THREE Nobles of the Realm today officially closed the current parliamentary session in a soft closing ceremony in Nuku’alofa.


They were Lord Tangi, Lord Ve’ehala and Lord Niukapu.

Lord Tangi delivered his Majesty’s closing royal remarks from the Throne on behalf of his Majesty.

The King’s closing speech highlighted four issues for Government and Parliament to take into consideration including accountability, transparency, private sector, and illicit drugs.


On accountability, His Majesty reminded Government they are accountable to their voters and to Parliament. And Parliament also has a responsibility to investigate and hold Cabinet accountable for all public monies according to the law.

“It is enough to just follow along with what and where the government leads parliament? but parliamentarians must ensure they fully investigate and ask the right questions about where the taxpayers’ public monies is spent and how it was spent.”


The King also reminded Government they have a responsibility to be transparent in how it operates state owned public enterprises because all public monies should be accounted for. “It cannot just take funds from one institution and put it into another without such bodies or government explaining to Parliament and the taxpayers how and why such public monies was spent.”

The King also raised issues on whether the Anti Corruption Commissioner and the Ombudsman’s Office functions well, and their work are accessible to all citizens.

Public sector

In terms of public sector, the King noted that Government should stick to administering government and NOT to run businesses as this is contrary to what development partners have been urging government to do.

His Majesty did mention that government is currently running anything and everything it can, but everything is at a standstill because it has NO money. For that reason, it is his wish for Cabinet to let the private sector run those public enterprises.

The King provides an example of how former governments took over Tonga Power Limited from the private sector and pledged to reduce the cost of electricity for taxpayer. Yet, Tonga is now awaiting a cheaper price of electricity.

He also questioned the government’s initiative in secretly running an airline (Lulutai Airline) without qualified professionals to operate it. Majority of MPs and Cabinet from previous governments voted against a request from the airline for funds to continue its operation.


His Majesty asserted the Members of Parliament that despite the commitment to fight the widespread use of illicit drugs in Tonga, it is an ongoing problem.

He proposed that a harsh punishment should be imposed on drug offenders because of the harmful effects on young people who are the future of Tonga.

The King said legislators are not taking the issue a priority as drug problems is like climate change that is ongoing and remain a challenge to our children and our life.

He concluded that efforts to fight against the widespread use of drugs Can and Should End NOW.

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