OPPOSITION leader Mathew Wale has been accused of seeking to divide the country by provoking racial disunity.
Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet stated this in a statement in response to earlier comments Wale made about the 32-member delegation currently in China.
“The comments by Wale is belittling, discriminatory and contravenes the recognition of Solomon Island citizens provided for under our Constitution,” the statement said.
It explained an invitation was sent on behalf of the Prime Minister to various businesses including indigenous business owners, however, those private sector representatives in attendance, were the only business houses that accepted the invite.
The statement further stated that it regrets the sentiments echoed by Wale and condemns such racial and anti-Chinese statements.
“The owners of Lee Kwok Kuen, Tongs Corporation, Wong Pew to name a few are Solomon Islanders of Chinese origin and Wale is ultimately seeking to divide the country by provoking racial disunity.
“The singling out of our Solomon Islands businessmen of Chinese heritage to demean their status as Solomon Islanders shows the negative intentions of Wale’s remarks.
“Wale should know better that the majority of these businesses have stuck with Solomon Islands for generations and through our darkest times.
“They have been and continue to be instrumental to the development of the private sector in Solomon Islands and are major taxpayers to the Solomon Islands Government and economy.
“They continue to employ more than 1,000 Solomon Islanders collectively.
“Business owners, State Owned Enterprises representatives and other executives who accompanied the Prime Minister covered their own costs and for Wale to criticize them is unbecoming of a national leader.
“As Leader of the Official Opposition, Wale should be encouraging unity, equal participation and diverse interaction rather than seeking to divide a country by using racial profiles.
“After all we are all here to serve in the best interest of Solomon Islands.
“The Government of the People’s Republic of China has sponsored the travel and accommodation costs for the Government delegation while Business Sector representatives were responsible for their own costs.”