Wale questions PM's silence on controversial USD$100 billion loan proposal
Leader of Opposition Hon. Matthew Wale is questioning the lack of any responses from Prime Minister Sogavare to explain why he directed his Finance Minister to pursue the USD100 Billion loan proposal by Terry Wong. Hon. Wale said “On this matter Hon. Sogavare’s silence is deafening”. It is clear the Finance Minister is acting on directions from Prime Minister Sogavare in this matter.
Hon. Wale said he is very concerned that the Prime Minister did not request help from the PRC government to assist in performing due diligence on the promoter of this loan proposal Terry Wong. Local media reported PRC Officials saying they checked the address of the promoter Terry Wong but only discovered an apartment. Hon. Wale said, “It is highly irregular that a so-called Funds manager would be operating out of an apartment. There isn’t anybody in China that is not known to the PRC government. The PRC government would know anyone capable of organizing USD100 Bn to offer to a foreign government.”
Hon. Wale said, “I am not surprised by Sogavare’s attraction to the USD100 Bn loan proposal, even if it seems too good to be true. The sheer size of the loan amount did not put off PM Sogavare from pursuing the loan proposal. The likely consequences on Solomon Islands and future generations for many years to come did not put off PM Soavare from pursuing this loan proposal. It is in his nature to fall for quick fix schemes. In his previous terms as Prime Minister he also forced the then Governor of Central Bank to sign letters of guarantee worth USD500M. Solomon Islands was only saved by the Governor refusing to be part of any such con-schemes.
PM Sogavare has also pinned his hopes on the sale of iron bars from Malaita Outer Islands to raise enough money to solve the country’s economic problems. Previously, he ordered the police to dig for gold at Tulagi for a number of years. This is the character of the man. It is highly irresponsible.” Hon. Wale said, “The government is being led by an opportunistic superstitious treasure hunter.”
Hon. Wale said, “Solomon Islands is facing a number of challenges that require rational policy responses that are realistic and reasonable. No amount of superstitious treasure hunting is going to address the challenges facing Solomon Islands.” The Prime Minister must not put his hopes in get rich quick schemes as a solution to Solomon Islands development challenges.
Hon. Wale said the USD100 Bn loan proposal is testament to the warped sense of judgment of Prime Minister Sogavare. MPs within government ought to reflect on this in light of the challenges facing Solomon Islands.