One of the things Solomon Islanders will be looking forward to this year is the passage of the Anti-Corruption Bill.
This is the bill the nation looks forward to its passage in parliament.
When it’s passed, it becomes law.
Solomon Islands needs this piece of legislation to help fight corruption.
It may not be the magic bullet, but it sure will boost the fight against this evil.
We all knew what corruption did to our nation over the last 30 years.
It has reduced us to what we are today – a poor and least developed country struggling to make ends meet.
Corruption undermines our democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to government instability.
It also steals away public funds and denied our people of better health and education facilities.
Question is, will this parliament pass the bill before its term expires next year?
Late last year, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the Anti-Corruption Bill will go before the current session of parliament.
He also reported that the legislative process of the Anti-Corruption Bill and the Whistleblower Protection Bill has commenced early last year.
A revision of the two Bills, based on comments from the Parliament’s Bill and Legislation Committee, and further reviews to the Bills should be completed early this year, the prime minister explained.
On Wednesday in parliament, Mr Sogavare said the bill is now before the Bills and Legislation Committee for its final tidying up.
He promised that the bill will be made into law before parliament dissolves next year.
Mr Sogavare and his ruling government must know Solomon Islanders will be closely following every step and process of the bill until it is made into law.
They will not allow this government to further defer the bill, as it did the last time, just because some MPs are refusing to support the bill.
Politicians who have a heart to serve the nation should have nothing to fear about the bill.
The Anti-Corruption Bill is not anti-politician; it is anti-corruption.
It is not designed to fight politicians.
It is rather designed to fight corruption.
Politicians who wanted to see corruption stamped out should be whole-heartedly supporting the bill.
This bill is about the future well-being of this country.
The case to have it passed and turned into law is overwhelming.
And so we say it again: bring on the Anti-Corruption Bill.