Home > Corruption, Human rights, Papua New Guinea, Politics > Namah: Media freedom must prevail in PNG

Namah: Media freedom must prevail in PNG

By Belden Namah MP via PNG Blog

I welcome Prime Minister Peter O’Neil’s decision to file a defamation suit against me. It is not surprising for Peter O’Neill to be reactive to issues that the Opposition has brought to light in recent times.

It is the traditional role of the Opposition to criticise, oppose, speculate and to even take pre-emptive measures on issues that concern the welfare of our people.

We are duty bound to keep the government and its leaders including the Prime Minister in check, so why is Mr O’Neill running to the courts when we are debating corruption at the National Government level?

I have as a leader tolerated wild, unfounded and even malicious allegations levelled against me in the media, yet, I have not sued the perpetrators or any media organisation for reporting such allegations. I have and will always respect media freedom and freedom of expression in this country and I expect Peter O’Neill and other leaders to do likewise.

My grave concern is that we now have a Prime Minister who is trying to control media freedom in our country. I ask the PM to leave media freedom to be practised without fear or favour in our democracy.

In this case the PM should leave EMTV alone. Let the media do its work and report without fear or favour.

The threat by the PM to cancel EMTV’s licence is an act of a dictator.

I want to appeal to all Papua New Guineans working in government organisations or state institutions that if you are threatened to facilitate corruption or have any information on corrupt practices, you must speak up. I am ready to receive and fight against corruption in this country including defending you against reprisal by government.

I call on the Ombudsman Commission and other watch dog organisations to do likewise and support whistle blowers for the good of our people, our country and our children’s future.

I am prepared to pay legal costs for EMTV journalist Scott Waide against the defamation suit by Peter O’Neil. And I guarantee the same for others who will speak out on the corruption of the PM, Ministers and other leaders.

  1. Rata Palisah
    May 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I aggree with Mr. Namah but media and freedom of speech does not guarantee you to loud mouth serious allegations with out some sort of evidence. A loud mouthing is not going to help. We need facts to be put on the table because that is a very serous allegation against a sitting Prime Minister of a Democratic country. With out evidence, its not good to smear our Prime Minister in the eyes of the world.

  2. May 3, 2013 at 3:12 am

    In response to the first commenter, I would like to state several reasons why Namah’s approach is most effect at the moment. It is likely that evidence in this country is hard to gather.
    Mostly because of corruption, the evidence is usually tampered with to suit the corrupter, whether they be human witnesses or physical evidence.
    Secondly, our leaders have manipulated the law or or justice system to satisfy their corrupt ways and evidence is useful only in law.i.e when evidence is used in law justice is served. Therefore, use of evidence regarding current issues is not as 100% effective.
    Thirdly, our country’s leaders are ignorant of all the means and ways we have used to fight corruption. Hence if it means that Namah has to speak up and out to the media of what he has seen so let it be. At the least it is causing some form of reaction. How such corrupt leaders such respond to Namah’s approach will show whether they are guilty or not. A guiltfree man has no need to hide anything.
    Finally I’d like to conclude and say I support Namah’s approach as our situation is desperate we need desperate and effective measures such as Namah’s approach. I commend Namah.


  3. Paul Amatio
    May 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    For someone who once wanted to gag the media himself, well its good to see how the shoe now fits.

  4. Truth
    May 9, 2013 at 11:49 am


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