Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Logging, Papua New Guinea > More empty promises from O’Neill on illegal SABL land grab?

More empty promises from O’Neill on illegal SABL land grab?


Ministerial committee to meet on SABLs

Source: The National, Friday May 2nd, 2014

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says a ministerial committee to implement the recommendations from the inquiry into Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABLs) will meet next week.

This follows concerns by Enosh Janduo, the president of the Sausse local level government (LLG) in Yangoru-Saussia district,  East Sepik, during a visit to Yangoru on Wednesday.

Janduo told O’Neill that the people were victims of the SABL where there had been a lot of land grabbing.

“We are concerned about Portion 144C, a piece of land located in the Sepik Plains.

“Landowners who own this piece of land have been stripped off its ownership,” he said.

O’Neill said the implementation of the inquiry’s recommendations would lead to the revocation of many illegal leases.

He said the SABL was introduced to develop the agriculture sector but many abused it and converted it into forestry development.

O’Neill said because of this, the Government set up the inquiry which came up with recommendations.

“Many of these leases and SABLs that were wrongly issued will be cancelled. Many people or landowners have lost the right to their own land because of SABLs,” he said.

Peter O’Neill aiding and abetting the theft of valuable forest resources

In a criminal conspiracy of grand proportions the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, is aiding and abetting the theft of valuable forest resources from customary landowners by Malaysian logging companies.

The value of the logs being stolen every month is more than K14 million, but while common criminals and shoplifters are quickly arrested and beaten by the police, the Royal PNG Constabulary and the corruption watchdog Task Force Sweep are standing by and watching a far far more serious crime.

The SABL Commission of Inquiry found the leases given to logging companies are unlawful and therefore their logging operations are illegal. The Commissioners said of the logging companies:

“They mislead and deceive landowners with the assistance of corrupt government officials”

But Peter O’Neill has failed to take any action to stop the illegal logging or cancel the fraudulent leases. As a result logs worth millions of kina are being stolen and shipped overseas every month.

In the 12 months to October 2013 the value of the logs stolen from SABL areas and shipped overseas, according to SGS and the PNG Forest Authority, was over K170 million kina.

That is K170 million stolen in just one year – and it is still on-going!

That is just the value of the raw logs. It takes no account of the environmental destruction caused by the logging operation, the loss of gardens and wildlife or the eventual value of the timber once sawn.

The Prime Minister was given the Commission of Inquiry reports on 24 June last year (2013) but for 10 long months he has done nothing but offer empty promises.

In September the Prime Minister presented the reports in Parliament and said they revealed:

“a shocking trend of mismanagement and corruption”

He went on to say:

“Mr Speaker, this government is going to start protecting landowners and the environment. We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

This was 8 months ago, since then Peter O’Neill has done NOTHING!

On November 5 last year, Mr O’Neill went on radio and said he had appointed a Ministerial Committee to review the CoI recommendations and report back within 2 months.

But nothing has happened and the illegal logging is still continuing.

PNG’s Criminal Code makes very clear that it is an offence to aid the commission of any crime and that those who are accessories, who allow a crime to continue or assist in any way, are just as guilty as the primary offenders.

How much longer are we going to sit back and watch the Prime Minister and his political cronies stealing our valuable forest resources…?


  1. kanex Kanarepa
    May 3, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Prime Minister Peter O’Neil did not aid and abett the issuance of SABL’s. This was done before he became a Prime Minister and he has never being a Minister of Lands, Forest or Agriculture.

    Those who aided and are abetting Land grab crime using SABL are Departmental heads, public servants, Lawyers, Politicians and a hand full of griddy land oweners themselves. I might as well include some corrupt magistrates, police and judges too.

    At least Mr. O’neil is doing something by commissioning an enquiry and he needs to act on the enquiries recommendations and he has promised to do that and is a matter of time only.

    Please stop blaming the Prime Minister Peter O’neil all the time in the eyes of the world. Least we have to be fair in pointing fingers and tongue lassing to the right people the better it it while I don’t condone other corruptions that the PM may be involved in.

    • May 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      O’Neill did NOT commission the inquiry, Sam Abal did that. O’Neill has had the Commission recommendations for 10 months and done NOTHING but issue empty promises. He is the Prime Minister and the responsibility stops with him.

  2. April 22, 2016 at 10:04 am

    If this is your land, start fighting for it…if necessary die for it. Stop sitting and crying for it because help will not come…. need to learn some lessons from Panguna

  1. May 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

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