Dear Editor – In the Solomon Star Issue 5617, the Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Mr Peter Forau labeled the PM as “failed the country” and “…allowed himself to be misled by stupid citizens with self-serving interests and motives who are working in the PM’s Office.”
A response from the Prime Minister’s Office labelled this as “unwarranted and careless piece of communication by a very senior regional leader.”
“It is against the law, meddles with domestic affairs, against his own protocols, and counterproductive to his position as the DG of the MSG. It is totally irresponsible” the statement said.
Mr Forau is entitled to his opinion on who the best candidate for the PM is, but public campaign for any individual is inappropriate and potentially unlawful as the Governor General has not publicly announced thedate of the General Elections to enable campaigning.
By describing the PM as a failure Mr. Forau also failed to acknowledge the other successes which had been achieved during his tenure.
The MSG itself is an example of mixed success. During the leadership of Mr Forau, the MSG has become sharply divided on regional matters. Under his leadership also, he has mishandled the West Papuan issue resulting in Vanuatu boycotting the MSG trip to West Papua. When Mr Forau completes his tenure, the MSG would have been divided more than any time before. So Mr Forau should check his backyard before pointing any fingers.
The Director General also describes Dr Rogers as “the best PM Solomon Islands will ever have.”
This of course ignores the many contributions made by previous Prime Ministers. Whilst Dr Rogers may be a very good candidate, ultimately the people in Marovo will make up their mind comes the General Elections. That is a hurdle Dr Rogers has not cleared.
As the top bureaucratic at the MSG Secretariat,of which Solomon Islands is a member,the DG should respect the leaders of the countries represented by the MSG.
He could have done better by carefully choosing his language for such an article which attracted wide readership.
Mr. Forau’s bold claim that the current PM allowed himself to be misled by stupid citizens with self-serving interests and motives who are working in the PM’s Office are also totally irresponsible.The DG of MSG’s generalization of all professionals working at the PMO as “stupid” is unacceptable.
He may dislike certain individuals but he doesn’t have the right to describe them as stupid. That is totally uncalled for. “He wouldn’t say that about officials from the Prime Minister’s Office in PNG, Vanuatu or Fiji so why does he think he has the right to say that about officials in Solomon Islands Prime Minister’s Office?” At this point in time, he is the Director General of the MSG and those comments are totally uncalled for and irresponsible.
The PM’s Office holds high regard for its citizens but we don’t accept personal attacks and false claims.
In this regard, we re-iterate that Mr. Forau must act responsibly. On his views on whom he wanted to be the next Prime Minister, we request Mr. Forau to also respect the views and the rights of the outgoing MP whom he wanted to be deposed.
His direct appeal to the people of Marovo to support his preferred candidate is a direct campaign and that is not allowed yet under our laws. The people of Marovo will speak their mind at the General Elections.
Whilst Dr Rogers is the preferred candidate for Prime Ministership, but it should also be known that Prime Minister Lilo had worked tirelessly to ensure that Dr. Rodgers got the Pacific Island Forum’s top job in July 2014.
Mr. Lilo fought hard to remove all other candidates who failed technical requirements to allow for Dr. Rodgers to challenge the PNG candidate for the PIF Secretary-General. However, in the end, our candidate only attracted one vote.
The Office of the Prime Minister therefore urges DG Forau to be mindful with his public campaign for certain individuals as he is bounded by the staff regulation of the MSG Secretariat and is answerable to the MSG Governments. The Office of the Prime Minister will protest the appropriateness of this action by the Director General to the Chairman of the MSG.
Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet