Papua New Guinea’s Environment Minister says foreign firms attempted to bribe him
Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com
February 4, 2008
The Environment and Conservation minister of Papua New Guinea, Benny Allen, has stated that three different foreign firms attempted to bribe him. According to an article in Pacific Magazine the minister told reporters: “It’s just typical of a lot of investors wanting to get shortcuts but I just believe in one thing and that is to do things right. I have been approached by three different firms and they’ve offered me trips outside PNG. (They) offered me something which I told them ‘sorry I will not accept what you are offering, I simply told them I am here for the people and I will do everything for the people'”.
Allen revealed the attempted briberies while swearing in new members of the Papua New Guinea Environmental Council. He stated that he wanted to let the new council members to understand their need to practice vigilance.
Allen did not disclose the three firms that attempted to bribe him. Papua New Guinea environmental reporter, Alexander Rheeney, told New Zealand International Radio that Mr. Allen “turned down the offers bluntly, telling the three firms it wasn’t right for him to do that and everyone has to follow the laws when they want to invest in Papua New Guinea.” Rheeney added that the minister “hasn’t indicated if he will be taking any action against the three companies”.
Allen furthermore urged citizens to stand up against such corrupt practices. Pacific Magazine quoted him as saying, “If we have to set PNG in the right direction then we have to start now, just for (the sake) of our future generation.”