the Grand Coalition for Change Government, if you are taking the government in the next few weeks if the vote swings to your favor, to remember what we have been trying to do, and that is why I remain with this government at this time.  But if you change your mind to go the other way may be the people will say the same thing that this government is like this or that. 
My plea now, Mr Speaker, is that we come to the point that what we have been saying that we would like to see happening is to empower the backbone of the economy, which is sustained community living in the rural area to be empowered technologically, information, machinery, technology so that they would be able to stand up to look after themselves to earn according to their work in the rural area as well as in the urban. 
            With those few remarks, Mr Speaker, I do not support the motion.  Thank you very much.

Hon OTI:  Mr Speaker, first of all I would like to thank you for your clarification on the point of order I raised earlier.  As much as your ruling is final under Order 38, this is an area in the standing orders that needs revisiting because of some of the reasons mentioned today.  The implication of this motion is far reaching than perhaps intentionally intended for as contained in the Constitution.  In fact for the last 29 or 30 years we spent more time debating motions of no confidence and the implications it has on the country is serious.  It has only proven how far we have gone in this country.  In fact we have moved very, very, little.  I think there is need to revisit those constitutional provisions of their relevance, their appropriateness and the impact it has had on the development and the progress of this country in the last 29 years. 
I have a number of suggestions, one of which is to look at the constitutional provision therein.  The other one, of course has been mentioned here and that is the introduction of an Integrity Bill. 
Another one, of course, which I am currently trying to share around, is the reduction of the term of Parliament from four years to three years so that there is very little time to engage in motions of no confidence so that governments deliver within the three years.  Those are the options.  I think we need to have those explored if we are going to make a difference, not for us but for this country and for the generations that are yet to come. 
Our forefathers, the independent fathers with genuine intention did not anticipate what is going to be the impact of those provisions in the constitution.  We need to come to terms with it that indeed it has caused this country much delay, if not postponement of what the people and the potential of this country can offer to its citizens.  Those are my initial suggestions.
            Mr Speaker, on the issue of leadership, and I thank the learned colleague, former Minister for Education and the MP for North East Guadalcanal and of course with my former colleague Ministers who through exercising what they claim is their constitutional and democratic right move to where they want to and hence the motion before this Parliament, I would like to first of all thank them for the contribution they have made to the GCC Government.  Thank you for the support you have given to the Prime Minister.  The Prime Minister unfortunately, as most Members know, is not the first time for him to be in Parliament.  You could have well known the Prime Minister since 1997. 
As a person, as a leader in 2000, you already knew.  And for us to come to terms with the situation in April last year when this Government was formed as other Members have stated, others found that there was a betrayal on your part.  But we respect your decision, and on behalf of your colleagues who are still here, we would like to thank you most sincerely for your support.  If this is the kind of leadership you have portrayed to this side of the House, do not sabotage those who you want to be with next.  That is my advice.
            Mr Speaker, on the issue of leadership, I will perhaps beg to differ in a lot of instances on those issues that have been raised by my colleague MP, the mover of the motion of the character and leadership qualities of the present Prime Minister.  What he has portrayed basically are evidences of what he thinks is the problem with the leadership.  He has not actually pinpointed what it is because it is a very, very difficult issue. 
Leadership is something you can almost be subjective about it, you will never, never be objective.  It is difficult to be objective about what a right leader should possess, what a leadership should possess as a character.  Therefore, what the mover presented here were basically evidences he is trying to portray as symptoms of the present Prime Minister.  Unfortunately, because we are looking at the issue from different lenses, some of us including myself, I beg to differ. 
            The present Prime Minister is the most abused leader.  I have never found him to be dictating.  I have never found him to be imposing and therefore strong leadership and firm leadership have been used interchangeably rather wrongly.  Being firm is not to be confused with dictatorship.  Those two are not the same.  He has been firm but not dictatorial.  He has listened to a lot of his Ministers.  The problem is that you are not giving him the right message.  You are not giving him the right decisions, the options to him.  You must provide the right options. 
In fact, Mr Speaker, as a Member of the Cabinet for the last 18 months or so, I have never come across some of the issues that are now raised here.  As other colleagues have mentioned I have never sighted, I have never witnessed any incidence that those have been brought to the Prime Minister either personally on a one to one basis or through the mechanisms of Cabinet or Caucus.  I have not sighted and heard of those.  I beg to differ on that, that maybe there have been instances. 
What I have come to learn is that some of the statements, some of the issues the Prime Minister has been abused of were actually contrary to what was happening in Cabinet.  For example, the former Minister for Finance was actually going to be sacked.  The former Deputy Prime Minister adamantly objected because the timing is not right.  That is your advice.  Giving an advice and taking a decision are not one and the same thing.  I can give my advice but my leader has the prerogative to take my advice or not.  And I have to accept it because he is my boss.  A leader is not a follower. 
            Mr Speaker, these are issues that have been raised in relation to the Prime Minister.  I have yet to be told on this floor of Parliament by the former Ministers who resigned.  And don’t confuse with collective Cabinet responsibility from what you can tender to Cabinet as a Cabinet Minister.  Ultimately, all must stand by what Cabinet collectively agrees with.  You cannot divulge in what you have contributed to as a Member of Cabinet. 
I am saying this because some of the issues that have been raised actually point to this.  And with my former Deputy Prime Minister, a long time Secretary to Cabinet, I did not expect him to do that.  I expect him to be the last one to ditch.  Don’t you know what ditch is?  A drain.  We both are school teachers and so we know what a ditch is.  I expect you to be the last one to ditch. 
