Will Oz justice minister get down & dirty on PNG crime & corruption?
18 February 2014
AUSTRALIA’s justice minister Michael Keenan arrives in Papua New Guinea today for a three-day visit in which he’s having talks on transnational crime, policing and corruption.
“The PNG Government is taking steps to fight corruption and I look forward to discussing progress in this area with Minister [Kerenga] Kua, including PNG’s progress to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption,” Mr Keenan [pictured, pick the deliberate error] said.
The visit follows hard on the heels of what has been termed “a lecture” by Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop on corruption and lack of development in PNG.
Ms Bishop, slammed the PNG government claiming corruption is rife and lamenting the country’s backward slide on the Millennium Development Goals.
Anonymous blog PNG Exposed said this “would be fine, were it not an act of complete policy schizophrenia. Because, while the Australian Foreign Minister tut-tuts at PNG, her government – and those before it – pursue an economic agenda in PNG that fosters corruption and undermines community-led, sustainable ‘development’.”
PNG Exposed went on to say: “What’s more ‘aid’ is a key weapon employed by Australia to engineer economic arrangements in PNG it says will alleviate ‘poverty’, but which in reality have fostered corruption, a growing criminal economy, epic land grabs, a bloated extractive industry, lunar landscapes, and a decade long war.”
PNG’s relationship with Australia appears to have entered a new and more fragile state since the election of the Abbott government.
There are growing signs of Australia’s intolerance for corruption in PNG as was seen in the slashing of $38 million in funds to PNG after the government awarded a tender to Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals in what many people saw as a shady decision.
Justice minister Keenan said his visit, which comes just a fortnight after Ms Bishop’s first ministerial visit to PNG, will “reinforce Australia’s priorities in supporting PNG’s initiatives that improve law and justice conditions and the broader social environment.”
One of the key issues seems certain to be the laundering of corrupt PNG funds through the Australian banking system and property markets.
PNG Exposed wrote: “In reality [PNG] has built a fictitious economy resting on the rents generated by a bloated extractive industry; facilitated a black trade in land and forestry resources; and allowed a national elite, embedded in illegal enterprises, to consolidate their power and wealth-base, creating a stranglehold on the top jobs in government.
“And then what happens when our honourable leaders park their ill-gotten gains in the Queensland economy, to the cheers of real estate agents? It falls on deaf ears in Australia.”
Meanwhile, Barbara Short reports that a video has been produced on the PNG “fake medicines” scandal and she is calling upon friends of Papua New Guinea to distribute it through the internet.
“This video would be worth putting on the blog,” she writes. “It is well put together.” I suggest you watch this video and send it on to everyone you know who is online."
The absence of sound reasoning and the ignorance of the ISO standards, plus further still the ignorance of advise from
your national professional medical practitioners goes to show that the Health minister of PNG has probably ate the bait already and the hook is stuck fast it cannot be removed.
His replies to these issues on the floor of Parliament aren't making sense any more.
People of PNG must know why straightforward decisions like this cannot be made for the good of the people. For example, was there no proof reading done before tenders were
You cannot amend a tender requirement at the last minute to suit a company that didn't have a particular requirement to win.That in itself is fraud.
Why were the other companies that bid initially, ticking all boxes at lesser cost, dropped? Looks like this can only be done in PNG?
Seven plus million PNG lives are in the hands of this man.
Posted by: Jade Grassket | 18 February 2014 at 03:38 PM
It is good that Gary Juffa is willing to point out the way the tender process for the pharmaceuticals was completely flawed.
The Tenders Control Board changed the requirements at the last minute and said it had to be a local company.
But there was no local company with the ISO standards so they altered the rules and said "Maski the ISO." anything so that BPP could have the contract - and their tender was many millions higher than a good ISO rated company.
Naturally it sounds very suspicious and the educated people are crying "corruption".
But to me the main problem is that the Minister says "We will not change our minds... etc" and he won't listen to the doctors including Prof. Glen Mola who is busy reminding him that he is wasting the people's money as well as continuing the "faulty pill" problem.
I know who I would call the "faulty pill"!
Posted by: Mrs Barbara Short | 18 February 2014 at 01:10 PM