Monday, 23 November 2009 10:14 AM

Poverty Main Source of Corruption: Malaita Premier

Malaita Premier Richard Na'amo Irosaea says poverty is the main source of corruption in Solomon Islands and has urged all leaders in the country to unite in the fight to weed poverty and corruption.

Mr Irosaea made the call at the opening of a two-day Anti-Corruption Conference in the provincial capital, Auki, yesterday.

The workshop was organized by the Government Anti-Corruption Taskforce co-chaired by Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, John Keniapisia. The task force took the consultation to Malaita to provide an opportunity for provincial stakeholders to share their views on the proposed National Anti Corruption Policy.

Premier Irosaea said corruption was a cancer in our society - a disease that is sometimes enhanced by government or elected officials and perpetuated by very selfish people as a shortcut for immediate benefit.

"One action I believe for every leader is we should be focused on weeding out poverty from this country and the onus is on all Solomon Islanders to fight this disease of corruption".

He said it is obvious that most Solomon Islanders do not make use of our right to freedom of expression to voice our concerns against corruption. "We act and think like we still live in the 16th or 17th century which has created a society where corruption has flourished".

"Solomon Islanders are too quiet and must now be whistleblowers against corruption," he said. The Premier further blamed the Media of Solomon Islands for a lack of investigative journalism.

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua established the Anti Corruption Taskforce in the first quarter of 2009 which comprises of both public and private sector representatives with a fundamental mandate to develop a national Anti Corruption Policy.

The Two days conference which concludes today engages representatives from the Provincial political sphere, Provincial Public Administration and respective Churches and Community Leaders.