PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill is pleased that people in rural districts such as Wapenamanda, in Enga province, are taking part in the debate on the Judicial Conduct Act.
O’Neill’s comment follow a report in The National yesterday that a group of people from Tsak Valley, Wapenamanda, had walked 10km last Friday to present a petition calling for the law to be rescinded.
They also wanted Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and Justice Nicholas Kirriwom to be reinstated.
The group wanted the decision to defer the general election rescinded and for O’Neill and his deputy, Belden Namah, to step down.
“I have said publicly that this law must be read, understood and debated by all interest groups in the country.
“I am pleased that this group from Task Valley is taking part in the exercise,” O’Neill said.
“I have not received the petition as yet, but I welcome it.
“The issues raised appear to be the same and I will respond to them once I receive the petition.
“I commend people in Tsak Valley and Wapenamanda district for taking part in this debate and awareness exercise
on an issue of national importance.
“Wapenamanda, like my home Pangia, is a rural district.
“But it boasts an impressive record of producing national leaders like pioneer national pilot Capt Nat Koleala (deceased), Sir Salamo, former MPs Masket Iangalio and Sir Pato Kakaraya, engineer Watao Kare, lawyers Rimbink Pato and George Yapao, former MRDC CEO Dan Kakaraya and businessmen Ben Wia, Johnson Tolabi and Robert Rasaka to name a few.
“The district has a strong background in religion and prides itself in education and business, hence your solid contribution to national development over the years.
“Regarding the Judicial Conduct Act, I want to assure the people of Wapenamanda that I have nothing personal against Sir Salamo.
“My concern is about judges who pay scant regard to the issue of bias and perception of bias regarding their own conduct and the cases they are sitting on.”