My dream lady

Who now to step up to the leader’s plate


AFTER SO MANY YEARS, things have finally caught up with Prime Minister Michael Somare.

He has avoided this day as long as possible but it’s now arrived. It’s been long time coming. And it’s just under two years before the next national election.

This situation would not have come about now if the Prime Minister had done the right thing in the first place.

The bottom line: Michael should have sent in his financial returns as expected of any public office holder.

Now the PM knows what it's been like for many of his citizens when they also have to wait to have their day in court.

The PM has no excuse. He had all the resources at his disposal but never made good use of them to submit his returns when they fell due.

This is not the time to be making excuses in the media but to take this latest leadership challenge on the chin like any other world leader would do.

He has not done so, hence has lost much credibility with PNGeans including those abroad who have followed Somare's political career over the years.

But something seems not right here. There is another worrying aspect.

Is this another clever tactic the Chief is using as a trump card to get some public sympathy in the twilight stages of his long political career. I suspect the stage is already set for the Chief to go out with a bang when 2012 comes around.

Acting PM Sam Abal is warming the PM's chair for the next 3-4 months before Somare returns more popular with the grassroots to launch his election campaign.

The ignorant grassroots will again applaud a man with no real idea of what he has done in recent years.

They are simple rural folks who are ignorant of the fact that, in other democratic countries and under similar situations, the country's leader would resign from public office. But for a host of reasons, not in PNG.

Today, PNG has a serious leadership crisis. Our country desperately needs a good, tough and visionary leader to take PNG to the next level.

There is no-one in the National Alliance Party or the Coalition who has the strength or conviction to take up this challenge. PNG needs someone strong and uncompromising to lead from the front.

The ideal choice would have been former deputy PM, Sir Puka Temu, but he left for the opposition when he saw there was something seriously wrong within the NA.

Every MP has kept quiet by looking the other way when the PM does things that are not right. They are all guilty by association.

They have all proven themselves incompetent as leaders and must be removed by voters at the 2012 national general elections.

Maybe it is time Parliament made Dame Carol Kidu the first PNG woman Prime Minister.

But the PNG Parliament is very much a male domain and will not support the Bill for 22 reserved seats for women in the Haus Tambaran.

It makes Sam Abal’s job as Acting PM difficult, for he will bear the brunt of PNG women’s wrath in the New Year.


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Henry Sims

Oh, yes. We expect Bernard Yegiora and Reg Renagi to stand for election based on their statements in PNG Attitude.
But no two men (or women) will solve PNG's apparent problems by themselves.

You need common goals, empowerment from the people, agreement amongst fellow politicians, assistance from the financial bloc and the collective will of the nation.

Just look at the impact on the ground from thousands of little ants all walking in the same path. Maybe learn from them and others!

China knew how to do this with their multitude, whilst most of the rest of the world was still wearing bear skins and painting their faces.

So Reg and Bernard, take step one: get support. And go to step two: get elected. The world watcheth.

Reginald Renagi

What PNG needs now is a revolution in political affairs to change our political landscape starting this year. The Prime Minister must make a public policy announcement of "a contract with all citizens" for a better government.

It should be about a dynamic plan that will stimulate discussion and debate with the people.

Today, PNG faces some very serious challenges. The country's overall performance in the last thirty-five years has been quiet dismal.

The Prime Minister must get his coalition team shaped up in a political reform 'remake' so the new look regime (before the 2012 polls) is a progressive and transformational government. The government must have an effective plan.

A new leadership approach is also needed to bring about a major sea-change with workable policy strategies. This should be solely based on years of watching how PNG has been governed and its resources miss-managed.

The PM and his government must start listening to what the ordinary people are saying. This has been a major problem with the government for many years. This must now change.

New strategies are needed. They must immediately target areas that will work to grow our economy, create jobs and give full government support to small businesses.

A new reformed progressive and transformational government must make a new pledge with the people.

The government must make a commitment to ensure all its resources will be properly used in key areas of national concerns to achieve reasonable levels of sustainable development over the long term.

Bernard Yegiora

Reginald, do you think amending Section 84 ("Qualifications for nomination") and 85 ("Mode of nomination") under Part XI (The Nominations) of the Organic Law on National and Local-Level Government Elections will help create a pool of morally qualified political leaders?

Section 84 states that "No person is qualified for nomination for an electorate while he is nominated for another electorate and that last-mentioned nomination has not been withdrawn".

I suggest another subsection should be add stating that "Only those with a tertiary or technical education in any field with 10 years or more experience in the public or private sector respectively are eligible to nominate".

Clear understanding of how the government operates and the main objective of having a government, understanding of the economy and the social conditions of the surrounding communities are highly relevant knowledge the intending candidate should possess prior to nominating.

