Prime Ministers Media Releases

PM MARAPE URGES PNG NOT TO BE MISLED OVER COVID-19 BY PEOPLE WITH VESTED INTERESTS

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has urged the people of Papua New Guinea not to be misled over issues of COVID-19 by people with vested interests.
 
He said this in response to the “no jab, no jab” protest outside Parliament today led by well-known activist and political candidate Noel Anjo and others.
 
PM Marape said there was no need at all for a protest when Controller David Manning had already looked at COVID-19 protocols and requirements at work places, especially with the “no jab no job” stance by some employers.
 
“Our Government’s headline policy of non-mandatory or non compulsory vaccination remains, as I told churches just little over a week ago,” he said.
 
“With workplace safety issues, we will soon release testing requirements to all employers so we find a balance between workplace safety rights and rights of individuals in respect to vaccination choices.”
 
PM Marape said Anjo and others might not be aware but they may be used by Opposition politicians in the lead-up to the 2022 General Election to fuel public strife to cause disturbances in the lead-up. 
 
“In November 2020, the country witnessed ugly politics that disrupted Government work, but they were unsuccessful, " he said. 
 
"These same sponsors of political instability are bound to cause disturbances under the pretext of 'national interest' . 
 
“The whole country came to a standstill last November, and now this act of desperation is emerging, taking our people’s misunderstanding for a ride.
 
"I appeal to our people that COVID-19 IS real, it can be fatal to the weak and unvaccinated. 
 
" Hence, Government has allowed for vaccines to be available for those who want to be vaccinated. 
 
"We also are working with our employers to tailor a new ‘ niupla pasin’ at work place. Those who do not want to vaccinated can  be tested and remain at work instead of a blanket ‘no jab no job’ stance by employers 
 
“I appeal to our good people not to be misled by people with vested interests, including Opposition, Government and  intending politicians. 
 
"We are doing everything possible to ensure our people’s interest is placed at the forefront, while at the same time allowing for our work place to functional." 

PNG’S INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP WITH DR. ANDREW FORREST BIGGER THAN JUST PURARI RIVER HYDRO

PRIME Minister Hon. James Marape, MP says Papua New Guinea’s partnership with Dr. Andrew Forrest and his company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) is bigger than just hydro in Purari River and will encompass a huge set of projects worth billions of kina that must be appreciated and guarded by Papua New Guineans.
 
He says the Fortescue Metals Group – through its subsidiary FFI – is seriously moving into futuristic clean energy and its scope is broader than just the Purari River systems but covering also Kikori and Strickland systems, and the geothermal sites throughout Papua New Guinea beginning in West New Britain Province.
 
“I have met Dr. Forrest on a number of occasions and his interest in green clean energy in PNG is sincere and serious. Through his futuristic green energy subsidiary company, FFI is looking at harvesting up to 25 gigawatts of power for clean energy to sell to the world from our country, including migrating some of FMG industries into PNG. These are huge projects worth billions of kina.
 
“I am utterly disappointed in Post-Courier’s misreporting and misrepresentation today. This is a newspaper company with nearly 30 percent of Papua New Guinean shareholding interest who continue to misreport, belittle and tarnish the work the Papua New Guinea government is doing no matter how big or small. For the journalist to always find negativity in innovation shows a shallow mind when the world is at this point moving into clean energy and new frontiers of technology.
 
“I am a prime minister who is very excited about taking our country into new frontiers and breaking barriers that others think we as a country cannot do. This includes clean green energy, Information & Communication Technology, digital and cyberspace, the downstream of our raw resources in gold, gas, timber, fisheries, agriculture and so forth.
 
“This direction is new and might seem impossible to some. This direction will affect the comfort many are used to and may have enjoyed during the status quo, but I will not be deterred from this course. The world will move in this direction in as far as energy is concerned, and Papua New Guinea is partnering FFI to pioneer this very source as part of our global response to climate change. 
 
“If we do not join, we will be left behind when countries of the world move away from carbon-based energy solutions and into green energy.
 
“All or any company with proposals to do business in PNG are welcomed and can come in with their proposals. We can agree but due processes on compliance to all our laws on investments, regulations and national interests must first of all take place. 
 
"We will process all submissions, like the one from Botswa from Botswana, whom we are awaiting to return to us to advance their business interest in PNG.
 
“The natural resources in PNG are plentiful, including those in the green energy space. Hydro and water resources abound in this country; we can fit any investor in any part of the country who wants to use our rivers and springs so and there is no clash or collision as alluded to by the Post-Courier.
 
“The government has the interest of its people first and foremost and will do everything it sees fit to make sure these large-scale investments are done properly and fully,” said Prime Minister Marape.

