By ANDREW FANASIA
THE country does not need another ministry, Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) chief executive officer Ruth Liloqula says.
She was speaking before the Bills and Legislation Committee, which is conducting hearing into the Traditional Governance and Custom Facilitation Bill 2018.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, Justice Denni has told the committee if the bill becomes law, a new ministry will be created.
But Ms Liloqula staunchly rejected the idea.
“We already have 23 ministries, plus the Office of the Prime Minister. Why do we need another one?” she argued.
“Why should we even consider an additional ministry?” she continued.
“Where is democracy?
“How can we expect democracy to function in this country if we are putting too much power in one place?”
Her comments followed TSI’s earlier call for the Government to halt the bill because of what it described as “lack of public consultation” over the bill.
“We again ask whether the architectures of this bill took into account our democracy when they put this bill together bearing in mind that a new ministry will be created.
“Was this the intention all along to create a law that will alienate customary landowners from decision making whilst also creating a new ministry to ensure that the number of ministers is maintained?”
She stated the implications the bill proposed must not be ignored.
“This bill must be rejected,” Mrs Liloqula told the committee.
BLC chairman Mathew Wale stated during the hearing that in his view, the bill needs further public consultation and should be done as such.
Those yet to appear before the BLC are representatives of various House of Chiefs and the Secretary of the Gaena’alu Movement on Guadalcanal.