Murray Groves – anthropologist and scholar
Time our police respected their mission

Don Polye deserves to be PNG’s next leader


Speech THE TIME IS RIPE for highlands MPs to stand united to secure the highest post in the country. This is no time for division and petty politics. The ball is in the highlanders’ court.

In my observation, the highlands region has produced a great number of potential leaders who stand out on the many issues affecting the nation. However, they do not stand united when it comes to the formation of a national government.

In 1990 former Western Highlands Governor, Paias Wingti was the only MP from the region, under his Peoples Democratic Movement, to take the prime minister post. Apart from him, the highlands has provided many deputy and acting PMs without gainig the top job.

In the current National Alliance Party-led government, the region has two senior and respected MPs who are contenders for the PM’s post. They are Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, Don Polye, and Minister for Transport and Civil Affairs, Sam Abal, currently acting prime minister.

Many Papua New Guineans have trust and confidence in both MPs as they are honest and reputable leaders. We know they have potential to lead this nation.

Don Polye [pictured] has a reputable and shining leadership which he has maintained since his election in 2002 as member for Kandep Open in Enga Province. He is a young, visionary and vibrant leader who has the potential to take this nation forward.

Polye is one of very few MPs who have a heart for the nation. As Minister for Works, Transport and Civil Aviation he initiated a lot of projects including new infrastructure. He is also doing well in his new portfolio as a minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

Acting PM Sam Abal is also a most respected and senior MP who has held several portfolios since entering politics. He has wide experiences in politics, economics and international relations. He is a God-fearing man whom I believe has a no nonsense approach to issues concerning the nation.

As acting PM he is doing much for the country: a long overdue pay rise for public servants, agreeing to pay outstanding compensation to LNG landowners, and allowing the inquiry into controversial Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Leases.

We see a potential in both MPs that will drive the nation forward from here.

But it would be better if Abal stood down to allow his fellow Engan, Don Polye, to take the post. Abal is good, but Polye is superb.

The highlands MPs must put aside their political differences and put their hands together to form the next government after Somare.

Give Polye a fair go. PNG needs this vibrant leader.


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Peter Kranz

Joe says - "As Minister for Works, Transport and Civil Aviation he (Polye) initiated a lot of projects including new infrastructure."

Does this include giving away the Department of Works campus along Waigani Drive at Boroko to the Casino developers (worth millions)?

And the degradation of PNG airstrips so that they have to be closed because they don't meet safety regulations?

And the uninvestigated crashes of aircraft flying to remote strips?

Kundiawa airport has just had to be be closed to Air NiuGuini flights because there is no proper fence around it and people and animals keep wandering on to the runway and leaving dangerous rubbish behind (see Post Courier today, May 25, 2011.)

Again - judge for yourself.

Peter Kranz

I have met My Polye and heard him speak. It was during the student riots at UPNG in 2005.

He addressed the students in the forum - some of whom were concerned about the police taking action against the rioters (some of whom had burnt Uni cars, attacked student leaders and threatened the lives of Uni administrators, and forced some staff to be prisoners in their own houses).

His words at the time, paraphrased, were 'don't worry about the Moresby police, I have them under control.'

From a report in The National at the time -

"HIGHER Education Minister Don Polye vowed yesterday to remove the 33-member University Council of the University of PNG headed by Chancellor Andrew Yauieb and Vice-Chancellor Prof Leslie Eastcott.

"He said the university had suffered much under this council and the central administration. He cited two recent overseas trips by Prof Eastcott.

“'Resources are limited at this point in time. The trips by the VC to Fiji and Poland were also in breach of the government directives to spend wisely,' he told The National. [The VC's trips were to seek funding for further collaborative research - PK] 'Did the council authorise them?'

"He also referred to the student unrest in 2001 and July this year, and the staff protest in March. 'Morale has deteriorated,' he said. Mr Polye’s outburst followed rumours at the campus yesterday that he had been sidelined.

"The National received several calls seeking confirmation and when contacted, Mr Polye said: 'I am still the Higher Education Minister; I will continue to be the Higher Education Minister and I will not rest until I successfully solved the current university problems as highlighted in the Webster inquiry report'."

The government's actions at the time led to the forced resignation of several senior members of the UPNG management, mainly I believe because they stood up against corruption in admitting students against regulations and awarding false grades.

I was there at the time.

Judge for yourself.

Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

Most of us have yet to physically see these two leaders. We only see them through the eyes of the media.

However on most occasions the media in PNG seem to be subjective rather than objective.

We need Mr Wasia to tell us in more detail about their personality over the last 20 years, their dreams and aspirations for PNG, their achievements as ministers, some explicit examples of their deeds that equate to accolades like honest, reputable, vibrant, good and superb.

The same goes for Belden and his team also.

Jeffrey Febi

I doubt Polye was successful as Works Minister: when one talks about that, the daily theft of Highlands Highway Road Rehabilitation Funds comes to mind.

No culprits have been caught and there's a chance that this lissue, ike many others, will be flushed down the drain of let-it-be.

This has to be cleared up before we start believing in Polye!

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