12 Nov 2003

PNG Prime Minister says the media should be regulated after publishing damning survey on corruption

4:22 pm on 12 November 2003

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, says the country's press should be regulated.

Sir Michael made the comment in Parliament during an attack on the media for reporting the latest Transparency International survey on corruption which rated PNG as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

The Corruption Perception Index placed PNG at 118th out of 133 countries with the 133rd the most corrupt nation.

The Post Courier reports Sir Michael said he wanted to see people involved in such surveys confront him with names, facts and figures instead of generalisations.

He says journalists who report such items should be given passports as they act like foreigners.

Sir Michael, a former journalist, said he had objected when the previous government had talked of regulating the media, but he now realises it should be controlled.

Sir Michael also called for support among MPs to strengthen the Government's checks and balances on the use of public monies such as the Public Works Committee and the Public Accounts Committee.

He has also suggested strengthening penalties in the criminal code to deter people.