His Majesty’s wise words to MPs
Nuku’alofa – March 28, 2019: 8pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Keep the respect in the House and follow the Constitution.
Wise words from His Majesty King Tupou VI in his address to the Members of Parliament at the closing ceremony of the 2017/2018 Parliamentary session at the Legislative Assembly in Tofoa this morning.
Read by former MP Lord Vaea, the King did not mince his words.
He reminded Parliamentarians to respect the House and keep their comments within the boundaries of the House rules.
King Tupou VI said there was a lot of work to be done to develop our country and stressed that the work of Parliament and Government must be carried out in accordance with the Constitution and with dignity.
Tongan nobles, Lord Vaea accompanied by Lord Tu’iha’ateiho and Lord Ve’ehala delivered the king’s address at Parliament House.
Highlighting the fact that we are not out yet of the cyclone season His Majesty raised his concern that recovery efforts from two past cyclones have not been completed.
Recovery efforts from TC Ian had still not been completed and in TC Gita’s case, it was evident there are many families and schools that still need assistance.
King Tupou VI said government must have proper reports for work done which are funded by overseas donors.
The work of the Legislative Assembly and that of Government need to be carried out in accordance with the Constitution, and it is essential for deliberations of the House to be respectful and keep the dignity of the gathering, he said.
The King reminded members, that it is unconstitutional to first sign regional or international treaties/agreements, without completing the due process, for example in CEDAW and PACER Plus.
He said it had been a few years since accepting the need to set up independent commissions to look into the Tongan passports issues, and also the riots that burnt down the Nuku’alofa CBD.
“The funding must come from Government and these commissions must be independent,” he said.
King Tupou VI also raised his concerns with the current drug problem facing Tonga.
On another note he also urged the upgrading of language teaching in Tonga with English being the working language overseas.
He said Tongan workers need to be raised to meet international standards so that they may be able to read and speak in English, because there are a lot of employment opportunities for Tongans overseas.
“If we value this cooperation, we must train and prepare our workers to meet the market demand. There is a lot of work to be done to develop our country,” he said.
Parliament will have a state opening of its 2019-20 session on May 30.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva was not present at the closing ceremony.
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