How many Prime Ministers have you dealt with?  Nobody here but I respect your decision.  I respect him as a senior citizen, a former senior public officer and now a very able “politician”.  I am putting this out because I would like to say that he has contributed to the process this government has come through.  If he sees something is wrong I have not been informed.  I equally have the right to be informed that something like this or that is wrong.  You did not tell me.  You were my Deputy Prime Minister last time. 
Sorry, for singling out, Mr Speaker, but I have a lot of respect and due regard for my former Deputy Prime Minister.  Therefore, the statements that have been put on the floor seem to suggest the conclusion is drawn, I will not make any determination that the government is going to fall today. 
This is a debate, Mr Speaker, and so it is wrong to assume.  Only my vote will tell me after the vote and not before that.  And so I cannot talk about who will be the next Prime Minister and what will be the next government policy.  I am still a Cabinet Minister bound by collective responsibility. 
            Mr Speaker, I want to make a few clarifications but one in particular because it relates directly to some of the areas we have been responsible for, and which the Prime Minister has been accused of by the MP for North East Guadalcanal, is the case of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCC).
            Mr Speaker, I would like to put the facts right on this floor of Parliament.  The point is that this important bid according to the former Minister for Education and MP for North East Guadalcanal was personally awarded by Hon Manasseh Sogavare’s nephew.  Sir, this is wrong.  This is in fact incorrect.  The contract was considered and endorsed unanimously by Cabinet.  That needs to be put on record.  We cannot divulge information that is not correct on this floor of Parliament. 
Mr Speaker, secondly is the accusation that the consultant was not on the list of accredited consultants of the MCC.  That was mentioned here.  Contrary to that.  There is no such thing as an accredited list of consultants for the MCC for the said assignment.  If there was such a list then the most likely consultant in the South West Pacific that would be on such a list would be the CREMA Group because only MCC project currently underway in the South West Pacific in Vanuatu is jointly managed by CREMA Group who are well respected and a reputable South Pacific Company that has operated in the region for the past two decades.  This Group is respected in the South Pacific as one of the leaders in the field of engineering and project management.  It is awarded by Cabinet. 
Thirdly, Mr Speaker, the accusation that the consultant did the job in three weeks.  This is wrong.  Again this is simply not correct.  The project is still ongoing.  With the number of submissions being made to the Millennium and Challenge Corporation by the Foreign Affairs led delegation to the Headquarters in Washington, responses from the MCC have been positive.  And the indices, the indexes they measure for access to education, investment time, immunization, rates are under the responsibility of different ministries and they have to be coordinated.  The delay actually has been on our part and not on the part of the MCC, and there has been no rejection.
            Mr Speaker, a full report has been made available to the Government and the MCC funding is still being pursued, either by this administration or any future administrations.  That is a fact.  I would like to put this on record just to correct some of the misconceptions portrayed in the presentation by the mover. 
            Mr Speaker, I would like to join other colleagues who have spoken particularly in relation to this nation and the implications as I have mentioned on the continuous and what is becoming a habitual moving of votes of no confidence on this floor of Parliament, the purpose of which has nothing to do with perhaps the intention of the constitutional provision.  I think that provision has been abused, misused and overused so much at the expense of the people of this country. 
The real issue to be addressed have been well-covered by other colleagues and I will not want to dwell further on them.  I can only add my voice that indeed, normally, the government and the Prime Minister can be held accountable for their leadership by virtue of the inadequacies, inappropriateness or the misguided policies they represent.  As we have heard on the floor of Parliament today everybody agrees that the policies are correct.  The policies reflect the leadership and the leadership is not one man.  Leadership is collective.  If he has to go and if everything goes and everything that happens in government is wrong it is not only the leadership alone, it is a collective responsibility of Cabinet and members of the Government. 
On that note, Mr Speaker I oppose the motion on the basis that I am not satisfied with the reasons for which the mover intended the motion to be moved.  Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon SOGAVARE:  Mr Speaker, it would be just appropriate that I respond to some of the allegations raised against the Prime Minister. 
In the beginning of the morning today, Mr Speaker, I was asked by the mover whether I will tender my resignation on the basis that that side has the number and the government side does not.  In respond to that call I said that I am not going to resign.  But I will listen first to the reasons why the Prime Minister has to tender his resignation because it is a big thing.  It is not a small matter.  It is not just me as intimated in the contribution of the Deputy Prime Minister.  When you remove the Prime Minister you remove also the government.  So I need to weigh the decision whether to throw the towel early or to listen first to the reasons why the Prime Minister was asked to tender his resignation on the floor of Parliament.
Sir, if those are the reasons the mover of the motion outlined as reasons for the Prime Minister to resign on or to remove the government on and to do so because they have an issue against the Prime Minister, Mr Speaker, I fail to see those reasons justify any action.  Not at all. 
But I guess, Sir; we deal with people who have been fixed in their thoughts.  In fact, as was highlighted by a number of speakers who have contributed to this motion, this is the fifth time that this Prime Minister faced a vote of no confidence on this floor of Parliament.  This is the second one that is actually moved and was debated.  Three others were knocked out on technical grounds. 
When there is a motion of confidence every time Parliament meets, we must have a big question as to why the Prime Minister is facing a vote of no confidence in every meeting.  Those Ministers and backbenchers who have defected were with me in the last four motions of no confidence.  They were part of the group that strategically knocked out the four votes of no confidence.  Mr Speaker, some of them were very vocal on the floor of this Parliament as to why such a motion must be defeated. 
But the story is like this, Mr Speaker.  There is already an anti, I guess, Sogavare sentiments already.  It is there already, even from the beginning when we first took up the government, not only here by colleague Members of Parliament, at that time we were facing the opposition that came up with issues but also people outside of Parliament and people outside the country.  They clearly stated that they do not want this Prime Minister.  

