Sidelined PNG Foreign Minister and Port Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko has apologised to Papua New Guineans in Parliament Wednesday regarding his comments of primitive animals.
This was in response to “online trolls” who criticised his eldest daughter’s Tiktok video of a lavish trip to London.
Tkatchenko made the comment to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) amid a nationwide outrage over the member’s daughter Savannah and her taxpayer-funded trip to the King’s Coronation.
He stated, “A lot has been said in the media and on social media in the recent weeks and the people of our nation want to know the truth of what was said and how it was intended and how this was manipulated and what was actually meant by my words.
I made comments in a media interview that was targeted at what is better known as social media trolls. They are faceless people who spend their days on social media, hidden behind false names. They say the most disgusting things and make the most vile threats on social media.”
Tkatchenko says his comments were the words of a father responding in blind fury.
“Regardless of any office that I represent or position that I might hold, above all else in life, first and foremost, I am a father of my children. And when I saw the vile and disgusting things that were being stated and said about my daughter, I did have a burst of blind fury at these horrible individuals.
Tkatchenko said these trolls were making sexual threats against his 25-year old daughter Savannah.
“I speak with every parent in this house and every parent of this nation and seek your understanding of how angry and frustrated I was and still am at these trolls.”
The members say this was not a blanket statement aimed at the people of Papua New Guinea.
“That is completely wrong and I apologise as it was not in that context.
“My words and comments against these disturbing people were twisted, manipulated for their own political and personal gain. So again, I apologise for the way my words were misinterpreted.”
The member further stated, “At this point of time, I’m also cooperating with the appropriate authorities on this issue so to clear any misunderstandings.
“I know the Tiktok video that my daughter posted was not appropriate. As a parent this is something that many of us go through as we guide our children through their early stages of life.”
The member concluded his statement saying, “I love this country, the independent state of Papua New Guinea and all that this country stands for and the hopes that it offers to our people.
“I am sorry for any misunderstanding, Papua New Guinea is my home, it is my heart and it is the place where one day I will be laid to rest. I will serve the people of this great nation in any way that is asked of me. I will represent the people of Moresby South as their mandated leader and a member in this house for as long as they wish me to do so. “I am a proud Papua New Guinean and always will be,” stated Tkatchenko.