Friday, October 30, 2020

Solomon Islands: MP’s accused of bribing Premier Suidani to switch allegiance to China

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A BRIBERY attempt by pro-China Members of Parliament (MPs’) within the DCGA to lure Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani with SBD$1million to support the China switch has been exposed, it was disclosed.

A source close to the provincial government made the revelation to the Solomon Star in Auki, this week.

“These are government backbenchers.

“They are offering SBD$1 million to lure the Malaita Provincial support in favor of the latest diplomatic switch to China.

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“This money will be offered as a reward if Malaita supports China,” the source who wishes to remain anonymous said.

When the Solomon Star asked Premier Suidani to comment on the allegation of the failed bribery attempt, he confirmed this offer to be true.

“There are Pro China MPs within the government who attempted to get the support of Malaita in favor of the diplomatic switch to China and they promised to offer me money if I made supporting statement in favor of the government’s move,” Suidani said.

Asked about how much the MPs’ tried to offer him, he said the amount promised is in millions.

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“I want to let my people know that I have been promised SBD$1 million to support the China switch.

“I refused to accept the offer for the sake of my people and my integrity as a mandated leader representing my beloved people of Malaita.

“I am not here for money, I’m not here for personal gain, but here for my people and I’m here to make decisions that will benefit and trigger development for my province which lacked major development for the past 40 years.

“My people of Malaita needs proper leadership and the last thing we expect from the ruling government is for an MP to try and bribe our decision as a province.

“If a leader gets paid before making a decision, we must know that a paid decision is not always in the best interest of the people,” the premier stated.

He added that he will be a selfish Malaitan and a money face leader if he accepted such offer.

“I hope to see my national leaders representing Malaita province at the national level to act in the best interest of Malaitans.

“Like I said earlier, leadership is an issue for this country and not funding and opportunity.

“If funding is an issue then why did these MPs going around with huge amount of money trying to lobby support from leaders which supposed to be made logically with responsibility,” Suidani added.

He said the way the government is using its backbench MPs to lure leaders to support government’s decision to switch to China should now raise an alarm to the ordinary citizens of this country that the switch to China is all about money.

“Who knows, if the MPs’ who made the switch lately to support PM Sogavare in favor of China were greeted by such money or even bigger and fall for the trap?”

With that, the Malaita Provincial premier called on the 14 MPs representing Malaita province to represent the interest of the people and not their own.

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Apart from the bribery attempts, senior government officials from the government side requested premier Suidani to make an urgent travel to Honiara over the weekend to meet with the government.

However, Premier Suidani did not do as they wish.

The agenda of meeting is unknown.

However according to those that are familiar with such arrangement, this could be seen as part of the ongoing attempt get Suidani and Malaita Province to support the China switch.

It was understood that Premier Suidani is the only premier to have come out publicly and speak against the move by the Sogavare led government to switch ties from traditional and democratic friend Taiwan.

his was after 36 years of bilateral relationship with Taiwan.

The other premiers from the other two biggest provinces in Solomon Islands have confirmed their stance with China.

Western and Guadalcanal Provincial Premier have supported the move by the Sogavare led government to switch ties to China.

Premier Suidani earlier said that Malaita province did not support the move but want to see a change in the executive government leadership.

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