I am a man too, Mr Speaker, and I analyze myself why they do not like this Prime Minister.  And every time we move a vote of no confidence we try to color it up and try to put up reasons to justify it.  This is the fourth time that the reasons we are trying to color in favor of votes of no confidence have failed to hold ground.  And if we are

thinking people, if we come here to debate issues and we should be moved by the strength of the motions, I cannot see any reasons why colleagues on the other side will support this motion.  No!  Just because we have the number makes us think that it is a good time to move a vote of no confidence because all along we hate this Prime Minister and now we got him because we have the number. 
I want to tell you clearly here, Mr Speaker, that this chair and the position I hold does not belong to my father.  In fact, I need to make this plain and clear so that I will be sad over this position. 
The Leader of the Opposition you have made enough comments in the media.  This side too also does not have enough space in the media.  We also want to respond to some of the issues raised but our news releases were thrown in the rubbish bin.  They only put out propaganda from the opposition and others who are against the government.  The Leader of the Opposition has had enough already.  You tell enough to the public already through the media.  So let me respond to the allegations raised against me. 
Sir, what it boils down to, as I gathered on the floor of Parliament here is not about policy.  It is not about the good things this government is doing, although the Member for East Are Are tried to hammer down the BUA policies contradicting what his other colleague Members in the Opposition were saying that they do not have a problem with the policy of the government.  This is because they do not have reasons against the Prime Minister.  They only hate him personally.  They just do not like this person.
If we are to go through some of the reasons that were put our, Mr Speaker, you will see that nothing will stand.  The bottom up approach (BUA) will not be delivered by the present leadership.  I am only the Prime Minister.  I only assign portfolio responsibility to Ministers of the Crown.  They have the responsibility in the ministries assigned to them to deliver the policies.  That reason is really pathetic.  
The delivery of the bottom up approach policy is a collective responsibility.  It is the collective responsibility of those people who run away to the other side.  They are the people to deliver.  The Minister of Education is supposed to deliver free education. 
He said I wasted time in Majuro.  I went there and got the assurance that they will finance his request.  He wanted $21million to support the Free Education Policy of the Government for basic education, the first nine years of education.  He wants free.  That is bottom up because we are addressing people right down in the rural areas.  I went there and got that assurance.  But he ran away to that side because he does not want to deliver this free education.  And so I am confused. 
They claimed that the BUA will not be delivered by the present leadership.  And the way people understand leadership is very narrow too because they put it on me alone.  They tried to say that it is the Prime Minister alone and so he must go because he will not deliver the BUA.  That one must be thrown outright.  That argument does not stand.  And if he wants to convince this House to vote in favor of this motion that is before us, then it must fall. 
Delivery of the BUA, Mr Speaker, is the collective responsibility of the government by everyone who is part of the government.  To say that the government will not deliver the BUA because we are wasting our time on the case of the Attorney General with Australia, we are busy attacking RAMSI, Mr Speaker, I find it very difficult as well to agree that these reasons must stand.
            The selection of a person to be appointed as the Attorney General is something the Prime Minister brought to Cabinet Mr Speaker, and we agreed on it.  And for people to say now that they are not in Cabinet to go to the other side and disown the decisions they are part of is very evil.  It is not right.  It shows the desperate situation of some people coming up with reasons to try and justify this motion to go through. 
The Prime Minister protects the Attorney General.  The Prime Minister is protected by the laws of this country.  When we talk about sovereignty and issues like that we cannot go away from upholding the laws of the country.  That is what really matters here.
            Mr Speaker, this issue of the Attorney General comes in and out of this Parliament for a number of sittings now.  They were also supposed to be part of the reasons the Member for East Are Are was going to raise in the motion of no confidence that was thrown out ruled inadmissible by the chair.  And yet people bring it up.  We explained it, we exhausted everything to explain it.  We went to the media.  When we were asked questions about it we explained it.  And to say that the Attorney General was protected personally by the Prime Minister must also fall.  He is protected by the laws of this country.
            Anti Australia, Mr Speaker, is one thing I was accused of as being busy with.  Some of these people when they speak in Caucus and Cabinet on this issue, when it comes to our relationship with Australia, some of us are much better, these people are saying get them out today.  Get them out, who do they think they are.  
This Prime Minister is not stupid for him to take up a position that only reflects his own thinking.  That would be a most irresponsible thing for a Prime Minister to do.  And for me, Mr Speaker, it makes life more difficult when I have to lead a grand coalition.  We came in with six parties in the first place to start this group.  I can tell you that the policies of these different parties, if you read them, some came out very clear as to what they want to do, especially on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.
            The first day I took leadership, I was voted into this office, we traveled in a bus.  We came in a bus from the Iron Bottom Sound to come up here to take the vote.  There were comments already made by Members that time, and the most outspoken of them was my own in-law, the Member for Mbaegu/Asifola and former Deputy Prime Minister.  He tells them straight off that they are the next one to leave this country when we take office.  He told them when we take the government you will be out, do you know that.  He talked to them directly.  I felt a bit uncomfortable because I lead another political party that has a totally different view on RAMSI and a totally different view on Australia.
