Mr. Bartholomew Parapolo made the clarification following questions by members of the public after his picture appeared on the television and via the social media.
In the photo, it appeared he had shown his middle finger. He made the gesture to the camera during the parliament meeting fortnight ago.
Eyewitness claimed Mr Parapolo held up his hand with only the middle finger sticking out, while folding the other hands and closing his eyes for around 30 seconds, thus many believed that it was intentional.
His action was captured on a video camera, which was broadcasted live on television and the social media. A good number of people have seen the photo.
A still image of the alleged gesture was posted on Facebook and went viral in social media and attracted nation-wide condemnation for what many described as a disrespectful behavior coming from a leader.
But Parapolo in response denied having any knowledge of the incident.
The minister claimed he did not know that his hand appeared to look like someone intentionally gesturing an obscene sign.
“I was a bit sleepy during the meeting so I did not know about what happen when the camera shots at my direction.”
He then went on to explain that MPs feeling asleep in parliament is not an issue for public to gossip about because that is normal for every human being when attending long hours of meeting.
“The important thing here is your presence in parliament to qualify the house with the quorum to go on with parliament business,” he elaborated.
He said MPs cannot just stand up to speak on issues dealt with on the floor of parliament because the house has its rules and processes to follow, thus people who have the chance to speak more in parliament are the opposition group, independence bench and the Prime Minister (PM) with his deputy.
Adding, ministers will only speak when questions raised are related to their portfolios and also during motion of sine die when they wish to highlights some of their work in the constituency level.
Meanwhile, Clerk to Parlaiment Mr. Clezy Rore told Solomon Star that if the MP intentionally gestures his middle finger in parliament, then he will have to apologise to the nation and the media.
“We don’t see any issue with his picture because we believe it was not intentional,” concluded Mr Rore.
By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI