Why I walked out of Parliament on Friday

By Governor Allan Bird | 17 November 2020.

Whenever something I consider wrong is happening on the floor of the Parliament, I will walk out in protest.

The Parliament is designed based on a sacred Abelam construct. I am an Abelam elder and I will not stand by when members deliberately abuse their privileges on the floor disrespecting my culture.

I have walked out of Parliament 3 times in protest so far. The first time was when Hon Kramer was referred to the Privileges Committee. I felt that was wrong. The second time was when Hon Yama was arguing on his personal interest against Hon Kramer. I asked the Speaker to send him out. When he did not, I walked out.

Friday last week I walked out for the 3rd time. As soon as I realized after Hon Paita raised a point of order that the Deputy Speaker was in collusion and the Law was about to be broken, I walked out in protest.

In 2011, when the Constitution was abused by MPs, I spoke up for the Constitution and the rule of Law.

To me the Constitution is a sacred place, not to be trifled with or treated with contempt and disdain. I am not perfect but I will maintain my respect for our sacred places. It is something central to Abelam culture.

In my hausman we are told “Ples tambu, em ples tambu, yu nonap katim diwai, kisim saksak or Kanda long em. Yu nonap lo painim abus tu long hap. Tambu tru”

It is not ours to question why the laws are there it is only ours to obey. So any time anyone breaks the rules to pursue an interest I will not be party to it. You have lost me the minute you do that.

To my mind, anyone who is willing to break the law at one point will continue to break the law if it suits him. It’s a principle, once you break into a sacred place, you never stop.

A pig who learns to break a fence and raid the garden will never stop doing it.

Watch related video

Prime Minister James Marape said, ‘Follow the Law. The Process is there. Papua New Guinea is not a Banana Trunk.’

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