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PORT MORESBY,17 FEBRUARY 2020 (POST COURIER) — Former Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O’Neill has predicted an unemployment crisis to hit the national economy in the next 10 months due to the escalating coronavirus threat.

He said China as the engine room of the world economy is shutting down and that will mean dependent countries like Papua New guinea will feel the real pain especially loss of employment.

He said this at the 50th birthday celebration of Opposition Leader Belden Namah at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby last Saturday evening.

“People will ask- why is he here in the Opposition leader’s function, there must be something going on.”

But O’Neill added; “There is nothing going on, it’s about our country. Why shouldn’t the leader of Opposition and a former prime minister worry about our country? Do you think that we don’t care about our country?”

“Politics come and go, but you must pay respect where it is due, your country will not be the same today. We can have our political differences, we can have a difference in our programs in our country but respect each other, I said yes and came to say hello.” O’Neill added; “Let me tell you where our country is heading today.

“If you are really interested, let me tell you what will happen in the next 10 months when the government continues to run down the economy, you will have no jobs, nobody will pay you salary, that is a fact and that is what Belden Namah is fighting for, what you see today, that is what he is fighting for.”

“Look at what IMF and World Bank are saying to you with the virus that is coming on, the entire Chinese economy is shutting down, China is the engine room of the entire world economy.”…PACNEWS