Since Government did not allow for Question Time last Thursday, I will ask my question through the media because I have an international commitment this week.
Is it correct that when a Bill has been passed by Parliament and then certified, it becomes an Act of Parliament? Thus the Judicial Conduct Bill passed on 28th March and certified on 30th March (in record time) was actually an Act of Parliament. As legislators surely we would all agree that the normal way to change an Act of Parliament is to either amend it or repeal it on the Floor of Parliament. Why then was the Judicial Conduct Act not taken back to the Floor for amendment to correct the administrative error made? Surely we actually have two Judicial Conduct Acts (a 30th March version and a 3rd April version). How can someone just say “Forget the first one – it was a draft.” Whether it was a draft wrongly certified is irrelevant. It had become an Act of Parliament.
I am well aware of these circumstances because the Lukautim Pikinini Act went through the same administrative mess up with a draft being wrongly certified. Nobody said “Forget the first certification” for that Act of Parliament because it was only a draft. I had to take it back to the Floor of Parliament; have it repealed; and have the correct version re-enacted by Parliament and then certified. What makes the urgency of the Judicial Conduct Act more important than the Lukautim Pikinini Act? I think we all know the answer to that question.
To be honest I have never seen the two certified copies to compare them. I only saw the one circulated for one day before passage (which I assume is the April 3 version but who knows?). This is messy and deceitful and a gross abuse of proper processes and procedures.
Processes and procedures may be tiresome and frustrating but they are there to protect us. This self proclaimed Government that claims transparency and anti-corruption has far less respect for proper processes than any other past Government. Abusing proper processes is corruption. The last six months has seen an escalating rate of abuse of processes that has set very dangerous political precedents for our nation.
Alarm bells should be ringing for every educated citizen of PNG and they should be educating their families and friends about the long term dangers of too much power in the hands of politicians and the importance of doing things the right way.
Could someone explain why the public gallery is no longer a public gallery? The front gates to Parliament are almost permanently locked. To go to the public Gallery our people now need a special invitation from an MP to be cleared and then come to the back gate.
During these last few months of gross abuse, the gallery which is normally packed has been almost empty. But for the few months after the political coup while I was sitting in the Middle benches, women and settlement people were transported by buses and trucks to pack the gallery with a “rent a crowd” who were allowed to clap and “participate” from the gallery without reprimand.
Why now do we seem to be making it quite difficult to come into the public gallery?
CAROL KIDU DBE MP