GRIM PICTURE OF COVID-19 CONTAINMENT FOR PNG AS PM MARAPE DECRIES MISINFORMATION FUELED BY POLITICS

PRIME Minister Hon. James Marape today painted a grim picture of Papua New Guinea’s painful struggle to catch up with the rest of the world in COVID-19 vaccination response which, he said, was due mainly to misinformation that – in many parts – was being fuelled by political quarters.
 
The Prime Minister took a good part of the end of Question Time in Parliament to explain the seriousness of the pandemic and how much importance people worldwide were placing on vaccination and going in for their inoculation – all except Papua New Guineans who have chosen instead to listen to and believe misinformation and conspiracy theories rather than science and be convinced by the rising number of COVID-19 induced deaths.
 
PM Marape was responding to Deputy Opposition Leader and Member for Rabaul Dr. Allan Marat who insisted the Government penalise business owners who are currently applying workplace safety measures relating to the pandemic, which have become known as the ‘No Jab, No Job’ policy.
 
Marat said these companies laying off of Papua New Guinean staff for their refusal to get vaccinated – by invoking their right to freedom of choice – must not be allowed to continue; he wanted the Prime Minister to come clear and spell out that vaccination was not mandatory to make these company owners stop these vaccinations.
 
In responding, PM Marape didn’t isolate the Rabaul MP’s question to only the issue of ‘No Jab, No Job’, but provided the overview of COVID-19 response in the country, which looked serious because of Papua New Guineans refusal to accept the vaccines.
 
He said of all the viruses that have ever come in existence, none has the ‘potency’ or ability of spread as high as COVID-19 which has increased “exponentially” in the country between the time of first index case and now.   
 
“Globally, the number of deaths increased from 5,000 to 5,100,545. In PNG, since our first index case at 23 March 2020 and no deaths, PNG has reported 436 deaths. Ninety percent of these deaths are of people unvaccinated against COVID-19.
 
“Medical doctors will confirm that this is not a joke. COVID-19 is the most life-threatening illness that can be transferred. Displa ino giaman toktok!,” he stressed.
 
Condemning mis-information that have increased fears against vaccination, the Prime Minister called into line people and pockets of the community contributing to these fears.
 
He said: “Mis-information fuelled by political elements is not good for our country.
 
“I want to ask all of us especially those of us educated ones in the way we discuss issues in the public space. We are dealing with the lives of people and also the lives of business.
 
“We play with the most sensitive issue that affects not just one life but the entire life of our country, including its economic life. We must rise up and show responsibility when the national life is at stake!
 
“I have sat with very senior medical professionals, advisors to the Government, who have some 200 years of medical experience combined. They have more knowledge in medicine and science than me. Their advice is to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate.”
 
“It is true vaccination is not 100 percent defence against COVID-19. But it is there to boost your immune system so that you do not go to the ICU stage; that your immunity is strong so that you remain functional and the virus becomes a common flu for you.”
 
PM Marape pointed to the better acceptance of vaccination in many countries of the world, trying to compare it against PNG figures so Papua New Guineans can make the comparison.
 
He said: “One billion people have already been vaccinated in China; one billion in India; and another billion across the rest of the world. This includes 250 million Americans; 16 million Australians; and 800,000 Fijians vaccinated.
 
“There is so much misinformation - that someone has an agenda to kill people, or that 666 is here, or that the vaccine is not safe.
 
“The vaccines are World Health Organisation-approved. WHO is not a small organisation; it belongs to the United Nations family of Nations. All our medicines and vaccines come through the WHO sanctioned process.
 
For the workplace protocols, the new additional measure now being put in place by the Pandemic Controller will include COVID-19 testing at work place instead of blanket “ no jab no job” stance taken by some work places, “ said PM Marape.

SECRETARY POMALEU CONVEY SYMPATHIES ON THE PASSING OF HON. JOHN TABINAMAN OF BOUGAINVILLE

Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council, Ivan Pomaleu has today extended his deepest condolences on the passing of former Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) (Vice President) and Member for Mahari Constituency, the Late Hon. John Tabinaman, MHR.

“On behalf of the Prime Minister and the National Public Service, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and constituents of the Late, Hon. John Tabinaman, MHR. 

“Hon. Tabinaman was an outstanding leader, who was elected to the Bougainville House of Representatives over four consecutive elections.  He served as Vice President under the Late President, Joseph Kabui from 2008, and following the untimely passing of President Kabui, he acted as President until the election of the Hon. James Tanis in 2009,” Secretary Pomaleu said.

Secretary Pomaleu noted that the Late Hon. Tabinaman was a man of quiet distinction, who always had the interests of his constituents and the people of Bougainville at heart.

The Late Hon. Tabinaman held a number of portfolios during his 16 years in Government.

“His contribution in establishing the Bougainville Parliament and in advocating for peace and stability for the people of Bougainville was second to none.  He represented every quality required of a great leader, engaging respectfully with those around him.  May he rest in eternal Peace,” Secretary Pomaleu said.