14 May 2008

PNG parliament speaker gags opposition leader's questions to PM

5:34 pm on 14 May 2008

Papua New Guinea's Parliament Speaker Jeffery Nape has stopped Opposition Leader from asking questions of the Prime Minster on the Taiwan dollar diplomacy scandal in the house.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that Sir Mekere Morauta was gagged by Mr Nape who said the issue was an investigative matter in the media and should not be brought before the Chamber.

However the Speaker allowed Sir Michael and Nawae MP Timothy Bonga to make statements on the cash scandal in which 30 million US earmarked by Taipei for aid in PNG went missing.

Sir Michael said 30 million US dollars was cheap for PNG and as the founding father of the country, he wouldn't sell his country that cheaply.

The Prime Minister assured the House that he had no knowledge of this "ill-conceived" scheme where the money was reportedly given to two Taiwanese individuals allegedly trying to obtain diplomatic recognition from PNG.