• I know it’s coming
• Sogavare lied to nation and development partners about China switch
• Sogavare’s Our Party orchestrated China switch
• Decision to switch was made in a rush
By ANDREW FANASIA
SACKED government minister Rick Hou says he accepts his termination, but the nation needs to know the truth about the China switch.
Hou, who until yesterday morning was Minister for National Planning and Development, told reporters he knew “this was coming”.
“In fact I feel very relieved and I guess Sogavare must be more than relieved too because I won’t be making anymore comments against his decision in our cabinet meetings especially over the China issue,” Hou said.
About four weeks ago, Hou issued a statement on behalf of 15 government ministers and backbenchers, expressing their opposition to any moves to switch from Taiwan to China.
“In fact I honestly disagreed with the decision to switch to China but it’s Cabinet decision even if a small number of us did not agree,” he added
Hou revealed that prior to the switch vote, Sogavare’s Our Party was already recruiting members from the Opposition and Independent and even from the parties within the Coalition.
“This is really weird!
“Basically, what me and the Prime Minister, and more so those who are advocating for a switch are at odd at is the issue of ‘rushing to make the switch’.
“Given that the prime minister has promised the nation and the world that the process that was sanctioned by the Cabinet will involve four different reports to be considered.”
These four reports are from the Bi-Partisan Taskforce, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Relations Committee.
“And on many occasions the prime minister told the nation that the government will not leave any stones unturned in this process.
“This is the process I and other Cabinet members kept on reminding Cabinet about it and we know exactly that we (Government) failed to follow it because some of us were threatened.
“We also question who put 1st of October as the deadline and later we were told that China has put this deadline for us to make the switch,” he said.
Hou added he and his colleagues felt very bad for the country because such a very important decision was rushed.
“The saddest part is Sogavare continues to lie to the nation that we will follow this process transparently.
“And during the talk-back show they continue to repeat that we will follow the process knowing full well that the next day we will decide.”
Hou said Sogavare haven’t been very truthful to the nation and to our development partners.
He said the decision to switch was a predetermined decision made several weeks ago before the Prime Minister use the procedures and processes as cover up.
Asked if he will move to the Opposition, Hou said at the moment he has no plans until he met with his party wing leader and Foreign Affairs minister Jeremiah Manele before making any decision.
Manele is currently in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Sogavare also sacked his Justice and Legal Affairs minister Dr Tautai Angikimua Tautai, Wednesday.