The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale, has called the continued funding of the so-called National Development Funds (NDF) by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) directly to support the Prime Minister and MPs in his government as shameful.
Hon. Wale said “these funds are not for national development at all. The title of National Development Funds is to mock the people of this country. The Fund was started by Taiwan and is being continued by China. The funds are purely political, used by the Prime Minister to maintain his office. And the fact that the funds are paid by a foreign power is an egregious breach of Solomon Islands sovereignty and undermines government’s ability to maintain any semblance of independence in its foreign policy.”
Hon. Wale was responding to a Minute signed by the Prime Minister dated 25th August 2021 listing the 39 MPs in government to be recipients of an additional $200,000 each from PRC funds.
“When a foreign power finances the political interests of our Prime Minister directly in this way, it undermines Solomon Islands sovereignty and national interest. How can we expect that decisions concerning our national interests are made objectively to advance and protect Solomon Islands best interests?” Hon. Wale questioned.
“It is shameful. This Prime Minister has built his reputation as the champion of sovereignty when he fought hard to resist RAMSI in its early days, but it seems he has no problem at all receiving direct foreign power funding to secure his political interests, without the slightest thought of the impact on the sovereignty he often pretends to protect,” the Opposition Leader stressed.
Hon. Wale said that he raised his objections to the so-called National Development Fund to PRC Ambassador in their first meeting in 2020, and was assured by the Ambassador then that the PRC was going to terminate the NDF in 2020.
The Opposition Leader said he is extremely disappointed in the PRC Embassy in continuing the NDF in this way.