Nngerchelek ra buai, my responsibility as public servant

The meeting of national leaders called by President Tommy Remengesau Jr. on Wednesday, July 8, was attended by most of Palau’s leadership with marked absence of Olbiil Era Kelulau members.  Senator Frank Kyota was the only lawmaker present.

Leaders in attendance included the Council of Chiefs with High ChiefIbedul Yutaka Gibbons and High Chief ReklaiBao Ngirmang present.  Also present were State governors, State speakers, ministers and heads of other government entities. 

President Remengesau in his opening statement reported the decision of OEK not to attend the meeting, saying “lets respect their decision.” Remengesau emphasized that nothing was wrong, that OEK had stated their reasons for their absence and to respect that decision.

Remengesau reported that at a meeting last week with the Senate President, House Speaker, chairmen of Ways and Means of both houses, they’ve agreed on the agenda for the leadership meeting today.

The contention, based on the communications between the OEK and Executive Branch, involves the letter sent by OEK on Monday calling for a separate meeting with Ministers on Tuesday, prior to Wednesday leadership meeting.  President had responded asking that meeting with Ministers take place at the same time as the leadership meeting.

In response, OEK in a letter to the President, said that without the meeting with the ministers, they are not informed well enough to attend the Joint Leadership meeting and maintains the request to meet with the Ministers separately.

The agenda of the leadership meeting covered number of topics including the upcoming US Marines Koa Moana operation in Peleliu, Compact Review and Negotiations, Bubble economy, Repatriation of Palauans overseas, Fiscal condition of Palau and future outlook, new MOH directives, 4 Day workweek and others.

When asked why he attended the meeting while his colleagues didn’t, Senator Kyota said, “ngerchelek ra buai, my responsibility as public servant.”

High Chief Ibedul in his closing remarks expressed his appreciation for the meeting saying it was quite information. “We don’t meet often so it is good to see everyone.  We heard many good information, lets continue these meetings.”

High Chief Reklai however did not mince words but expressed his disappointment with the deliberate absence of the lawmakers.

Reklai expressed, “A beluu a bolmetacherbesuleakot el doruulerngii a mengellakl ra beluu.” When a country is under difficult times, our first priority is to calm the country. 

He continued, “We put our differences aside and come together as leaders and find solution and resolve our differences.  If you can’t take the responsibility, then don’t be in these positions,” he added.

President Remengesau continued to emphasize that nothing is wrong but he added that this was a forum where everyone is informed of the same things, where everyone is on the same page, and where there are differences, this is where they are addressed.  He added that this (leadership meeting) was the Palauan way.

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