Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Logging, oil palm > O’Neill’s comments on SABLs only highlight his inaction and failings

O’Neill’s comments on SABLs only highlight his inaction and failings

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was on talkback radio on Monday speaking about the SABL land grab scandal. But his comments on the unlawful leases and illegal logging only highlighted once again his failure to take any action to protect landowners, stop the crimes and deal decisively with the corruption.

Below is our commentary on what the Prime Minister had to say, as reported by Malum Nalu in The National.

SPECIAL agriculture business leases are nothing but a “scam” used by logging companies and will be outlawed immediately, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.

But Prime Minister, you have known about this 11 for months – ever since you received the Commission of Inquiry reports. Why have you not yet done anything to stop it? And what about the illegal logging – will you stop that as well?

He told a radio talkback show yesterday that the logging companies and certain individuals in Government were preying on the innocent and unassuming people in rural areas.

Prime Minister who are the people in your government preying on the people? Why are you not exposing and prosecuting them? Who are the logging companies? Are you, as PM, afraid to name names? 

He responded to callers from around the country on the FM100 talkback show complaining about SABLs and the damage they were doing. O’Neill said the National Executive Council at its next meeting would outlaw SABLs. “Developers come in the guise of developing agriculture projects but get into logging. Our aim is to cancel all the SABLs in the country.”

This sounds great – but we have heard these promises before. Landowners want action not empty words.

He said several departments were responsible for issuing SABLs. “There was not one department fully responsible for SABL,” he said. “They were approved through forestry, agriculture, lands. There’s a big scam that’s going on. We all understand that now.

So Prime Minister what action is being taken against the people in the forestry, agriculture and lands departments responsible for this scam. Where is the accountability? Why are people not being identified and disciplined?

“Thousands of hectares of land are given to individuals, foreigners, displacing our people. This is a serious crime against our own people.”

A serious crime yes, but Prime Minister why are there no prosecutions; why are you allowing the guilty to get away with this? If you do nothing then you are complicit in the crimes. You are ultimately responsible for this state of affairs

O’Neill said certain leaders and public servants had given away traditional land with no sense of guilt whatsoever. “Some of our leaders have had a no-care attitude,” he said. “They’re participating in engaging with some of these foreign companies. “One or two of them have benefitted enormously. “They make millions and millions of kina out of this and become rich overnight at the expense of the majority of our people.”

Again, Prime Minister, who are these people? Where is the transparency? Where is the accountability? By doing nothing you are a guilty as anyone…


  1. kanex Kanarepa
    May 28, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Its alsolutely frightening!! How this people collude corruption in grand scale!! People in the Departments should be sacked and not desciplined!

  2. Johnson
    May 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Oneill is foot dragging. Buying time. Promising in the hopes that everyon stops realising what a scam the SABLs are. Oneill, don’t you know that if you stop all the existing SABLs you will give a death blow to Beldon Namah. After all, he is rich only because of an SABL. Money taken from the resources of people back home. Its called stealing in any other country.

  3. ONeill supports the rich and powerful
    June 1, 2014 at 7:53 am

    The man actually doesn’t know much of what goes on in his government. He’s too lazy to read up on the issues and very honestly, he has no interest or caring at all for those who are the victims of injustice.

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