SOLOMON Islands do not have the option of business as usual – change must come says former Opposition Leader Matthew Wale.
Wale who is also the former MP for Aoke/Langalanga is the wing leader of the Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP).
Speaking at the candidates brief at the pacific crown hotel today, Wale said it would take maturity and competence in leadership to hold the country together through the process of change.
Wale’s SIDP and the Democratic Alliance Party (DAP) led by former Prime Minister and MP for Small Malaita Rick Hou held a candidates brief for their candidates.
Former Opposition MPs Derick Manuari, John Mane, Dean Kuku, Charles Sigoto and Bodo Dettke also attended the session.
“We are not talking about mere oiling and greasing changes – but changes that will fundamentally alter the kind of economy and society we want to see in Solomon Islands in the next 40 to 50 years,” he said.
The former opposition leader said if we were only thinking about the next 4 years, we would be like all other governments that have gone before us and be doomed to business as usual.
Wale said Solomon Islanders dream of a Solomon Islands where there are opportunities for all our young, not just a lucky few.
“We dream of a Solomon Islands where there is economic justice – where the wealth generated from resources benefit the majority, not just a few. We dream of a Solomon Islands economy controlled by Solomon Islanders, not foreigners. We dream of an economy that is producing jobs for all our young as they leave school, not just a very small minority. We dream of an educated and skilled workforce earning reasonable incomes. We dream of a Solomon Islands where our women folk are respected equal partners in our socio-economic development. We dream of a healthcare system where avoidable deaths no longer occur. We dream of reasonable quality infrastructure that enables productivity. We dream of a Solomon Islands where the cost of living is the cheapest in the Pacific Islands region. We dream of a Solomon Islands where accessing government services is not dependent on who you know and whether you can make an under the table payment. We dream of a Solomon Islands where the government is not controlled by foreigners,” he said.
Wale said these are entirely reasonable dreams that will have the support our voters.
He said no Solomon Islander should leave school early, merely because the parents cannot afford school fees.
Wale adds no Solomon Islander should be illiterate and unskilled.
“The entire Solomon Islands society and economy are underdeveloped to the extent that some among us are illiterate and unskilled. No Solomon Islander should leave school with no meaningful prospects of finding a job,” the SIDP wing leader said.