Section 85 states that a nomination should be in the prescribe form and shall; (a) Name the candidate, his place of residence and occupation, and (b) set out the qualification by virtue of which he is qualified for nomination; and (c) be witness by a person to whom the candidate is personally known.

Maybe subsection (a) should add another passage saying the candidate is eligible to contest only if he/she have lived in the electorate or the province for 3 year or more.

The suggestions challenge the constitution, it is conventional wisdom that in a democracy every one has the right to contest for public office, but if we wait for a new generation of quality leaders it may take forever.

Colin Huggins

Hear hear, Peter and Lydia Kailap. The best comments on this blog come from a couple of readers and Reg's comments are sincere, well written and from the heart.
Yes, Reg, mate, stand for election.

Peter & Lydia Kailap

We sincerely hope that you will be running at the next election, General Renagi. You would be fit to tackle the problems with determination and integrity.

PNG needs exactly what you have outlined. We encourage you to get in there and take the fight to corruption.

Reginald Renagi

Today, PNG desperately needs good honest strong leadership to drive the government machinery forward.

Presently, it is sluggish and all agencies do not seem to be functioning as a collective well-drilled team.

This is because the coalition government is not made up of the right people who want to see change in PNG.

It is comprised of selfish people with many different personal agendas who do not really care about PNG's national interest.

What PNG needs now are broad and sweeping political reforms to overhaul itself.

We also need good honest leaders in parliament.

The government must take the lead and be prepared to make the required changes for a better future.

Reginald Renagi

There is nothing really wrong with Peter's background here at all.

Peter states the obvious in what is happening in PNG.

Most expatriates will not have the guts to say such truthful things openly for fear of upsetting some people in a strange land.

What Peter is saying is true.

I attended the Defence Board of Inquiry which was a public hearing.

Many members of the public including servicemen/women were also in attendance.

The public now know that the state witnesses for the government and the Defence Force senior officers implicated were all lying under their teeth.

Many servicemen/women went away from the Inquiry disheartened and lost confident in the defence hierachy and their government leadership.

The military senior brass eventually admitted under intense questioning that the PM gave instructions for the PNGDF to carry out what it did.

But to this day, the PM has virgorously denied this.

This denial has been covered up by certain senior beauracrats who were all implicated in facilitating Moti's flight from PNG legal custody.

Of the five suspects involved, two have since passed on and the remaining three are still free and enjoying the impunity that surrounds the PM.

The State under a strong leader can still bring them to account here for a major cover-up and conviction.

Peter Kranz

George - how about this? The Defence Force Board of Inquiry was headed by Supreme Court judge Justice Gibbs Salika.

The Inquiry found that Michael Somare issued the direction for the clandestine smuggling of Julian Moti out of PNG where he was in custody awaiting an extradidition hearing to face child sex charges.

The Defence Force Board of Inquiry recommended Michael Somare:

1. be charged for violating the Constitution under section 22 and be punished under section 23 (which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years).

2. be investigated by the Ombudsman Commission and charged under the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership.

3. be investigated by the police with a view to charges under section 136 of the Criminal Code for perverting the course of justice; section 128 of the Criminal Code for conspiracy to defeat justice; section 212 of the Criminal Code and the Commission of Inquiry Act for perjury

Of course all this has been censored from publication in PNG.

Reginald Renagi

Yes, Peter, and the public will need some political champions from inside the Haus Tambaran if some mega change is to come about.

Much as I respect Sam Abal, the new Acting PM will not want to rock the boat early on in his acting appointment.

But it's now or never and if Sam is not the man, then who's gonna do it?

Former Deputy PM, Don Polye, would have been the man to do this and Somare saw him as a big threat to his hold on power.

The public finally took some notice when Don in recent times went on the media to say something to the effect that his government will do all it can to bring these people who steal from the state to account.

In his typical bombastic manner, Don stressed that the government will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of what is going on in Waigani (and the country), to ensure the public has confidence in what the government was doing for PNG.

PM Somare saw a new threat looming in his own deputy.

The leadership of the PM and the government would be greatly questioned if Don Polye was to spearhead investigative action to curb the increase in corrupt practices within public institutions.

Peter Kranz

I think the referral on missing or incomplete financial returns is a relatively minor issue when Sir Michael should be called to account for much bigger things.

The Inquiry into Moti's escape recommended the Prime Minister be prosecuted for serious breaches of PNG law (no matter what you might think about the Moti case per se).

There is also the question of what happened to the inquiry into the Finance Department two years ago which uncovered massive fraud and since has been put in the 'too hard' basket.

There are also questions about Somare family interests in various business enterprises which received government support (fishing, logging etc.)

And questions about how the Somares managed to build up such a huge family fortune - sufficient to buy many overseas properties.

The Feds got Al Capone in the end on tax evasion.

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