PAPUA NEW GUINEA HAS LOST A GREAT DIPLOMAT

Editorial

PNG Post Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 19) – There are only a few politicians in Papua New Guinea today that have high standing both in the country as well as at international level.

One of them is Sir Rabbie Namaliu – the Member for Kokopo Open electorate in East New Britain for the past 25 years.

This week he lost that seat to newcomer and much younger Patrick Tammur, the son of the man he wrestled the seat from, the late Oscar Tammur, a colourful Mataungan Association leader.

Sir Rabbie had been leader of the Pangu Pati for a short time after taking over leadership from Chris Haiveta following a bitter leadership struggle that went as far as the National Court.

He set to review the policies of the Pangu Pati which have been gathering dust for decades enlisting the support of the National Research Institute for the long exercise.

Having refined and polished the Pangu Pati policies to make them more "realistic, affordable and achievable," Sir Rabbie went to Kokopo to see a renewal of the people’s mandate only to be denied another term in the National Parliament.

The people of Kokopo have exercised their constitutional right through the ballot box to elect a new leader- a process Sir Rabbie will always fight to protect.

Democracy can be painful but the voice of the majority is a system we all cherish. We must continue to protect it.

Rabbie Namaliu is Papua New Guinea’s number one diplomat, an outstanding leader of great humility who always sought agreement by consensus rather than through confrontation, a man who always stood for transparent and accountable leadership and good, strong and effective government for the people.

He will be missed in the fight against corruption and bad government that has crippled Papua New Guinea to the point of near bankruptcy

His contributions to the nation as a former prime minister, foreign affairs minister and of late, treasurer speak volumes about the character of a man who is so badly needed in PNG at this critical time.

Our hope is that the new Government will find an opportunity for Sir Rabbie to continue to serve PNG for some time yet.

He would be a great ambassador for PNG at the United Nations where his extensive knowledge of international, regional and national affairs put him in a strong position to represent PNG. He would be a great spokesman for Pacific Island countries in UN Forums and would ensure PNG and the Pacific had a greater voice at international level.

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