By Rachel Shisei – EM TV News, Madang
At the launching of the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project on Tuesday, the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, acknowledged the Trade and Commerce Minister, Richard Maru’s announcement of a total of 30,000 jobs to be created by the project.
According to the Madang People’s Forum Chairman, Alfred Kaket, the people are now querying the promises made at the launching.
“What does it mean if the Trade and Commerce Minister, Richard Maru, says 30,000 jobs will be created, and the Madang Governor, Jim Kas, mentioned 10,000 jobs for Madang people in their speeches? The Madang people are curious to know what will happen to the remaining 20,000 jobs if that’s so,” said Kaket.
Kaket went on to stress that they would also like to know the terms and conditions of getting a K200 million loan from China’s Exim bank, because it is critical to the Madang people’s future.
This point was also stressed by Chris Kaisem, a Vidar Landowner who said he’s learnt that the project will be operate using China’s laws as part of the Exim bank’s terms and conditions.
“Prime Minister, how would you feel when that area is being governed by Chinese laws when you have your own laws? As a local I am ashamed to learn that only one part of the country will be governed by Chinese laws and the rest is Papua New Guinean,” said Kaisem.
He also questioned the percentage that landowners will get from the revenue generated by the project stating that if the national government will get 3 per cent, and the provincial government gets 2 per cent as stated at the launching, how much are the landowners getting?
Prime Minister O’Neill, at the launching mentioned that the government would assign officials to attend to the people’s queries on the ground so the project must not be delayed any further.
However, the landowners are still demanding to have a proper dialogue with the government.
“We don’t care if it takes 11 years, 20 years or 100 years we will still fight until things work out properly,” Kaisem said.