Hon. SAM BASIL, MP
Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Commerce and Industry
Sam Basil was born on 16 November 1969 in Bulolo and completed his primary and secondary education at Bumayong primary school and Bumayong Lutheran Secondary School, Morobe Province, where he gained a high school certificate. Prior to contesting the seat of Bulolo Open at the 2007 general elections, Mr Basil was the managing director of BSJ Fishing and Trading and a businessman.
He was elected to the 8th National Parliament as a member of the Peoples Progress Party and became its deputy leader while in the Opposition. Mr Basil served on several Parliamentary Committees, after his election, namely: Parliamentary Referral Committee on Lands and Environment; Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Culture and Tourism; Special Committee on Gas and Energy; Deputy Chairman of the Special Committee on HIV/AIDS Advocacy; Permanent Committee on Public Accounts; Permanent Committee on National Parliament; and Special Committee on Asian Owned and Operated Businesses in PNG.
On 10 January 2011, Mr Basil resigned from PPP and joined Papua New Guinea Party, under party leader, Belden Namah, and was elected deputy opposition leader on 11 May 2011. A vote of no-confidence in the Somare government in August 2011, saw Peter O’Neill become Prime Minister, with subsequent appointment of Mr Basil as Minister for National Planning on 5 August 2011, in the newly elected O’Neill-Namah government.
He served in the position until the general elections of 2012 and elected to the 9th National Parliament for the same seat, and moved to the Opposition and appointed its deputy leader in August 2012. Then in August 2014, Mr Basil resigned from PNG Party and joined PNG’s oldest party, Pangu Pati, and immediately became its leader, while still in the Opposition. He briefly took over the Opposition leadership on 3 May 2016 following Don Polye’s disputed election results in the National Court. Mr Polye retained the Opposition leadership on 26 May 2016.
Mr Basil retained his seat of Bulolo Open in the July 2017 general elections and re- elected to the 10th National Parliament and joined the Opposition bench. In September 2017 Mr Basil joined the Government rank and eventually was Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Energy on 17 October 2017. He served in the position until April 17 2019, when he was appointed Minister for Finance on 17 April 2019. He also retains the Energy portfolio.
Following a Cabinet reshuffle on 13 May 2019, Mr Basil was appointed Minister for National Planning and Monitoring under the O’Neill-Abel Government. He served briefly in the position until he was appointed deputy prime minister and served for a few days until Peter O’Neill’s resignation as prime minister in May 2019. Following the election of James Marape as Prime Minister, on May 30, Mr Basil was appointed caretaker minister for National Planning, Communication and Information Technology, Health , Housing, and Higher Education
Then as Minister for Treasury on June 7, 2019 and two months later, on August 27, 2019 , became Minister for National Planning and Monitoring. In November 2019, Mr Basil founded his new political party, the United Labour Party. A cabinet reshuffle on 1 October 2020, saw Mr Basil assuming the deputy prime ministership portfolio. In early December 2020, Mr Basil became re-united with the government faction after moving to the Opposition in November 2020 over political issues, and retained the deputy prime ministership, and appointed Minister for Commerce and Industry on December 18, 2020 A leadership tribunal on 10 September 2021 suspended Mr Basil from office over allegation of misconduct against him.
He was however cleared of allegations of misconduct by the Leadership Tribunal on December 6 2021 and reinstated to his post. In a cabinet reshuffle on January 10, 2022, Mr Basil retained the deputy prime ministership as well as being Minister responsible for Transport and Infrastructure.
He is married with four children: