Deputy Prime Minister and MP for East Malaita, Hon. Manasseh Maelanga, says Malaita’s push for independence is dividing the province and its people.

Maelanga made the statement during his contribution to the motion of sine die in Parliament yesterday.

“There is now a southern region group being pushed, and this is division, what is happening in Malaita is bringing division.

"South Malaita is now pushing for a province, we the MPs from Malaita we have to think, and ask ourselves, are we ready for independence?” Maelanga said.

Maelanga said the question of whether Malaita is ready for independence should not be taken lightly, and especially by the Premier, Daniel Suidani.

“Are you ready to take 168,000 people back to Malaita? Are you ready to give them job? These things cannot happen overnight,” Maelanga said.

He declared that the independence push by the Premier is not on his agenda, and it is not on the agenda for the people of East Malaita.

Maelanga said that there is room to discuss and dialogue on decentralization or the devolution of powers, but not on independence.

He says the federal system is part of the Townsville Peace Agreement (TPA) so he will put his support behind the transition to a federal system of government.

Premier of Malaita Province, Daniel Suidani, had on Monday made a public call for self autonomy for Malaita. Premier Suidani made the statement to a crowd that was gathered in Auki to listen to the motion of no confidence being debated that day.

He says a survey will be conducted to gauge people's thoughts on the idea of self autonomy. He says he wants a report of the survey presented by the end of January 2022.

News Desk