Mr. Speaker. I love this country, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, and all that this country stands for and the hopes that offers to our people. So, to our Nation, I say to you that I am sorry for any misunderstanding. Papua New Guinea is my home, it is my heart, and is the place where one day I will be laid to rest. … From my heart, I apologies to any of our people who misinterpreted my words which were spoken against those hateful people, in the protection of my daughter.
Statement to Parliament
Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, MP
Member for Moresby South
07 June 2023
I thank the Acting Speaker and the Members of this Honourable House for this opportunity to speak today. A lot has been said in the media and on social media over the recent weeks.
And the people of our Nation want to know the truth of what was said, how this was intended, how this was manipulated and what was actually meant by my words.
I made comments in a media interview that were targeted at what are better known as social media trolls. These are faceless people who spend their days on social media hidden behind false names.
They say the most disgusting things and make the most vile threats on social media. Mr. Speaker, regardless of any office that I represent or position that I might hold, above all else in life, first and foremost, I am the father of my children.
And when I saw the vile and disgusting things that were being said about my daughter, I did have a burst of blind fury at these horrible individuals.
These disgusting individuals, some in PNG, as well as in Australia, the UK and other places, were making sexual threats against my beloved daughter, threatening her with all manner of disgusting remarks.
I speak with every parent in this House, and every parent in our Nation today – and seek your understanding of how angry and frustrated I was, and still am, at these trolls.
If anyone in our country thought that this was somehow a blanket statement about our people that is completely wrong, I apologise, as it was not.
In your heart of hearts, I simply ask every citizen to ask yourself “How could I ever say such a thing about our people?’
We are also talking about my six beautiful children and family who are my life. How could anyone ever believe for me to have such thoughts, because they could never be true.
My words and comments against these disturbing people were twisted and manipulated for their own Political and Personal Gain.
So, I again apologise for the way my words were misinterpreted.
In light of the misunderstanding, I did the most honourable thing and stepped aside as Minister for Foreign Affairs, putting my country first so to clear the confusion on this matter.
I thank the Prime Minister and Cabinet colleagues for their understanding and accepting my decision in doing so.
I am also cooperating with the appropriate authorities on this issue so to clear any misunderstandings.
Mr. Speaker, it is a whole new world we are living in today with the Internet and all of the benefits this gives to the world – and the threats that this also carries.
I know the Tik Tok video that my daughter posted was not appropriate. As a parent this is something that many go through as we guide our children through the early stages of life.
I can truly say that the situation that has transpired teaches us a lesson of the dangers of the internet especially how there is a lack of accountability from the people that abuse it.
Finally, Mr. Speaker.
I love this country, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, and all that this country stands for and the hopes that offers to our people. So, to our Nation, I say to you that I am sorry for any misunderstanding.
Papua New Guinea is my home, it is my heart, and is the place where one day I will be laid to rest. I will serve the people this great Nation in any way that is asked of me.
I will represent the people of Moresby South as their mandated leader and Member in this House for as long as they wish me to do so.
And I thank them all for their overwhelming support and love during this difficult time. I am a Proud Papua New Guinean and always will be.
From my heart, I apologies to any of our people who misinterpreted my words which were spoken against those hateful people, in the protection of my daughter.
Thank you, Mr. Acting Speaker,