            The issue of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands is not RAMSI, it is intervention.  And if I turn up and tell them to go, I will be the biggest hypocrite Mr Speaker.  Because do you know what?  My former colleague, the late Member for Aoke/Langa Langa asked them in year 2000 to come and help us.  In fact if intervention is to make any sense and to help this country, Mr Speaker, that would have been the appropriate time for them to come.  I really sympathize, I am very sorry for the late Member for Aoke/Langa Langa and former Prime Minister of this country.  He asked them to come in 1999.  In 1998 when the armories were raided, the various armories around the country were raided, people were forming themselves into militant groups, the former Prime Minister put a request to Australia – ‘please come and help us’.  That is the right time for them to come when the problem has not yet gone worse.  This request was flatly refused by Australia.  And Australia it is because this country has defense cooperation with Australia and it has an obligation to help us in our time of need.  What did it say?  It said that intervention is not in its policy.  It is an internal matter and so you go ahead and address it yourself.
            When my government took office in year 2000, Mr Speaker, there was no formal request submitted to the Australian Authority because any request we make to the Australian Government at that time has to be agreed to by all parties that signed the Townsville Peace Agreement.  That was specifically required of us if we need outside intervention after the Townsville Peace Agreement was signed.  We must obtain the permission or consent of every party to the Townsville Peace Agreement.  But I brought it to the attention of every high level delegation of Australia that comes to Solomon Islands.  
I reminded them that they are the broker of the Townsville Peace Agreement, you helped us get all the warring parties to agree to talk peace and start to address the issue of peace, so please come and take custody of that document, of that agreement and enforce it.  This is because there are some serious conditions and serious requirements in the Townsville Peace Agreement that would be difficult for us to enforce from our own resources because our Police Force has broken down and collapsed.  So we asked them to come and take custody.  They flatly rejected it.  No, they did not do it.
            Now what I am trying to say here, Mr Speaker, is that if you say I am anti RAMSI then that broad statement is wrong because at that time I requested intervention to happen in this country as well after the country has already broken down.  And so I would be a biggest hypocrite.  So to say that I am anti Australia and anti RAMSI is not right.  May be the Deputy Prime Minister abused and misunderstood the Prime Minister.  Or may be we understand him what he says in the way we want to understand the things he says.
We made very clear the Government’s position on RAMSI.  We did not say we are going to chase them our.  Never!  Never under the leadership of this Prime Minister had we said we are going to chase RAMSI out.  Whenever a strong statement or strong position is taken by the Prime Minister they jump to the conclusion that the government does want RAMSI, it must go.  We are going to die because they are going to shoot us.  We jump into those conclusions without really analyzing what the government is saying.
            What we are saying, Mr Speaker, and this Parliament is also part of the body that recognizes that position.  We want to look carefully at the legal framework, the frameworks that govern the presence of RAMSI in this country.  That is what we are saying.
            Mr Speaker, if we are go to the villages in this country, to the more than 5,000 villages in this country to analyze the provisions of the Facilitation Act, do you know what the people will say?  They will say chase them our tomorrow!  That is what they are going to say.  Just look at the people they bashed up in North Malaita.  The chiefs were humiliated under the hot sun.  Those actions are condoned and allowed under the Facilitation Act.
            What the government is saying is that in 2003 the Act may be is fully justified.  The provisions and requirements of that law are fully justified because we do not know what is on the ground.  The law was quickly drafted in Canberra and shoved down the throat of this Parliament and we passed it.  What we are saying is that is 2003 but now it is 2007 and next year it will be 2008.  The circumstances of that time at this time have changed so let us re-look at the legal framework that governs the presence and operations of RAMSI in Solomon Islands.  That is what we are saying.  We are not saying to chase them out.  We are quick to grab what the government is saying, misinterpret it, misinform the public and then use it to advance our own thinking and agenda.
            Rearmament, Mr Speaker, which the mover of the motion raised is one of the reasons why the Prime Minister must go because he wants to rearm the police.  Mr Speaker, this is dishonesty.  This is gross dishonesty.  First of all when this issue was thought about, in fact this is the only issue that never came before Cabinet.  It was just a consultation between the Prime Minister and the Police Commissioner at that time because in reading his reports on the future progress of the Police, it was specifically stated that the first unit they are looking at rearming is the Close Protection Unit.  It is there in black and white and so I raised it with the former Commissioner.  You know what happened?  They went and broadcasted it and it even reached the Special Coordinator of RAMSI that the government wants to rearm.  Do you know why this small thing became big?  They said the government wanted to rearm the whole Police Force.  In fact the way this was put across was as if government would be bringing boat loads of guns and will be rearming every people of Solomon Islands to shoot themselves.  That is how it was put across to the public.  Of course, everyone will be shaking about this if we are going to rearm everyone and may be in the absence of discipline on how they handle the guns they are going to shoot themselves. 
            Mr Speaker, this policy is no longer an issue.  It was brought up here to this Parliament and made plain and clear in here that the government no longer pursues this policy.  But, of course it is one of the issues that come under the Facilitation Act, and we made the commitment that any decisions on rearming will be part and parcel of the overall review of RAMSI.  That means every people in this country will have to be consulted.  We made that commitment.  We are not going to pick on one small sample only and say that 90% of the people of this country want something like this. 
