Today is supposed to be a normal working day.
But the Government, out of the blue, decided to declare it a “special public holiday”.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the decision and request to have today as a special public holiday came from the Office of the Prime Minister.
It offered no reasons for the decision.
So it may have appeared the Office of the Prime Minister just wanted another “public holiday” without providing the basis for it.
This is perhaps the most insane decision to have come from the Office of the Prime Minister this year.
It’s a decision made perhaps to please a few self-centred individuals within the Office of the Prime Minister without considering the nation’s private sector.
Already, we have eight designated public holidays in our calendar year apart from the annual Second Appointed days, which are also public holidays for each of the nine provinces.
That’s around 17 public days in a year – more than enough for a nation of our size.
Special public holidays should be declared only in special and absolutely necessary circumstances.
The declaration made for today’s special public holiday does not meet any of that.
It was simply made for the convenience of some few greedy officials who want to take an extended Christmas break so that they could spend those days partying.
It’s really a shame that the Office of the Prime Minister could come up with such decision when the private sector is struggling and the economy suffering.
Has Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare forgotten the statement he made in parliament last week?
That the private sector is the engine of growth?
And that the Government’s role is to provide a conducive environment for the private sector to grow and thrive?
Providing a conducive environment also includes avoiding unnecessary public holidays that are costly and disruptive to the private sector.
The Government could do better than this.
Today’s public holiday brings nothing to the nation but time wastage and a huge cost to the private sector.