PORT MORESBY – On a notable day last week, prime minister Peter O'Neill was forced to apologise on the floor of parliament over rude remarks in which he called me a moron.
His apology was in response to the shadow attorney general Kerenga Kua's request to the deputy speaker to refer O'Neill to the parliamentary privileges committee.
O'Neill's remarks were triggered by my interjections over his misleading statements when trying to answer a series of questions put to him by the member of Moresby North West, Mekere Morauta, in relation to APEC.
O'Neill lost his cool, yelling at me to shut up, branding me a very special kind of moron.
"If the member of Madang can keep his mouth shut then I can answer. You are just a moron, in fact a moron of the highest degree."
Well to be honest I found the remarks quite amusing, I wasn't aware morons came in degrees.
I am aware of a number of persons who hold degrees yet act like a moron, or those who bestow upon themselves highest orders or knighthoods who are in fact morons, but a moron of the highest degree - ummm nope... no idea...
Shadow Attorney General Kua invoked standing order 97 requesting the deputy speaker to refer O'Neill to the privileges committee. The deputy took note of the request and afforded O'Neill the right to respond.
O'Neill then tried to explain the reason for his outburst before apologising. However, not before again referring to my conduct in parliament as that of a raskol and of a snake.
The deputy speaker will now have to decide whether or not to refer O'Neill when parliament resumes next on 28 August.
O'Neill was forced to apologise to avoid being dealt with by the committee where the penalty if found guilty would be the same - that he issue an apology.
It is funny how members of the O'Neill government previously have gone to great lengths to have me referred to the privileges committee only to result in their own prime minister being forced to apologize on the floor of parliament.