Solomon Star

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Oct. 12) – Now we know that Paul Maenu defied the Solomon Islands Cabinet when he decided to vote in support of the resumption of commercial whaling [at an International Whaling Commission meeting in South Korea in June].

The former fisheries minister has decided to take responsibility for his action and resigned, effective yesterday.

But we may never know why he decided to do what he did.

When he represented Solomon Islands at the Whaling Commission meeting, he was expected to act according to Government direction.

He did not.

Instead, he voted in support of the resumption of commercial whaling [as proposed by Japan].

The Government’s stand on the issue is to abstain from voting.

Why did Maenu acted otherwise? Why did he defy Cabinet orders?

What caused him to vote when he was supposed not to? Was he being paid to do what he did?

These are questions that only Maenu, and perhaps the officers that accompanied him, would answer.

Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza has stood by his words.

He promised that if investigations revealed Maenu had defied Cabinet orders, he would be sacked.

Did Maenu’s action remind us of anything? Yes, it did. It reminded us of the type of leaders who can go at any length to serve their own interest. This is a classic case of "self-interest".

Sadly, we have so many of such leaders in this country. They put their interest first before public interest.Often they did that for personal gain.

We may never know whether Maenu personally gained from his decision to vote when he was supposed not to. But one thing is clear. He served his own interest rather than the public.

His action could be best summed up with only one word - scandalous.

October 13, 2005

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