By Gary Hatigeva
DESPITE the shady experience on Wednesday’s status into the debates of the Anti-Corruption Bill (ACB) 2017, the Prime Minister found time to acknowledge the country and people who stood behind getting the bill back to parliament, direct and indirectly.
Speaking to move the second reading of the AC Bill, Prime Minister Hou shared that yesterday was a historical day for Solomon Islands as a country.
He said a day the people of Solomon Islands should be joyful for at last, the will of our people is now before Parliament for enactment.
“I speak with personal joy and gratitude for the hard work by our officials and the continuing support of you fellow MPs to make this possible,” the Prime Minister shared.
He particularly took the opportunity to acknowledge and register his gratitude and thanks to the Deputy Prime Minister and Member for East Choiseul, also former Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, for what Hou described as, his leadership and commitment in progressing the Anti-Corruption Bill to what it is today.
“I thank you, Sir, and wish to assure you that your efforts will not be in vain,” Hou assured.
“And I also wish to acknowledge the contributions by members of the former DCC Government into this Bill.
“I also take this opportunity to thank the Chairman and members of the Bills and Legislation Committee for their invaluable inputs which are now reflected in the Bill before us,” the PM added.
He also extended his heartfelt gratitude to what he termed as, like-minded MPs for keeping the pressure on Government to bring this Bill into Parliament for enactment.
Hou also thanked the civil society organisations and interest groups around the country for steering the Government to come up with mechanisms and tools to go about fighting and eradicating corruption in the country.
The media in particular was also acknowledged for its significant role in continuously highlighting issues of corruption and how it is affecting the people, the economy and the country.
“Indeed, you have played your role,” the Prime Minister added.
He then expressed the government’s biggest appreciation to the public demonstration in support of the Bill, their feedback on consultations in the provinces on the draft Bill itself, the decade-long consultation on the Federal Constitution and the recent nationwide consultation on political integrity and stability.
He said those were unequivocal in your desire for Government to address the problem of corruption in our country.
He however assured that all the collective voices from all works of life on the corruption issue that were transmitted through the media, have been heard by the Government, who will ensure the bill becomes an act to help the country.