The New Ireland Government was saddened to hear about the passing of one of its former member of parliament, strong People’s Progress Party man and much loved Son of New Ireland Ben Micah this morning while sitting for its final Assembly sitting before the National Elections.
New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan interrupted the house as a matter of public importance after receiving the news through a note passed onto him by the clerk of the Legislative Assembly.
“Ben Micah was a great man. He was a great orator who did a lot for New Ireland and this country in his various capacities,” said Sir J.
When Sir J was Prime Minister from 1992 to 1997, Ben Micah was a member of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission becoming Chairman in 1996.
“I could not find a better Chairman when I spoke about the law or things affecting the lives of the people and he was the right man for the job. It was a privilege working with him. We can never take away the work he did for this country. Because of him we have Provincial Governments today,” said Sir J.
Sir J also revealed that he worked closely with Micah so that they could change the Governance system of Papua New Guinea so that the Prime Minister could be elected by the people emulating countries like the Republic of Singapore.
Micah was also sent to the United Nations as Sir J’s special envoy when Sir J was Prime Minister.
“I recall him telling me about his chance meeting with Fidel Castro, I think that’s where he adopted his signature suit dressing from.”
Micah was a vocal student advocate when he was a student leader at the University of Technology, standing up for the rights of the voiceless. Sir J recalled that “many of ‘Ben’s’ protest were actually against him but he respected his position. Ben would never leave an issue without a fight. The saying “Evil prevails when good men do nothing was true for Ben,” said Sir J.
Micah was the Chief of staff during Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s time. He later stood for the National elections in 2012 and was elected as the Kavieng Open MP. He served as State Owned Enterprise and Investment Minister and later joined the Opposition ranks.
Sir J passed his condolence along with all fellow New Irelanders to Micah’s family and the people of Murat.
The Assembly stood in silence for one minute in honour of late Ben Micah before adjourning the house to the 7th of September.
Micah passed away this morning at 10:15 from a heart attack while hospitalized at Pacific International Hospital.
Story supplied: NIPG Media Unit