In fact, Mr Speaker, on this latest survey they said that 90% of the people of this country want women to be Members of Parliament.  How many women are here?  None!  You cannot rely on samples to say that 90% of people want women to be in Parliament which should see 90% of these seats filled up by women.  These are the kind of things we are talking about, misleading the people of this country.
            By the way there is one very important information that was not put out and that was 89% of the people were asked if they want RAMSI to run our government and what did they say?  Eighty nine percent of them said no.  We do not want that.  That is exactly what we are trying to do here.  We are trying to tell them to give us breathing space.  This is a government elected by our people and so we are capable of handling our own situation, and we are not chasing the helpers and the advisers.  I want to know who they are advising.  We requested that information.  We are not chasing them out.  I just want to be clear on what is happening as the leader of the government. 
This whole thing about rearming must go down too, Mr Speaker, it must fall flat on its face.  It does not hold water to use it as a reason to convince Members of this Honorable House to support this motion.  It must fall.
            Another accusation is listening to other people than Ministers and Government backbenchers.  I was accused for not listening to Cabinet, not listening to the government and not listening to Members of Parliament but I only listen to other people.  Who are these other people, Mr Speaker?  Who am I listening to?  They tried to bring up that I was listening to my nephew.  He becomes a very important issue by Members who walked across the floor. 
As I have explained already in the media, it is our party’s contribution to the tool of political appointees in the Prime Minister’s Office.  All other political parties have their representatives appointed to this political office.
            Who am I, Mr Speaker, to put his advice before the advice of Ministers and advice of Members of Parliament?  This would not be right.  Mr Speaker, I am a strong believer in collective decision making process.  I have still yet to err or break that principle.  This is trivial. 
            In fact they said too that every time we go he sits there.  He blocks Members of Parliament and Ministers not to see the Prime Minister.  I heard allegations like that.  Sir, he is doing his job every morning.  As any political appointee in the Prime Minister’s Office have access to me as Prime Minister to come and brief me on issues they feel I need to know, Mr Speaker, never has he blocked access to Members of Parliament or Ministers to see the Prime Minister.  In fact the standing policy in the Prime Minister’s Office is that Ministers, backbenchers and Members of Parliament have first priority access to the Prime Minister.  That rule is observed strictly in the Prime Minister’s Office.
            Sir, on leadership style is one of the things I was accused of.  In fact it looks like a very big issue I was accused of.  I do not know what this means.  Does it mean I dictate decisions to the government?  Or is it the way I look and so people are frightened of me?  I do not know.  But it boils down to decision making.  I have yet to make any decision in government on my own - it is my own thinking that I made a decision.  I always consult Cabinet.  Always!  So I find it very difficult to accept the reason that leadership style is one of the reasons why the Prime Minister must go now.  It really needs to be explained to me what this means.  Is it relationship with Australia?  Or is it RAMSI, which I have already explained.  Sir, I find it very difficult to accept that. 
            Sir, I was also accused for alleged involvement in the planning of the 2000 coup.  They said that because I was involved I must step down so that it can be investigated.  What stops you from investigating it now?  They should have investigated it a long time ago. 
I am fully aware and I have seen the thick affidavit.  People actually say, in fact dare to say and swear under oath that they saw the Member for East Choiseul when he was Leader of the Opposition led the MEF to go and raid the armory at Rove.  That is what they are saying.  I read all those affidavits, Mr Speaker.  I read them all.  They said we went there at 3 o’clock and raided the armory and then we went up to the Prime Minister’s residence that time and neutralize the guards by putting them under house arrest, and by 6 o’clock we reached the Prime Minister’s Office and neutralized the guards there and everything was over by 6 o’clock.  
             Sir, it is just fortunate for the section here that these affidavits were never tested in court.  Otherwise, Mr Speaker, I would have taken them up for telling false things under oath.  They said we planned it.  Where are your facts, Mr Speaker?  I have seen sworn statements alleged that the Leader of the Opposition then who is now the Prime Minister was involved in the coup.  The Minister for Public Service has already explained his part. 
Solomon Islanders no longer trust him.  Who does he meant?  Is it those who talk the loudest in the media?  Is it the Transparency Solomon Islands or the Solomon Islands Christian Association or the National Council of Women or who?  It was claimed that people in Solomon Islands no longer trust him and so he must go.  What do you not trust me on? 
When we talk about Solomon Islands, 85 percent of the people of this country are living in the rural areas and we always abuse and misuse their names when we say people of this country do not want this and that.  This is misleading.  In fact in one of the meetings they said that all the people of this country do not want such a thing but only 60 people attended that meeting.
            The other thing is appointment of cronies and relatives with no qualification.  Sir, we must have a bit of respect on our people.  Just because we are privileged to get our papers overseas and have all sorts of titles in front of our names or behind our names, does not give us the right to criticize other people. 
When we talk about cronies, relatives I found it very difficult to accept this because the people we are appointed in the Prime Minister’s Office, we tried as much as possible to be representative. 
            The honorable mover, Mr Speaker, one of his people is appointed in the Office of the Prime Minister in the Political Unit.  He is on scholarship.  I approved his scholarship for further studies towards his Masters.  He is not my wantok but he is the wantok of the mover of the motion.  In fact there are two scholarships lying down on my table right now under my discretion for anyone who would like to take them can do so.  That accusation must go too. 
