By Alfred Sasako
HAVE you wondered how Taiwan’s reported NT$900 million support for the 2023 South Pacific Games come about?
Wonder no more.
Island Sun can now reveal the source for the figure. Insiders familiar with the internal arrangement on the Solomon Islands’ government side told Island Sun on Tuesday the figure was actually contained in a funding proposal prepared during the former administration of Hon Manasseh Sogavare.
“It’s been with the Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan for quite some time,” the insiders said.
At the time the proposal was submitted, the NTS$900 million was equivalent to USD30 million, one insider said.
“As a matter of fact the proposal was updated and taken to Taiwan during Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela’s recent visit there. It was re-submitted to Taiwan’s President during an audience with her in Taipei. The Cabinet’s Sub-Committee on the Games submitted the proposal on the strength of her support, which she expressed during the meeting,” the insiders said.
The Cabinet Sub-Committee is now working around the clock, particularly in preparing the paperwork for the two Taiwanese companies which would bid for the construction of the Games’ facilities.
Meanwhile it has been revealed that Taiwanese politicians or legislators who accused Solomon Islands of using Taiwan as its ATM are from the Kuomintang (KMT) Party.
In July 2014, the KMT, now in the Opposition, reported total assets of NT$26.8 billion (US$892.4 million) and interest earnings of NT$981.52 million for the year 2013, making it one of the richest political parties in the world.