By Peter Solo Kinjap
Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s media adviser, Christopher Hawkins, has denied media reports that K3 million was paid to each government member at the “Alotau camp” a week before Friday’s no-confidence vote.
Hawkins said a total of K111 million (NZ$450,000) was supposed to be paid and each MP would receive K1 million each but did not mention the additional K2 million, totalling up to K3 million (NZ$1.36 million} in payments for each district.
Hawkins said the money was not paid to the MPs but to their districts.
It was reported earlier by the public broadcaster NBC News in Port Moresby that documents were signed by Treasury Department for Finance Department to release a payment of K111 million.
Soon after the release of this report, a whistleblower from Treasury Department who wants to remain anonymous, confirming that an additional K2 million was ordered for release following the earlier K1 million for each MP.
The funds were for district development but the timing of the payment was aesthetically wrong due to the no-confidence vote about to be taken. This payment has been denounced by critics as “bribery”.