            On the Republic of China - and this is I guess in relation to the two houses we bought.  I do not see any law in this country that says once you become a Prime Minister you are not allowed to go to the bank and get a loan.  Can you show me any rule and any law in the country that prohibits a person once he becomes a Prime Minister is not allowed to get a loan.  How it came out is like this.  They said that I was given money by the Republic of China to purchase those two houses.  In fact they said it was $8.3 million that I bought those two houses with. 
I am surprised that people can be that brave to say something that is not true and to use that kind of information to down the government – personally accusing the Prime Minister.  We secured that loan against properties we have.  We went to the bank and we applied under normal scrutiny just like anyone.  In fact it was rejected first round and they told us to go back and try to reorganize all our securities so that it can be reconsidered.  We went back and forth, Mr Speaker, until the Bank agreed to give us the loan.  It is only $2.9million and not $8.3million.  
The Prime Minister just like any other fathers in this country has the right to provide for his children.  It is being a responsible father.  That is all there is to it.  And for us to make mountains out of it to say that is the reason because he has taken a loan in the bank, and if it is like that then we must also put out the others because everyone else is getting loan and in fact more than million too. 
            Where the Republic of China comes in, Mr Speaker, is just like any one else.  In fact Taiwan rented some houses owned by Members of the Opposition.  Taiwan came and said it is going to have a long term tenancy agreement with us.  Taiwan wanted to rent those two houses.  What is wrong with that?  I do not see anything wrong with that.  Not at all.  And for us to stand here on this floor of Parliament accusing the Prime Minister on that issue, that argument must fall flatly on its face. 
Unstable mind, and that is becoming very personal.  I am tempted to throw those allegations back at them.  Because looking at the issues we raised in here means we have problem with our minds in the way think and the way we reason.  Sir, I am perfectly all right.  My mind is stable.  I have not yet been ruled by any psychiatric test that I have problem with my mind.  I am perfectly all right.
Sir, the 666 questions payment – this is a payment fully endorsed by Cabinet.  In fact that figure is being over exaggerated just to score political points on the floor of this Parliament. 
The MCC issue has been already explained by the Deputy Prime Minister.  On the housing estate, I have already explained.  The other point that was raised was that the Acting Attorney General at that time managed to remove some charges from her close relatives.  Sir, the Prime Minister has nothing to do with those issues, not at all.  If the allegation is that the Prime Minister advised them to do it then that is totally wrong.  The Prime Minister has nothing to do with that.  It is just a clear legal representation in court and the court accepted that submission on the part of that particular person that the Member is concerned about, thus he used it as a reason to vote this government out of office. 
The appointment of the Commissioner of Police, Mr Speaker, is not made by the government according to the advice of the Attorney General.  That is not right.  As I said, Mr Speaker, who am I as leader of this country to make decision on my own and disregard the collective position of Cabinet? 
If those people who go across are really concerned about this, then they have opportunity to raise it when this matter was fully discussed in Cabinet to reject it?  I am just a president of Cabinet and a leader of the government.  I am only one man.  If the full Cabinet says do not do that thing, then who am I to disobey the decision of Cabinet.
            On the sale of Soltai, which I am accused of, it is the Minister of Finance who requested me regarding this particular sale of 49 percent share I was accused.  They came before I went to Majuro.  They told me to go and discuss with a particular person, they told me who he is, to try and look into the 49 percent share of Soltai.  That was all I did.  My Ministers requested me to do it and so I did.  I did not sell it.  I did not sell any 49 percent shares to that particular person.  No.  I only went and have preliminary discussions with that particular person to find out whether he will be interested in it and he is yet to respond.  That is all I did. 
The document that was produced in Parliament today must go back and slap the face of those people who talked very much about it.  They are the ones who signed it.  The former Minister for Fisheries and the former Minister for Finance are the people who signed to sell SOLTAI to RD without the Cabinet’s approval.  What is that for us to come here and tell untrue things in here desperately just because we have the number now to try and cover up these things and to raise these issues as reasons to remove the Prime Minister on is dishonesty.  This is not right.  If this is the kind of leadership we want to give to this nation that we can deliberately tell untrue things and to be dishonest about our decisions then we better think again. 
Sir, there are other things the MP for East Are Are, the very learned MP, once the advisor of the Prime Minister and no wonder why we are wrecked has raised but I do not want to go through them because they do not make any sense to me. 
            Sir, as I have said earlier, when we talk about projects in fisheries and forestry and others, but I am very surprised about the fisheries project because it is only $1 plus million in the budget.  Do you know how much we spent?  We spent about $10million.  That is why the former Minister of Finance went across to the other side.  That is why I find it really hard to have any high regard for those people who went to the other side because they made problem and then throw stones back at us.  It is you who did those things and then you run away.  I want this nation to know. 
To the surprise of some of us $100,000 was paid into our accounts.  My $100,000 is still sitting there because it is not right.  Some have not yet taken it and so there must be another CW to pay them and then some have not received it and so they must be paid until it gets up to $10million as paid.  In fact some people from the bush also receive fishing projects, people in the bush.  What sort of fishing are they going to do in the bush?  This is really not right.  My $100,000 is still there in my account because we did not apply for it.  My constituency only has two projects although we are on the seaside. 
            With your consent, Mr Speaker, I beg to move that Standing Orders 10 be suspended in accordance with Order 81 to allow the House complete its business.

