21 Mar 2005

Support for investigation into former PNG MP's golden handshake

8:11 pm on 21 March 2005

A Papua New Guinea newspaper editor says there is wide support for a full investigation into why a golden handshake payment was awarded to a former politician.

Oseah Philemon of the Post Courier newspaper says a payment of 160-thousand US dollars to Sir Pita Lus is unprecedented.

Sir Pita Lus was in parliament from the mid 1960's until 2002 when he lost his seat.

He says the decision by the National Executive Council to award the money has surprised many people.

"A nd they say that the payment will be in cash and kind. Well we want to know the details, people are entitled to know the details. And this is why the ombudsman commission issued a statement saying that it was concerned about the payment and was investigating it."

Oseah Philemon says the extra payment to Mr Lus is on top of a pension scheme paid on the number of parliamentary terms a politician has served.