IT IS 30 JUNE 2020 in the Independent State of Manus and Abdul Bin Koziasta has been updating his accounts at the end of the financial year. He has a frown on his face.
The small Pacific island nation is booming, yet he was almost running in the red for the second year in succession. He needs to analyse where he is going wrong.
But first he needs a strong, sweet coffee. He rings the bell on his desk. A few moments later a diminutive Manus islander, her brown eyes peeping out from her burka, pads across the room and bows.
He orders his coffee and when it comes takes a few sips and licks his lips. His wife has trained this one well and the coffee is good. He goes back to his books.
His Kiwai partners in Daru have managed to prang another two banana boats and they appear to have lost another one completely. How do you lose a banana boat he wonders?
The boats are ideal for running refugees down through Torres Strait to Australia but they are not cheap.
Perhaps he needs to investigate the possibility of something cheaper. But his main rival, Mos Ferrezza, runs expensive jet boats. They are exceedingly fast and Mos has never lost one to the Australian patrol boats. Cheaper or expensive? He makes a note to check out prices.
He runs his finger down the page. The next items that catch his attention are the payments to the governors, police chiefs and customs officials in West Sepik and Western Provinces. Why do these people demand such high fees? It’s not as if they actually do anything for their money.
All of his ‘special’ cargoes are trucked down the Trans-Papua Highway on the Indonesian side of the border. Apart from the agencies in Vanimo and Daru they don’t even travel in either province. Heaven forbid that they should, because no doubt they’d be hijacked on the way.
At least the Indonesian military provides a reasonable level of security at a reasonable cost. He ticks that item off.
He has an afterthought. Perhaps he needs to organise the odd assassination, or maybe a car bomb outside the hospitals and high schools in Vanimo and Daru. He makes another note.
The next items that catch his attention are the donations to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah. Their demands are becoming outrageous. If they were a bit better organised it wouldn’t be so bad.
Their last raid on the American Embassy in Wellington was a farce and the attempt to bomb the Australian War Memorial in Canberra was an even bigger shambles.
Martyrs’ blowing themselves up is well and good, but they need to have something to show for it. If it was up to him he’d be targeting politicians. The first to go would be that horrible prime minister, Julie Bishop.
After Abbott disappeared off Hervey Bay during a swimming marathon – eaten by a killer whale that spat out his red budgy smugglers – why on earth did they let that hideous woman take over?
At least Abbott understood religious zealotry. Those Australians puzzled him. A woman no less! He sits back in his chair and makes another note.
He sighs. He guesses he hasn’t really much to complain about. What is the odd year in the red anyway? He has numerous assets to fall back on.
The jerry-built apartment building in Lorengau City is doing well and there is a steady stream of migrants from the Middle East arriving every day and he has a multi-story office building on the drawing board.
The casino in Vanimo, which he secretly runs with a silent Australian partner, is also doing well and is patronised by most of West Papua and PNG’s politicians.
Which reminds him; PNG prime minister Belden Namah is due there next week. He’d better organise a couple of handsome croupiers pronto. He makes another note.