THE Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) has commended the government for passing the Anti-Corruption Bill (ACB) 2017.
The Bill, which is now an act of parliament was debated this week and finally passed by the members of parliament on Wednesday 26th.
“The passing of the ACB is a positive step for the country towards the elimination of the corruption and therefore on behalf of the media in Solomon Islands we acknowledge the government for its commitment in ensuring that the Bill becomes an act of parliament,” said President of MASI, Charles Kadamana.
He added that corruption is a great impediment towards Solomon Islands achieving its development goals and tackling it does not happen overnight, but the passage itself shows the first important step therefore the media would also like to commend the government.
Mr Kadamana however, calls on the government on the need for the act to be gazetted, operational and enforced as soon as possible. It is not until then that we are truly on the road to fighting corruption.
“The media plays a crucial role in the fight against corruption in bringing allegations of corruption to light and fighting against impunity and MASI is working closely with its partners and members to ensure that capacity of journalists in investigative journalism is enhanced.”
The President however, highlighted that whilst MASI is working on this, MASI is also aware that reporting on corruption is often risky when laws to protect journalists and the media are not in place.
“Hence, we will be working closely with relevant authorities to ensure greater protection for journalists and the media overall in reporting corruption however this is the first big step that we have achieved. Let us continue to work together to fight corruption,” stated Mr Kadamana.