By GEORGE ATKIN
FORMER state broadcaster Mr Julian Maka’a, is the new Premier of Makira Ulawa Province after the Provincial Assembly elected him with 14 votes January 10, while his rival, former West Makira Member of Parliament, Mr Jackson Suna’one received six votes.
In his first statement, Mr Maka’a called for support of the new Provincial Executive that he will lead.
The new Government, he said was formed under the principles of fairness, good governance and democracy, adding it means that it should fulfill the principles “for the people, by the people and of the people”.
And he added, the Maka’a Government will have an open-door policy, which will allow people from the Province to have a say in what it should do and what it should not do.
Mr Maka’a said his Executive will welcome contributions from the people from the Makira Ulawa Province, adding “we will also welcome open criticisms in the efforts to align our governance progress.
“In fact, we regard this as being transparent and accountable by our leadership”.
He said, to ensure the people are provided with a government they want, the new Provincial Executive is formed on the basis of unity and reform for the advancement of “our Province”.
Mr Maka’a said the principles should also reflect the harnessing of unity in all meanings to the people, as well as reforming the ways of doing things to advance the provincial wellbeing and livelihood.
Premier Maka’a said, “in fact our flagship policies are embraced on the principle virtues of unity, reform and advancement, so the Provincial Government that I will lead will be a Government of Unity, Reform and Advancement”.
He said his administration will inherit another chapter that comes with many challenges, adding the challenges may be too many to address in a short time, but comes what may, be they political challenges, social challenges and economical challenges, people are being assured that his unity and reform government will face them.
More reports on the process of forming a new Government for Makira Ulawa Province as well as comments from Makira Ulawa leaders will be included in our next edition of Solomon Star.
Julian Maka’a is a name with a voice well-known to most people in Solomon Islands, having worked in the media industry for over twenty years.
In July 2018 marking the Solomon Islands 40th Independence anniversary, he received an award recognizing his work.
Born and raised in Kirakira Makira-Ulawa province, Mr Maka’a has contributed significantly to the development of the local media industry.
“The award came as a surprise but I would like to set a record for media in Solomon Islands”, he said.
“Media is the fourth arm of the State and as such it is imperative that the people understand the government, and the government understand the people and where they are coming from. It is the work of the media to bring this two to understand each other.
“Which means everything we say must be balanced, they must be facts and not opinions or hearsay,” he spoke this very words to SIBC Online soon after receiving the award.
Mr Maka’a said the media industry has done significantly well so far.
“We are doing a really good job. We must thank our governments for giving us the freedom. That freedom we must not forget, comes with its own responsibilities.”
Mr Maka’a worked at the national broadcaster, SIBC since the mid 80s, first in the Programs and Presentation department and then, the News and Current Affairs department.
He was among founders of the Media Association of Solomon Islands, MASI. He served as President from 1987 to 1989.