MADANG - Papua New Guinea’s O’Neill government has taken revenge against senior EMTV reporter Scott Waide, who was suspended over his broadcasting of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s comments about the Maserati scandal.
I was informed soon after APEC that O’Neill planned on sacking Waide. However, there was pushback from EMTV management and staff so they decided to instead suspend him and order that he go on leave.
I suspect given the recent unrest in Port Moresby involving security forces they had to be careful not to trigger another incident.
So the real question is, who was behind the decision calling for Waide’s sacking/suspension, prime minister Peter O’Neill himself or the usual suspects such as O’Neill’s chief media officer Chris Hawkins or APEC minister Justin Tkatchenko?
EMTV is owned by Telikom PNG which is ultimately the possession of Kumul Holdings Consolidated, a state-owned enterprise.
The minister responsible for state-owned enterprises is William Duma. I am the shadow minister for that portfolio.
I will be writing to the minister and to the CEO of Kumul Consolidated Holdings asking them for the explanation behind this suspension.
I don’t expect a response but I can assure them that, following the removal of O’Neill in February 2019, the person behind the decision can expect to be sacked.
Last week, PNG opposition members were on FM100 radio talkback that was telecast live on EMTV. Halfway through the program we were cut off air. This is the second time it has happened.
It appears those feeding from a corrupt O’Neill government are starting to get desperate in their efforts to take away our rights – including our freedom of speech.
It’s time Papua New Guineans start to seriously think about organising ourselves in the cause to hold to account a corrupt prime minister and his cronies.