Honiara : 1 February 2017
Letter to the Editor, Solomon Star and Island Sun Newspapers.
Some rather sensitive and disturbing allegations against 21 serving Members of Parliament and their alleged misuse of RCDF grants was published in your Island Sun newspaper yesterday with the contributing correspondent, Alfred Sasako, claiming the RSIPF is currently conducting investigations into the MP’s use of the RCDF grants.
The RCDF grants has been the subject of controversy, gossip and allegations of misuse for many years with some going so far to allege the RCDF grants have encouraged corruption in the Solomon Islands, although vehemently denied.
Mr Sasako in his article said the grants amount to $350 million and based on this allocation, each of the Constituencies receive about $7 million a year each.
Although Taipei’s intention is for the funds to be used on micro economic activities in the rural areas, only 35 per cent of the population or less benefit directly from it, Mr Sasako claimed.
In reading of the allegations presented by Mr Sasako, I was mindful of what was said, prior to Christmas, by the former Taiwanese Ambassador to the Solomon Islands, Victor T S Wu, at the time of the handing over ceremony of the Fakaloloma Sanitation Project at Funa’afou in the Lau Lagoon.
During his address on that occasion, the Ambassador reportedly made a rather remarkable and surprising statement, and I quote.
“Of all the projects supported by his Government during his tenures, the FSP is the only tangible development he witnessed.”
Was the Ambassador’s parting shot any indication of his feelings about the RCDF grants and the allocation and use of the $350 million per year?
Perhaps not directly related to the RCDF grants, but during the tenure of Ambassador Wu’s time in the Solomon Islands , Taiwan contributed almost a Billion Solomon Islands dollars to the country.
The FSP project the only “tangible development witnessed” for the whole of the money contributed?