BY ISAAC NICHOLAS
Former prime minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu was diplomatic and careful in the selection of his words when asked to comment on the country’s state of the economy and current political powerplay.
Questioned whether the country was on track in light of the current political maneuvering to change government, Sir Rabbie said yesterday: “Obviously leaders have expressed a view that they have an alternative to offer this country.
“If they do and those ideas are fully developed and they present to the people and people think that’s the direction we should go, the people will reward them either on the floor of Parliament or at the next election.
“The important thing is to have that vision clearly spelt out that this is the alternative we want to present for the following reasons and people will normally reward you if you spell things clearly to them and they feel if there is a need to change direction.”
Sir Rabbie said the Pangu Pati team at Laguna had expressed a strong alternative offer and it was obviously up to the team at Laguna to take that forward.
Sir Rabbie was with founding prime minister Sir Michael Somare and founding Pangu Pati stalwarts, including former Lae MP Tony Ila, who met with the young Pangu team camping at Laguna to give them advise, counsel and support on the way forward for the party.
Asked about the division among the party executives and parliamentary wing, he said that in politics a party was dead if there was division.
“If you are disunited, that’s a recipe for a party to self destruct, in Australia for instance last year they had so many prime ministers. “Instability does not augur well for a political party.
You need stability, stable leadership, a clear vision going forward and a clear strategy.
“Our people are conservative; they want stability; they want to make sure there is certainty, that’s not to say you should offer them radical proposals but when you do it’s important that you spell them out clearly so that they appreciate the reasons for it and why it is necessary.
“I urged our leaders here to stand united because that’s the best way forward and when you are strong that’s the biggest strength going forward,” Sir Rabbie said.
Sir Rabbie was chief of staff to then chief minister Sir Michael in 1974 to 1975 when PNG gained Independence from Australia.
He was Prime Minister in 1987 and 1988.
Pangu Pati is the oldest political party that had produced three prime ministers Sir Michael, Sir Rabbie and Paias Wingti who Pangu said came out from Pangu.