“INDONESIAN FIGHTER JETS INTERCEPTING PNG’s VIP FALCON JET CARRYING PNG’s DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER & TWO VERY SENIOR MINISTERS:
Firstly, it must be noted that all necessary procedures were followed in sorting the International Airspace clearance by our pilots prior to the flight. All approvals were given to fly over Indonesian Airspace. Indonesian Authorities through that clearance knew very well who was on board the PNG VIP Falcon Jet. On board the Falcon Jet were the Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Belden Norman Namah, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Honourable Sam Basil, Minister for Police, Honourable John Boito and Oil Palm investors from Malaysia and the air crew.
The incident happened on the 29th of November 2011. On that morning we had just departed Subang Airport in Malaysia destined for Port Moresby enroute Singapore and Indonesian airspace after getting all the necessary clearance by Malaysian Customs. As we were flying over Makassar in Indonesia we were intercepted by two Indonesian fighter jets. When our pilots enquired with the Indonesian Authorities of the incident they could not give any specific reasons for the intercept.
This to me as a former military officer with Papua New Guinea Defence Force is an act of intimidation and aggression by Indonesian military. Especially, on a civillian VIP aircraft of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. We are an helpless country. We do not have the military might that Indonesia has and we also do not posses the miltary hardware or ammourments that they have. The Question Remains; WHAT WAS THE REASON FOR SUCH AN ACT????????????????
From what I read from the daily newspapers; They (Indonesian Authorities) acted on a tip off saying that the VIP Falcon Jet was carrying US$250million. This was allegedly revealed by Indonesian Intelligence Organisation.
1. The actions by Indonesian military MUST BE CONDEMNED IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS. Imagine if the Falcon Jet belonged to Australia, New Zealand, America or China for that matter and it was carrying their Deputy Prime Ministers or the Vice Presidents. What would be their reaction? I leave that for you to conclude.
2. The allegation of the US$250million is DENIED CATAGORICALLY. Imagine carrying such a large amount of money on the small Falcon Jet. You would probably need 20 Falcon Jets to transport that kind of cash. The realty is; You would need 2×40 foot containers to pack the money. ‘ IT IS A TOTAL JOKE.’
Finally, it is in this kind of test that the nations must stand united forgetting their differences and upholding their pledge to their motherland. Papua New Guineans MUST now learn to be NATIONALISTIC AND PATRIOTIC. WE MUST PROTECT OUR SOVEREINGNITY.
GOD BLESS PNG.”