Standing Orders 10 as read with 81 was suspended to allow the sitting to continue beyond 4.30 p.m.

The motion agreed to

Hon Sogavare:  Thank you Mr Speaker, I winding down now.  I do not want to talk very long.  That is on those projects.  Some of the projects have been taken already and to say that we do not deliver those projects, those people who went to other side received many projects.  To say that we did not receive them is again dishonest on the floor of Parliament.
            Sir, as I said I listened to all the debates taking place in here and I am not convinced of the reasons given would made me to resign on this floor of Parliament as I was requested to do so by the honorable mover of this motion and reiterated by the MP for Savo/Russells.  I am not going to do that.  
Who am I, Mr Speaker, to hold on to this office?  As I have said it is not my father’s office nor does it not belong to the people of East Choiseul.  It is not my personal property so that I will cry over it.  I am just a humble custodian of this office.  If you can prove to me beyond all reasonable doubt that I have done something wrong in this country, if I have done something wrong to our people in this country, I will willingly tender my resignation and leave this office.  I can do that.  I will do that.  But the problem is that I am not convinced one bit of the reasons that were used by the mover of this motion in asking the Prime Minister and MP for East Choiseul to relinquish this office just because the other side of the House has the number.
            Sir, we have our people to also have in mind and listen eagerly to what their leaders are doing on the floor of Parliament making a total fool of themselves on the floor of Parliament because some people have personal grudges against the Prime Minister.  That is basically what this motion is all about after I have gone through it.  It is just personal grudges against the Prime Minister, they have personal issues on them.  And as rightly pointed out by some Ministers here that if they had come and say we do not want this and that, we could have ironed them out.  But that is not the case.  Only after they have gone to the other side before they throw those things to us.  They said we do not want this and that and it is for those reasons we want the Prime Minister to step down.  Those reasons are totally unacceptable. 
What this thing is all about is that there is already an anti Sogavare sentiment by some of the people already in the Opposition.  They are long time there before these things happen.  It is just basically facilitated by those people who moved across which improves the position of the Opposition Group to move a vote of no confidence to remove the Prime Minister.  That is what it is.  There is already hatred of this Prime Minister, Mr Speaker.  Why?  Is it because of doing anything wrong in this country, Mr Speaker?  I fail to see it because these reasons did not tell me. 
The only reason I can find here is because I stood for this country.  I stood on the issue of sovereignty and the right for Solomon Islanders to stand tall and own this country.  This is our country.  This is our country.  I am just a leader of the government that made that stand including those people who crossed the floor.  They took very strong stand behind me.  Prime Minister stand up, take that stand and we will support you.  This is betrayal in its gross sense.  This is gross betrayal of their Prime Minister.  They told me to go in front but when I look back there was no one behind me.  That is exactly what it is.  It is pushing the Prime Minister to take that stand.  Some of the people who went across are those who were vocal in Cabinet for me to take this.  Even the former Minister of Finance when we talked about our relationship with the Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group even suggested that we go out from the Melanesian Spearhead Group.  He said Solomon Islands must withdraw from the Melanesian Spearhead Group.  It is just unfair that now we are on the other side and because we have personal grudges against the Prime Minister we use this opportunity that arises to capitalize on it to get back at the Prime Minister on the floor of Parliament. 
            As I have said, Mr Speaker, I have nothing to be ashamed of or to cry about.  No!  I am normal and still a Member of East Choiseul.  Currently, if am voted out of this Office I am still the Prime Minister. 
            Mr Speaker, as I said and I will repeat again and I will do it smilingly.  This position does not belong to my father nor is it belongs to my family but it belongs to this country.  I can stand here on the floor of Parliament, raise my head up high and say that I have served this country well and its people.  I stood up for our sovereignty; I stood up for what we as leaders should do to protect this country from outside influences. 
As I said, I did not make decisions on my own.  I took it representing the collective views, the collective decisions of the people who voted me as Prime Minister of this country.  If I am voted out of office today I will take it.  I’ll take it as a leader.  It is not a new thing, Mr Speaker, just that it is at the top level.  I have been sacked several times as a Permanent Secretary, as a Minister of Finance and so it is not a new thing for me to lose office.  I am used to it.  And I guess this is what leadership is all about. 
But I will not go down disgraced, Mr Speaker.  No!  I will go down with my head high.  I am proud to be a Solomon Islander, proud to be one, and proud to be a real one who stood for the right of people in our country.  God bless Solomon Islanders. 

