PRIME Minister Honorable Rick Nelson Houenipwela has made an official confirmation to resign as the patron of MASI.
In a letter to the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) top executives, PM Hou stated that the decision was based on the fact that MASI as an independent body should focus on its principle without fear.
“After much consideration I am of the view that MASI must remain as an independent body without fear and must continue to uphold media freedom in this country. I think to retain the position would compromise this important principle,” he said.
He then thanked the MASI Executive for the level of working togetherness during the past years and wishing them all the best in its future.
“On this note, I also wish to sincerely acknowledge the cooperation and friendship rendered to MASI over the past years. I wish you for your understanding,” he added.
Meanwhile, MASI President Charles Kadamana on behalf of MASI has welcomed the decision of the Prime Minister for relinquishing himself as the patron of MASI as it will really put MASI on a clear position to serve its members.
“The move will elevate MASI as a free and fully independent body serving the interest of its members whilst fully upholding media freedom in Solomon Islands.
“The letter by the Prime Minister is a depiction of a leader who respects the role of the media to be free from any forms of political pressure and must be neutral,” he said.
He said the issue of PM as the patron has been discussed several times during MASI Executive meetings as well as MASI members during the recent AGM but with the PM’s decision, it is a good thing for the future of MASI, as it will bring a lot of confidence to the freedom of media in the country.
“In fact, the previous MASI executive board has already discussed this issue several times of the need for MASI to reconsider the position of the PM as patron of MASI.
“This issue was also raised several times by media and most recently during a General Meeting held at SIBC on 18 January.
“We thank PM for his wisdom and decision for the good of MASI. MASI has no doubt the PM is a strong believer in the work of MASI and will continue to support MASI nevertheless,” he added.