Wale to question PM Hou over apology statement at MSG summit

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Member of Parliament for Aoke Langalanga Hon Matthew Wale. Photo Credit; Pacificwin NZ Aus Pacific on LinkedIn.
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By Gary Hatigeva

MEMBER of Parliament for Aoke Langa Langa who is also a strong advocator for the West Papuan issue, Mathew Wale, is expected to question the Prime Minister, Rick Hounipwela in Parliament, over his apology statement made at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting in Port Moresby early this month.

This is revealed in the Order paper for today’s meeting when Parliament resumes this morning.

Earlier reports revealed that Prime Minister Hou during the meeting used his hand-over speech to his Papua New Guinea counterpart to apologise for any sour relations with other member countries during its two years as chair of the MSG.

PacNews reported that Hou was quoted as saying bilaterally, under Solomon’s chairmanship over the two years the nation may have renewed or soured some relationships with other members of our sub region by promoting aspirations of certain groups and individuals.

He said if Solomon Islands had broken any bridges with any member of the MSG family during the two years, his government will make needful amends and rebuild these broken bridges.

“We will normalise and enhance our bilateral relationships with all members of the MSG family.

“We will ensure to enhance our relationships with all members, associate members and observers of the sub regional organization,” Hou was reported to have shared this in his first MSG Leaders’ Summit since his election in November last year.

For the two years, the MSG met only once in Honiara and the Solomon Islands Prime Minister stressed that the Spearhead Group could not reach consensus for members to meet the second time around, which could be a result of what he was referring to in his apology speech.

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Meanwhile, according to the Parliament Order paper, Wale will raise the question over what the causes and nature of these sour relations and request for which member countries were offended that were highlighted by the PM in his apology speech.

However, the former holder of the Chairmanship and Former Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare has been silent about the outcome, knowing he was indirectly blamed for what were highlighted, being the Chairman at that time.

Mr Sogavare was instrumental and influential during his time as Chairman of MSG, which led to the inclusion of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) with an observer status, a group that had proven to have the mandates from the West Papuan people to represent their interests at political fronts.

Advocators have however seen Hou’s apology as a direct attack on his predecessor, where under his capacity as chair of MSG was said to have driven the interests of certain groups and individuals.

This could however lead to the reason for the Aoke Langalanga MP and former Special Envoy on West Papua who also intended to question which groups and individuals Hou was referring to when he mentioned that the sour relations were created in pursuit of certain groups and individuals.

Sogavare under his capacity as Solomon Islands Prime Minister was also Chairman of MSG until he was ousted following a no-confidence motion against last him last year.

The Aoke Langa langa MP and the former Prime Minister though may not have shared the same domestic political interests and views and in most cases from the opposite sides of the House, continue to share common principles and political views on the West Papuan issue.

Sogavare and Wale were key players and have been very outspoken on the West Papua issue at various political levels, which includes Sogavare’s two times appearances at the United Nations General Assembly summits.

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