...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Savannah Tkatchenko, the daughter of Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko, is facing criticism for sharing TikToks that flaunt her luxurious taxpayer-funded trip to King Charles III’s Coronation in London.
The videos, showcasing first-class travel and shopping at high-end stores, have drawn the ire of taxpayers in the impoverished nation, questioning why public funds were allocated for the minister’s family trip.
While Mr. Tkatchenko has come to his daughter’s defense, the controversy has sparked outrage among citizens concerned about the country’s underdevelopment.
Luxury on Display
In the now-deleted TikToks, Savannah Tkatchenko documented her journey from Queensland, Australia, to London, stopping in Singapore along the way.
Clips showed her visiting luxury stores such as Hermès and Louis Vuitton, indulging in fine dining and cocktails at Singapore’s First Class lounge, and showcasing her extravagant makeup collection.
The videos also captured her preparing for the Coronation event, highlighting her stylish outfit and accessories.
Outrage and Backlash
The TikToks drew swift backlash from taxpayers in Papua New Guinea, who criticized the inappropriate use of public funds for personal indulgence.
Social justice advocate Tania Bale expressed her disgust, while others described it as wasteful and saddening, given the significant poverty levels in the country.
Nearly three million people in Papua New Guinea are considered poor, accounting for almost 40 percent of the population, as reported by the World Bank in 2020.
Foreign Minister Tkatchenko defended his daughter against the online criticism, claiming that she did not make any purchases from the luxury stores showcased in the videos.
He expressed his disappointment at the negative comments directed towards her, labeling the attackers as jealous and having nothing better to do.
However, his defensive remarks referring to the critics as “primitive animals” garnered further criticism.
The Cost and Public Perception
It is reported that celebrating the Coronation incurred a cost equivalent to $3 million for Papua New Guinea taxpayers.
The controversy surrounding Savannah Tkatchenko’s TikToks has raised concerns about the misuse of public funds and the apparent disconnect between the country’s impoverished population and the extravagant expenditures of government officials.
Critics argue that such instances reflect a lack of accountability and prioritize personal interests over national development.