Wednesday 19th April 2023

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape expressed his heartfelt condolences to the children and siblings of the Late Rt. Hon. Sir Rabbie Namaliu during the funeral service this morning.

Prime Minister extended his deepest sympathies, on behalf of his family, the National Government, the Pangu Pati, and the people of PNG , during this morning’s State funeral service at the APEC Haus, in Port Moresby..

“It has fallen on me the solemn responsibility to preside over the passing of three former Prime Ministers of our country and all of them have played significant roles in the formative years of our country, whether in politics or as public servants, all of them have laid the foundational building blocks that have anchored our unity and democracy.

“On this occasion, it is with great sadness and with deepest of condolences, that I convey our sincere and heartfelt sympathies to the children and siblings of Sir Rabbie Namaliu, plus all the relatives and people of Kokopo and off course the greater East New Britain Province on the passing of the late Sir Rabbie Namaliu.”

Mr Marape said Sir Rabbie emerged from a simple missionary family into becoming an extraordinary Papua New Guinean.

Sir Rabbie was amongst the first students to enroll at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) in 1966, and graduated in 1970, then one of the first to do postgraduate overseas, and was amongst the first National lecturers at UPNG.

“He was the first Chief of Staff equivalent to our then Chief Minister Somare prior to independence in 1975.

“He was the first Chief of Staff to our first Prime Minister Somare, he was a key member of the Constitutional Planning Committee.

The late Sir Rabbie became the country’s 4th Prime Minister from 1988 to 1992 and was the second Pangu Pati Leader to be Prime Minister.

He was made member of Her Majesty’s privy council in 1989 and held many portfolios and public offices from 1982 up till 2007.

“And since then he has never re – contested public offices, and many more unparalleled achievements.”

Prime Minister Marape also extended his gratitude to everyone attending and watching live telecast of the funeral procession today, who have shown their respect to a Papua New Guinean giant who assisted the fathers of this country to ensure PNG achieve sovereignty and nationhood.

“Sir Rabbie was an inspirational leader with strong Christian and Melanesian cultural influence that dictated his work and life of service to our country. Sir Rabbie was a champion for consensus-based decision making,” he further stated.

“Everyone who needed to have a say on any matter was given the opportunity to speak and he built and encouraged consensus as a means of resolving disputes.

“He identified his true calling in the public service and pursued it faithfully.

“He was a humble man. He put his best foot for his country rather than his own self.

“Sir Rabbie was not into personal empire building. He worked for the country faithfully, earning honesty and he, like Somare lived simply and a fulfilling life.”

He said late Sir Rabbie set his bar very high, kept his dignity, achieving much of what he set out to do.

“He entered and exited public life without fanfare and continued to work to make a useful contribution in industry, business, community, and church and he remained active in public service until his passing,” he added.

He said Sir Rabbie is a wonderful example where we all can learn from in all facets of life and character, so that we too can contribute to our country the way Sir Rabbie and his generation of Papua New Guineans have done.

“I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the kind gesture and willingness on the part of Sir Rabbie’s clan and family, and the people of Raluana, Kokopo and East New Britain for allowing Sir Rabbie to be buried on Independence Hill,” PM Marape stated.

“It is of paramount significance to the people of this country that you have allowed your son, your father, your brother, your uncle, and your big chief to be rested with a couple of former Prime Ministers under the shadows of Independence Hill.

“It is a fitting gesture to be accorded to a national icon who helped build this great country. May his resting place serve as an important reminder to us and those who will come after us that this country was built on the shoulders of great men like Sir Rabbie Namaliu.

“It is with great sadness that I must say once again that Papua New Guinea has lost another great leader.

Mr Marape says Sir Rabbie will be greatly missed by his family, the people of Raluana, Kokopo, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, the Pangu Pati family and all those who knew and worked with him throughout his living years.

“Farewell Sir Rabbie. Thank you for your services to Papua New Guinea.

“May your God give you eternal peace. We, as a nation, will always remain grateful for the contributions and sacrifices you have made.

“To Sir Rabbie’s family and relatives, I pray for the promises of Jesus in Matthew chapter 5 verses 4 and 5 to fulfill in your lives.”

Meanwhile, the body of late Sir Rabbie Namaliu was finally laid to rest at Independence Hill in front his immediate family members, Parliamentarians, dignitaries, and the people of PNG.

Sir Rabbie passed away on Friday 31 March 2023 at his home in Raluana, East New Britain, at the age of 75.

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