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MALAITA PROVINCE PREMIER’S STATEMENT ON ATTEMPTED SUSPENSION ON MALAITA PROVINCIAL SECRETARY FREDRICK FA’ABASUA
Good afternoon fellow Solomon Islanders and my people of Malaita,
I wish to set the story right about the attempted suspension of the Provincial Secretary of Malaita Province, Mr Fred Fa’abasua.
Our PS, Mr Fred Fa’abasua was sent a letter by the PS of Public Service, Mr Nego Sisiolo last Friday 12 March.
In this letter, Sisiolo accused our PS of financial allegations that were untrue, and in the same letter, he ordered the suspension of our PS, effective immediately.
Unfortunately, in doing so, Sisiolo did not follow the process set out in the Public Service Act and its Regulations.
The Public Service Act and its regulations have a specific legal process set out, by which such accusations can be taken up and acted upon. This legal process provides the opportunity for natural justice, and this process was not, repeat was not, followed by Sisiolo.
As such, our PS has decided to initiate legal proceedings unless the PS withdraws the unlawful suspension.
The Public Service Act sets out a process by which any officer alleging misconduct and having supervisory responsibility over the PS must have a report about this accusation filed to the PS of Public Service. The PS of Public Service in turn must give a minimum period of 7 days to the officer to respond.
None of these steps have happened or if it had happened the PS has not been aware of it, and therefore our PS has decided to put these issues before the Permanent Secretary of Public Service for him to do the right thing by following the clear process that is set down.
Soon these matters will be at court but for now I will say the following:
PS Fa’abasua has been an exemplary public officer and a real servant to Malaita people.
His hard work and integrity has led to the repayment of millions of dollars of outstanding debt left by previous Provincial Executives.
His dedication and faithfulness have seen the charging of fair business licenses on the logging companies ripping our people’s land.
His careful diligence has given pride and hope to the people of Malaita Province.
It is very sad after all this work, two different Ministries have tried to remove PS Fa’abasua from serving the people of Malaita Province.
Last year in December the Ministry of Provincial Government demanded the removal of PS Fa’abasua back to Honiara. No reason was given in this demand and the PS kept serving the people of Malaita till now.
This current action by Sisiolo from Ministry of Public Service is similarly motivated. He is trying to remove PS from Malaita Province, this time by trying to suspend him without any proper evidence put against the PS and without even complying with his own regulations.
I am not sure of the real reason for these constant attacks on PS Fa’abasua, but the timing of this action by Sisiolo will have some severe effects on the people and province of Malaita.
My Executive is scheduled to meet tomorrow Tuesday 16 March, to pass the budget for Malaita Province.
If Sisiolo’s action succeeds, then our PS will be suspended when he should be helping the Executive pass this budget. Malaita Province will then have no budget to spend this year and this will have serious impact on the people of Malaita.
In light of this seriousness, I appeal to Sisiolo for the withdrawal of the order to immediately suspend PS Fa’abasua. If he has genuine concerns for upholding the rule of law, I invite him to proceed as set out in the Public Service Act.
For my people of Malaita, this is a serious situation which could have a direct impact on your Provincial government.
I ask for you to remain calm. If you have concerns, please use the media, and call on your Members of Parliament within the DCGA to play their part in defending the rule of law.
The PS of Public Service without any good reason is attempting to discipline the PS of Malaita Province, yet he is allowing a person who has been found to be a foreigner by the High Court of Solomon Islands to continue holding senior sensitive political jobs in the Prime Minister’s Office. That person too has contravened the Electoral Acts of this country yet the leaders of this country including the PS of Public Service is turning a blind eye on that situation. The PS of Public Service needs to explain that to the people of Malaita. Why is he tolerating wilful and reckless behavior by a foreigner and harassing a national without due process?