PNG’s police problems demonstrate a failure of leadership

Lustrous advertisement in support of O’Neill was a decoy

Francis Nii 2013FRANCIS S NII

IT was a lustrous and paid for advertisement about Peter O’Neill that appeared in The National newspaper of Monday 21 June.

It was political propaganda.

And it had been deliberately crafted to divert, mollify and diffuse the focus of the nation on the possible impending arrest of the prime minister in relation to his alleged corrupt involvement in siphoning off K71.8 million public funds in the direction of Paul Paraka Lawyers.

And its core argument, that political and administrative stability is “absolutely necessary” to achieving socio-economic prosperity, was a cunning decoy to distract the attention of the people away from the prime minister and what is now called Parakagate.

The blatant nature of the advertisement have led to the serious questions about the credibility of its author and the research that underpinned it.

Apparently it was sponsored by Peter O’Neill, or maybe the government, and it certainly seemed to have the intent of diverting people’s attention from the due process of administering justice.

There were, it was claimed, 10,000 people interviewed by Michael Mell and his company Mell Research and Marketing Consultants to glean the opinions on which the research was based.

If true, this is a large number for any research project, itself a matter for interrogation.

Another important question concerns how representative of the population the research sample was, irrespective of its size.

And yet another concerns the impartiality of the questions.

Michael Mell confidently asserted in the advertisement that “Peter O’Neill [was the] best choice for Prime Minister 2012-2022”. Such claims from a supposedly independent opinion pollster leave a lot to be desired.

I would not like to think that Michael Mell was just another puppet dancing to the music of O’Neill in disrespect of his own integrity, intelligence and conscience.

It would also be interesting to know how much Peter O’Neill pulled out of the public purse to solicit Michael Mell into producing this one-sided O’Neill extravaganza.

Using public funds on an ill-conceived and embellished advertisement could set a dangerous precedent.

But here’s my main point.

If Mell, O’Neill and their cohorts are in any doubt, I’d like to inform them that stability in government, public service and armed forces and high standards of social and economic well being for the people is a trademark of – wait for it - zero tolerance of corruption.

This is the pillar of a country’s governmental and bureaucratic stability and advancement. Stability is the end result of zero corruption governance.

If we have a government full of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, definitely the country is doomed.

I have total confidence in our justice system regardless of how some of our leaders seem to scheme to evade justice.

No one is above the law. O’Neill himself has always preached this and it is true. The writing is on the wall and true justice will prevail.

No amount of research and newspaper advertising will change that.


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Francis S Nii

Thank you Barbara and gentlemen. The forensic test result has been reported to have affirmed the authorising signature as O'Neill's. Sam Koim also stated that there was other evidence.

O'Neill is doing everything to evade or run from the law but justice will prevail if the wheel of justice does not stop prematurely.

Corruption is corruption no matter its nature and magnitude and it is going to be a bad precedent if we sidetrack, cover it up or water it down.

John Kaupa Kamasua

The point needed to be made and Francis has nailed it. Many people who put out similar materials in the newspapers stand to compromise their integrity and professionalism.

Well done Francis,

Barbara Short

Well said, Obed. Surely O'Neill should be able to understand that if he steps down and awaits a court investigation into the Parakagate affair, that the country will not fall apart. He is not indispensable. If he died tomorrow the whole place won't collapse.

Australia is taking little notice of PNG at the moment. Our Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, is a main player in a much greater world outrage. The people who have downed this plane and killed so many innocent people, must be caught and punished.

William Dunlop

Australia bought and paid for Papua New Guinea's sovereignty in many ways, blood, sweat, tears as well as the ultimate sacrifice, death.

I and many thousands like me gave the best years of their young lives in assisting with the development and building of Papua New Guinea into a nation.

Do not have the audacity to blame my adopted country for the woes that have befallen your country.

Lay the blame squarely on the rubbish men or
big man olsem corrupt politicians.

Obed Ikupu

With the current political instability, I doubt Australia will blame the people for our shortcomings by handing powerful rockets to protest Peter O'Neill's stepping down as PM.

After all, Australia should recognise our sovereignty.

We don't want the same civil crisis experienced by Bougainville repeating itself with PNG LNG.

William Dunlop

Francis - Em nau.

Barbara Short

I didn't see the ad. but thanks Francis for this excellent article. It reminds me of the recent history of the Ukraine.

At this sad time in world history, after the downing of MH17, we can read in the newspapers about the Ukraine, a country that used to be the "Bread Basket of Europe" but came under the rule of the USSR with totalitarian communism.

With the break-up of the USSR,it was given independence and tried to move to democracy. If ended up with massive corruption and a leader who grew very wealthy and built himself a palace, as they always do! (Has O'Neill built himself a palace, yet?)

This led on to a Revolution and the corrupt ruler was replaced by a new democratically elected leaders. But some in the country of Ukraine didn't like what happened, they wanted to go back to life "under Russian rule" i.e. back to the days of the USSR. So this led to a Civil War in the Ukraine.

The leader of Russia, Putin, who is often seen in palaces, was happy to help them and we believe he lent then some incredibly powerful rockets, and one night, when they had been drinking, it appears they might have used them to kill hundreds of innocent people.

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