(applause)

Mr Sikua:  Mr Speaker, I know we are all tired and by the time we finish we would have entered seven marathon hours on this motion. Mr Speaker, first of all I would like to thank all Members of Parliament on both sides of the House who have contributed to this motion.  I would like to thank them for the manner in which they have debated maturely by not attacking each other personally.  I would like to thank everyone for that.
            Mr Speaker, as I wind up this motion what is of importance as far as this motion of no confidence is concerned is the question of trusted leadership.  
Mr Speaker, the leader in the person of the Prime Minister is critical.  This is because the Prime Minister we once placed our faith in and trusted has been tested and found wanting. 
            Mr Speaker, we were all once behind the Prime Minister’s leadership.  We were eager.  Our policies were ready, and most important of all our people were behind us. 
            Mr Speaker, from the word “Go GCCG” was on its way.  This continued for almost a year unfortunately at the beginning of this year the tide started to turn. 
            Mr Speaker, instead of implementing GCCG policies particularly the BUA, individual interests started to flood in.  Still many of us continue to work hard.  This is because we continue to believe in collective effort, responsible government, and strong leadership. 
            Mr Speaker, we were continually assured by the Prime Minister himself in no uncertain terms that his leadership was strong leadership and not dictatorship.  Sir, like a ship voyaging on the ocean, a ship’s journey is as good and calm as the direction of the captain and the steadfastness of the pilot.  As time goes on, Mr Speaker, this ceased to be the case. 
The BUA policy was ignored.  Political appointees and the Prime Minister’s supporters were making decisions that rightfully belong to responsible Ministers and Public Servants.  The Attorney General’s issue became the Prime Minister’s obsession.  Instead of being used in services for our people, over a million dollars were paid on the Attorney General’s case. 
            Mr Speaker, Cabinet decisions and conclusions were diverted to meet the Prime Minister’s preferences and the wishes of his close supporters, associates and favorites.  Even the legal system was used to fight political battles instead of pursuing justice for our people.  In the end, we find to our angst that we were taken for a ride.  The ship we boarded was no longer our ship.  The ship’s captain was more interested in acquiring wealth for himself, even at the expense of the nation.  Again the BUA was ignored. 
The State Government System was slowed down and the crush personal politicking of the Prime Minister has threatened our relations with outside supporters who would have wished to support the BUA’s aims and objectives. 
Mr Speaker, this is why we have decided to jump ship before we all get drowned.  Drowning occurs, not because our ship sinks but it happens when we remain in the ship even when it sinks.  Today, Mr Speaker, I regret to report that the GCCG ship has sunk. 
With all that said, we have good news, I have the honor to report today that we have boarded a new ship.  We will continue with the same policies we have including the BUA.  But we will implement it in such a way that our people will benefit, and not just the Prime Minister and his few supporters.
Mr Speaker, it is with this in mind that I moved that Parliament no longer has confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister.  Mr Speaker, I therefore beg to move that Parliament resolves it has no confidence in the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.

Mr Speaker:  The motion before the House is that Parliament resolves it has no confidence on the Prime Minister.  Normally we take a voice vote but because we have to actually identify each name we will go straight away into division. 

Clerk:  Each honorable Member’s name will be called at alphabetical order, and Members upon your name being called please give a clear ‘aye’ or a clear ‘no’ or a clear ‘abstain’ meaning you do not want to vote either ‘aye’ or no.  Is that clear?

A division was called for:
Result:
Ayes                -           25
Noes                -           22
Absent -                       1
Total                48

The motion is carried.

Mr Speaker:  At this point in time, may be we can seek clarification from the Attorney General to help us out because the Prime Minister has not vacated his seat yet because he will only vacate his seat when a new Prime Minister is elected.  My suggestion is that he adjourns sine die so that the issue of an election of a new Prime Minister may proceed.  You are supposed to adjourn the motion today in the normal way but now that the government is no longer there may be he should simply adjourn sine die. 

AG:  Thank you, Mr Speaker.  The former Prime Minister continues to perform the functions of that office until a new Prime Minister is elected. He is thereby empowered by the Constitution until he is formally removed to exercise those powers and I advise therefore that he adjourns the House in the normal way, which is sine die. 

Hon. Sogavare:  Thank you Mr Speaker.  Thank you very much.  This is the former Prime Minister speaking.  Thank you for the votes.  I take it with all humility.  I thank all those who have supported me in moving this motion.  Ministers and the former Ministers who have crossed the floor, I thank you very much for your support.  I pledge to work closely with the next Prime Minister that this Parliament will duly elect in due course. 
In saying that, Mr Speaker, I beg to move that at the adjournment of Parliament this 13th day of December 2007 the present meeting shall be concluded and Parliament shall then stand adjourn sine die.
Thank you Mr Speaker.

The House adjourned sine die at 5pm.

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