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Sikua hits back

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Dr Derek Sikua
Why PMO, and not Tran?

OPPOSITION leader Dr Derek Sikua has hit back, questioning why the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had to answer for West Honiara Member of Parliament (MP) Namson Tran.

Dr Sikua said Mr Tran should defend himself rather than the PMO answering on his behalf.

“Why does the PMO have to answer for Tran? Why can’t Tran answer for himself if he wants to condemn my statement? This is quite interesting,” the Opposition leader said in a statement.

The Opposition Leader was responding to a statement by the PMO yesterday which condemned the action he took to challenge the legality of how the MP for West Honiara acquired his citizenship.

The PMO when responding to this claims maintained that the MP for West Honiara, who is also Chairman of Government Caucus, has in his possession a valid Solomon Islands citizenship certificate.

The PMO described the detailed dossier revealed to the media by Dr Sikua on Mr Tran’s citizenship as the latest move by the Opposition to lure Mr Tran to the Opposition Group to increase its numerical strength. 

However, Dr Sikua said he has a moral duty to inform the nation of actions he has taken or is intending to take in keeping with his role as the government watchdog.

The Opposition leader in the meantime has defended his statement reiterating his pursuance of a claim for a judicial review of the granting of Solomon Islands citizenship to the Vietnamese- born West Honiara MP.

Meanwhile, the PMO had accused the Opposition Leader of showing contempt of court for announcing that he had filed for a judicial review claim in the High Court.

Mr Tran is a Solomon Islands businessman before he became a politician.

Born in Vietnam, Tran moved first to Vanuatu then to Solomon Islands, where he married a Solomon Islander and became a naturalised citizen.

He worked as an accountant before becoming a “high-profile businessman", the owner of Honiara Casino.

His political career began when he was elected to the National Parliament as MP for West Honiara in the August 2010 general election.

He was elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament but later resigned and currently holds the chairmanship role of the Government Caucus.

By Douglas Marau