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12 June 2018

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In Sydney yesterday at the Federal Court we saw the first day in the case where Chinese-Australian billionaire Chau Chak Wing is accusing the SMH of defamation in an article it published on 15 October 2015 alleging Chau was involved in a bribery scandal.

The article, written by former Asia Pacific editor John Garnaut, was published after US prosecutors accused a Chinese-Australian woman and her finance chief of arranging a bribe for Mr Ashe, former UN general assembly president.

Last month, Federal Liberal MP Andrew Hastie used parliamentary privilege to claim Mr Chau was an indicted co-conspirator in a 2013 bribery scandal involving former UN general assambly president John Ashe.

Mr Chau is known in Sydney for donating $25 million towards the UTS striking Frank Gehry-designed business school which is now named in his honour.

he article mentions that Mr Chau said he assisted Woodside in 2001 to obtain a natural gas contract with China worth $25 billion and "I didn't gain any benefit for myself".

I agree that the dilemma facing PNG is being able to choose between democratic capitalism or authoritarian capitalism. Also, Asians love to give gifts, often large ones, and it is often hard to decide whether they can be looked on as a bribe or not.

PNG is a small country with a developing democracy, thanks to Facebook! It would be a pity to say, let's forget democracy, it's too hard, but I still think that there could be the possibility of setting up a National Mining Company of PNG to run future mines. But, of course, the capital would come as loans at a huge cost.

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