Shock Pangu Pati split. What happens now?

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

Allan Bird and James Marape (Radio New Zealand)
Likely challenger Allan Bird and troubled prime minister James Marape. Bird is the highly respected Governor of East Sepik Province (Radio New Zealand)

PORT MORESBY - Pangu Pati, the leading coalition partner in the current Papua New Guinea government, has split.

My test for a successful change in government in PNG is when there is a significant split within the biggest coalition party.

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Cautious notes for social media activists

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

Law
Publicly criticising the judiciary is usually a bad idea.
(Bing image inspiration created by by AI)

PORT MORESBY – The recent arrest and refusal of bail for social activist and political commentator Samson Komati arrest is reminiscent of Bryan Kramer’s arrest before he became an MP. Bryan was an activist and a prolific social media commentator on politics and related matters.

Under two prime ministers, Papua New Guinea has become a place where social media activists are arrested and jailed.

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Why the best MPs will never lead PNG

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

Rainbow
Rainbow Paita MP  -  one of the backroom operatives always in with a chance of running the country (Facebook)

PORT MORESBY - Rainbow Paita is the MP for Finschhafen Open and a senior minister in the Marape coalition government.

Paita’s name often floats around when attempts of a vote of no confidence occur aimed at securing the prime minister’s position.  Either he’s a candidate or a behind the scenes operative.

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PNG’s Chinese changing of the guard

JAMES CHIN
| An extract from Chapter 4 of The Chinese in Papua New Guinea: Past, Present and Future, edited by Anna Hayes, Rosita Henry & Michael Wood, Australian National University, 2024

Link here to the entirety of Chapter 4: The rise and rise of China: Contemporary Chinese community in PNG (2010–2020) by James Chin

Port Moresby cafe scene (Generated by Copilot AI  18 May 2024)
Port Moresby cafe scene (Generated by Copilot AI 18 May 2024)

 

Introduction

CANBERRA - In a period of one decade (2010–2020), the power balance among the Chinese community in Papua New Guinea has shifted significantly from the PNG born Chinese and the Southeast Asian Chinese to mainland Chinese.

The speed of this transition has been remarkable. However, the trend in PNG is consistent with global trends where the rapid rise of China has totally changed the environment that is familiar to the West.

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No Mr Bird, PNG is not ‘printing money’

IAN LING-STUCKEY *
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - Once again, the opposition is trying to mislead the people of Papua New Guinea in recent statements that PNG is printing money to fund the budget deficit.

This is just wrong. The International Monetary Fund verifies this is wrong. It is a condition of the IMF program that PNG does not print money to finance the deficit.

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IMF & World Bank get it wrong for PNG

ALLAN BIRD*
| Academia Nomad

WEWAK - I disagree with the position of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in relation to the devaluation of the kina now underway.

The IMF believes that depreciating the kina will encourage exports and assist PNG production. In fact the opposite is true.

In the last 49 years, the PNG economy has not diversified much and therefore a significant depreciation is not going to automatically result in increased production and exports.

We had a significant depreciation 24 years ago which did not result in any significant benefits. It just led to more hardship for ordinary people.

This is because PNG has not invested in the productive capacity of the economy.  It is not possible to quickly increase production.

Only the extractive sector is able to do that, but almost all of these companies are operating at peak or declining capacity.

I just saw a 10kg bag of rice increase from K50 to K56, the second price increase this year.

Depreciation is already hurting ordinary people. While some low income earners are getting a tax break, the vast majority of people in the informal sector cannot access similar assistance.

The Marape government in chasing cheap loans and having resorted to printing money may have unknowingly placed a rope around the necks of ordinary citizens.

I believe a reasonable kina trading band of around 30 US cents and 40 Australian cents is what we should be aiming for.

We must restrain government borrowings and improve fiscal discipline. We must live within our means.

We must also redirect spending not just on economic enablers but also on the productive capacity of the various sectors.

We must also look at tax incentives to encourage private sector investment to help diversify our economy.

We must decentralise our government structure as a means of encouraging spread of private sector investments. The engine room for growth is in the provinces, not in Waigani.

We must have a smaller central government that oversees provinces and doesn't compete with them.

We need to expand private sector investment and support private sector to grow both the economy and jobs. It is not government that grows the economy, private sector does that.

Too much government control, coupled with corruption is killing our economy.

The Marape government has borrowed K32 billion over the last five years but has only proven that it is incapable of growing the economy. Economic growth has lagged behind this government borrowing.

I hope all current and future leaders learn something from this grave mistake and not repeat it in the future.

We have a situation in our country where the government thinks it should be running businesses - and it fails miserably. We should focus on governing and leave business to the private sector.

It's time for a reset. Marape has taken PNG backwards by 20 years. It's time to take PNG forward.

