DEAR EDITOR, please publish my views on the recently reported comments by Hon Manasseh Sogavare regarding the MPs terminal grant in parliament.
Reading Hon Manasseh Sogavare’s comments in Solomon Star edition 6998, one can’t help but feel aghast at how inhuman our so-called leaders have become. But one is hardly surprised nowadays too.
One would not be far from the truth to say that the national representatives are no more than a bunch of selfish, self-serving, self-centred, etc, nothing but self, self, and self to the core of their souls.
I say this because I believe Hon Sogavare speaks for his fellow colleagues, the members of parliament. Even Hon Moffat Fugui, the MP for my constituency is mentioned as backing Hon Sogavare’s comments.
Hon Sogavare is reported as saying he has closed his ears to civil society groups the likes of Transparency Solomon Islands and others.
He justifies the terminal grant for MPs as a legal entitlement for them. However, no one’s questioning the legality of the exorbitant MPs terminal grant. Sogavare fails to see the essence of the call by TSI and the thousands of Solomon Islanders to have the terminal grant taxed. He and his colleague MPs will never see it, for they are corrupted human beings.
The call for the terminal grant to be taxed is based on fairness to the hardworking people of Solomon Islands who are seeing a huge chunk of their hard earned salaries being chewed off by tax.
Sogavare and the other 49 MPs will never vicariously experience the pain and hurt one feels when he/she sees the significant tax deduction in his/her pay slip.
Hon Sogavare and his 49 colleagues are tax-free waxed dolls who do not get to feel how we feel. And even they know of the feeling, having once experienced it before, when they were still humans, and working earnestly and honestly to earn a living, they are hard-skinned to it and are ignorant of its psychological effects.
Sogavare and his 49 colleague MPs will never connect with the people of Solomon Islands in this respect until they lose their seats in a national general election and end up on the side which one is required to pay tax.
Then and only then will Sogavare and his 49 colleagues get to feel the way we do now.
It’s funny that some former national leaders are barking now, throwing mud on the current MPs over entitlements, tax and other benefits.
I won’t be surprised when some of the current MPs lose their seats next year and join this circus and bark at the next 50 robots.
Overall, Sogavare’s ignorant statement in parliament on the matter just shows that he is living in his imaginary world, far from the rest of us.
He is too blind to see that $20 million is a huge weight on the supplementary budget, for only 50 persons out of the nearly 800,000 Solomon Islanders.
And he is blind to the fact that the rest of the country is watching on while he and his 49 colleagues are enriching themselves.
It is now widely accepted that the previous era, under GDL, which was thought to be the most corrupt period in Solomon Islands’ history of governance, is cowered by the current group.
The current group has set a new standard, which is equal to mad dictators in the world’s history.
To all of us, the rest of Solomon Islands, please choose your candidate wisely this national general elections. Go for someone who will at least consider the people of Solomon Islands before deciding on benefits and entitlements.
Otherwise, we will continue to be trapped in the poverty cycle, one which was reflected so vividly in the recent poverty report which Sogavare gave a passionate but empty speech on at its launch.
To TSI, I take my hat off to you for your continuous diligence in the critical role you play for a better Solomon Islands. Don’t be swayed by deaf politicians (Sogavare himself confirmed this in parliament). History will remember you TSI and other CSOs who voiced out the injustice in Solomon Islands’ government, allowing Solomon Islanders and the rest of the world know what type of leaders we are serving, 2014-2018.
Lastly, my fellow Solomon Islanders, let us pray for Sogavare and his 49 colleagues.
God Bless Solomon Islands.
Central Honiara Constituency