The Member of Parliament for East Are’are Hon. Peter Kenilorea (Jr) says the government should work at getting more Bills to Parliament. This statement was made during his contribution to the motion of sine die.
He says that the functions of the legislature are much more than just an oversight of government, emphasizing the need for Parliament to pass new laws that would strengthen the institutional and legal frameworks necessary for development and growth.
He says while he understands that the country is currently in a state of emergency because of COVID-19, it does appear that the pandemic is being used as an excuse.
“We know that Parliament is here to look at laws, and we have heard that it is because of coronavirus that we have not done many laws, except passing one on the sim card registration,” Kenilorea said.
“But, just this year, Fiji passed 34 Acts, they had community transmission but they kept working. Papua New Guinea passed 15 Acts just this year and 43 Acts last year, even with community transmission.
“We cannot just leave our jobs because of COVID-19, we don’t even have community transmission, we must continue with our job as legislators and make laws,” the MP for East Are’are said.
He says with no community transmission our Parliament has only passed one law, a law that has no impact on the lives of Solomon Islanders.
He said that the law that was passed was for sim card registration, which was done in haste because politicians wanted to protect themselves against online insults.
“That is what I heard here, that was the policy background for that law. We were prioritizing a law that was not even in the programme for legislation.
“It is becoming clear, and I am starting to fear, that our democracy is becoming self-serving, one that passes laws to protect us (politicians).
"That should not be the way it is."