* Allan Bird is Governor of East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea and is seen as a likely candidate for prime minister after the next national election


Needed: ASOPA people from back then

KEITH JACKSON

ASOPA students circa 1960
ASOPA students circa 1960 (National Archives of Australia)

SYDNEY - Alexandra Frost is a higher degree research student at the University of Sydney, investigating the student experience, education and training at the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA).

As part of her research, Alexandra is conducting a survey of people who attended, taught or worked at ASOPA during its 27-year lifetime from 1946 to 1973.

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PNG must start living within its means

ALLAN BIRD
| Academia Nomad | Edited

Generated with AI ∙ 8 May 2024 at 3.58 PM
We must spend our money wisely (Generated with AI ∙ 8 May 2024)


WEWAK - Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape’s response to concerns raised by ordinary people about the rising cost of living leaves much to be desired.

The biggest contributor to inflation and the depreciation of the kina over the last five years is the spending behaviour of the national government.

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Govt must act on forest clearing abuse

EDDIE TANAGO
| Campaign Manager, Act Now!

Act Now

PORT MORESBY – The community advocacy group, Act Now, has urged the Papua New Guinea government to stop the ongoing abuse of agricultural clearing permits being used as a cover for large-scale logging.

Forest Clearing Authorities are routinely misused to facilitate large-scale illegal and unsustainable logging.

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Will B'ville be a China-US battleground?

MICHAEL E MILLER
| Washington Post | Extract

Bougainville Fighters
Bougainvillean guerilla fighters of the 1990s civil war. Thirty years later the Toroama government faces challenges of equal enormity

ARAWA— On a warm morning in November, a barrel-chested and battle-scarred man arrived to Capitol Hill in Washington USA for a meeting he hoped would help save his struggling homeland.

Ishmael Toroama was introduced to two members of the US House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party as the president of Bougainville. But his previous occupation was evident in the arm that hung limply at his left side as he shook the lawmakers’ hands.

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Why Biden’s ‘cannibal’ story was misinformed

PATRICK KAIKU

Papua New Guinean boatmen transport Allied supplies in World War II (US Library of Congress)
Papua New Guinean boatmen transport Allied supplies in World War II (US Library of Congress)

WAIGANI - After a visit to the Veteran’s War Memorial in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on 17 April, president Joe Biden gave a speech to a crowd of supporters.

Attempting to personalise his family’s life story within the larger narrative of his country’s wartime sacrifices, he made passing reference to Ambrose Finnegan, his uncle who served in the Pacific theatre of World War II.

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Why Biden’s ‘cannibal’ story was misinformed

PATRICK KAIKU

Papua New Guinean boatmen transport Allied supplies in World War II (US Library of Congress)

WAIGANI - After a visit to the Veteran’s War Memorial in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on 17 April, president Joe Biden gave a speech to a crowd of supporters.

Attempting to personalise his family’s life story within the larger narrative of his country’s wartime sacrifices, he made passing reference to Ambrose Finnegan, his uncle who served in the Pacific theatre of World War II.

Continue reading "Why Biden’s ‘cannibal’ story was misinformed" »


PNG literature looks for a guiding star

VARIOUS AUTHORS

Writer 2

Image Creator-generated AI image using DALL·E 3

“The new national literature of PNG emerged from the [University of PNG’s] literature department beginning in the mid-1960s shortly after the institution was established. Leading up to formal independence from Australia in 1975, the curriculum of the literature department was deliberately developed with a decolonising agenda. The first cohort of creative writing students self-consciously penned what would be considered the first texts of the new nation. Yet, this pioneering endeavor was subject to outside impositions of ideas of cultural authenticity” - Marlo Starr in Ondobondo’s visual publics: Small print culture in PNG

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Where Papuans stood as brothers

KENNETH MIAMBA
| Ples Singsing

Papuan infantry on parade  World War II (Australian War Memorial)
Papuan infantry on parade,  World War II (Australian War Memorial)


In New Guinea's wild, where jungles breathe,
A tale of courage, weaved beneath the trees.
Papuan sons, with hearts so bold,
Stood as brothers, in tales untold.

Through dense green canopy, they tread,
Their spirits forged, their fears misled.
With every step, they held the line,
Bound by valour, their destinies entwined.

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Malaysian logger fails to silence Act Now

MEDIA RELEASE
| Act Now

AML Risk Alert - Global Elite

PORT MORESBY - The Malaysian owned Giant Kingdom group of companies, which is logging Papua New Guinea’s besieged tropical forests, has failed in an unprecedented bid to silence public comment on the money laundering risks associated with its chequered activities.

At a time when international standard-setting bodies are calling on civil society to help combat the money laundering risks associated with illegal logging, the Giant Kingdom group has engaged in lawfare to stop civic voices in PNG from documenting these risks.

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