Gelab Piak in Madang
Have you ever wondered where Papua New Guinea will stand or how it will look half a century from now? Well, that question has burned like a furnace in my mind. But what puzzles me most is where we would be now if we had taken a different course?
I speak not only for myself, but also for the many young people in PNG. Today, many young Papua New Guineans often wonder how great this beloved country would look like if the billions of kina stolen by our selfish leaders had been used on infrastructure, education, health, transport and other such things as businesses, people’s welfare, school materials, medical drugs and vehicles for Government agencies.
By now, our Government should be concentrating or focusing its resources on maintenance of infrastructure and investing for the future generation. Investing in things such as putting computers in every school in the country, subsidising school fees 100%, and letting the public have free access to clean water and power supply. Not opening billion-dollar gas plants and million-dollar mines. What good would those do except pollute us, breed more corrupt politicians and bring upon us more suffering.
To paint a more realistic picture of the Government, take a look at the Government agencies in the provinces and districts outside of Port Moresby. Government agencies are rundown, incapable of performing their duties and are under-resourced. So where did all the billions of kina go? I think the answer lies in the back of our minds.
Every year hundreds of Papua New Guineans die from treatable diseases like malaria, TB and leprosy. The Government should be guilty of that, a crime against the people it is obliged to serve. When will we, Papua New Guineans, realise that? When will we stop being fools and slaves in our own land?
Well some of us - the wise ones, who are not blinded by these blind prophets who lead us - have realised it. In universities all over the country, young students are becoming radicalised. They believe that a revolution is the only way to fix up our country. Whether it is a peaceful one or a bloody one, it is coming, and it is unavoidable.
It is mostly those who have come from rural areas, who have gone through suffering at the hands and whims of the Government that are calling for a revolution. They know what it is like to be left out, to live in inaccessible places, to have no access to Government services, to put their hopes into false promises, and they know what it is like to lose everything and pay the hefty price of freedom so that their children can have a better, fruitful future.
These young people are not criminals, not homeless people, no. They are university students and graduates, who live, work and mingle with you. They know one thing, that one morning, the rest of PNG will wake up to the sound of, not singing birds, but bombs and guns, and they will all know that the face of the new elite and educated generation of Papua New Guineans is an ugly one with the word “revolution” written all over it.
Gelab Piak is a freelance journalist and a student of Divine Word University, Madang