Growing public distrust of gov’t - Solomon Star News

Growing public distrust of gov’t

06 August 2015

PUBLIC dissatisfaction with certain decisions of the Sogavare government is growing by the day.

This is despite the huge public support it garnered during its early days.

Today, the government appeared to have lost that support and trust.

All because of the numerous controversial decisions it made since coming into power.

Initially, the nation expects the government to cut down on the number of usually expensive political appointees that had been a practice of past governments.

The opposite actually happened.

Thirty-nine political appointees were made, most of whom being paid at super-scale level plus extra fringe benefits.

The government argued it needs this large number of appointees to implement its policy intentions.

That policy document was already launched.

We are getting closer to the end of the year, but Solomon Islanders are yet to see any signs of implementation, apart from the many promises.

This government promises to be different from past ones.

They are not.

If anything, they are doing exactly what previous governments have done.

The channelling of $3.3 million of disaster funds through MPs is a case in point.

A previous government did exactly that during the 2007 earthquake and tsunami in Western Province.

The result was a disaster. Only a few who are supporters of MPs benefitted.

An audit report done into the funds then found widespread abuse of money.

This government should have learned from that. They didn’t.

Truly, fools never learn.

But the most controversial of all decisions is the recent payment of $3.7 million to owners of Sun Express, the high speed boat members of the current government hired on the eve of coming into power last December.

This is money that was not budgeted for, yet this government saw it fit to make the payment when its obligations to education, health, and other social services remained unattended.

To pour salt into the wound, the Prime Minister’s Office desperately tried to cover up the payment, touting it as “support to a local business”.

The truth is it was a payment for the use of the boat and other expenses members of this government incurred when they took it to Mbike island in the Central Province.

Also, this government finds it quite difficult to pay students allowances in time.

It also found it difficult to avail funds for the improvement and upgrade of the National Referral Hospital.

But when it comes to rewarding cronies and friends, it was all done at the snap of a finger.

Increasingly, a big chunk of public funds is being channelled into the hands of politicians.

This is all happening at the expense of the struggling mass who cannot even afford to feed their families a decent meal.

The government must understand that ordinary Solomon Islanders are watching its actions very closely.

You only need to read the discussions going on in social media to realise that.

Young, educated Solomon Islanders can no longer stand-by and watch the wealth of their country amassed by a privileged few.

They can no longer tolerate the corruption that has eaten into the fabric of their beloved country.

Soon, they will rise up and say “enough is enough”.

Recent government decisions are putting itself on a collision course with citizens.