THE China-PNG Friendship Association has vowed to support Papua New Guinea government and police in investigations into the assassination attempt on prominent Port Moresby businessman Jason Tan on Jan 2.
Mr Tan, who is managing director of J Mart, is also Honorary President of China-PNG Friendship Association Inc. He was shot five times by gunmen as he was driving into his home at Paga Hill in Port Moresby. He escaped with injuries to his arm. A statement from the association said as the largest Chinese association in PNG, it vehemently condemned this kind of cowardice violence.
"Papua New Guinea needs a safe, peaceful, harmonious environment. We will fully support the government of PNG and the police in the investigations into the case to ensure law and order are maintained. No triads (if any) or any sort of mafia activities should be tolerated in the country," the association said.
It was reported that after shooting at Mr Tan, the gunmen fled in a car. Mr Tan immediately alerted police and a mobile squad intercepted the suspects at Baruni. Two semi-automatic handguns and ammunition were found in their vehicle.
Two Chinese nationals, Changjiang Gao, 36, and Xue Zhufu, 38, one from the Fujian province and the other from Do Bay province, have been charged with attempted murder and are in custody.
Police are continuing their investigations that involve the questioning of some Chinese and PNG nationals but no other arrests have been made. The investigation team is trying to establish both men's employment, how they are in the country and other information about them.
Police have linked the assassination attempt to an alleged underworld Chinese triad operation in PNG. "This latest incident confirms the existence of Asian triad operatives in Port Moresby," Acting Assistant Commissioner Awan Sete was quoted in the media after the attack.
Mr Sete described the hiring of criminal assassins as an "ugly trend" in Port Moresby. Metropolitan police superintendent Fred Yakasa told the media that "it is a frightening situation. It is involving Asians against Asians, or Asians using Papua New Guineans to kill".
It could be linked, he said, to "business jealousy". Mr Tan, was brought up in Malaysia but has spent 30 years in PNG. On Saturday, only hours before the attack, he had opened the country's newest and grandest hypermarket, the J-Mart in Erima, near Port Moresby's Jacksons airport, redeveloped following a fire caused by an electrical fault three years ago.
His eldest son, Justin, was reported in the media saying that Mr Tan had been targeted for some years by business rivals who had hired assassins.
Former PNG police minister Bire Kimisopa warned that "Chinese mafia" had bought bureaucrats "throughout the system" in PNG.
The assassination is already prompting renewed expressions of anxiety. But PNG and its neighbours appear to lack answers, or the political determination to implement them.