Game on in Waigani after court’s ‘no confidence vote’ decision
The wolves are devouring us in broad daylight

PNG is like a butterfly in our hand; let’s exercise care


IT does not matter who is Papua New Guinea’s prime minister or from which part of the country he or she may come from.

The ideal leader is one who fights crime and corruption and ensures ordinary people enjoyed life, economic prosperity and freedom.

People have high esteem for such leaders and hold their coffin high when they pass on. Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare may have had his moments of weakness as prime minister but many people have high esteem for him as ‘the Father of the Nation’.

Now the Grand Chief has resigned from his party, the National Alliance, a major coalition partner in the O’Neill – Dion government.

Somare wants to refer Peter O’Neill to the Ombudsman Commission under the Leadership Code on the grounds of illegally taking over the Somare government in 2011 when the Grand Chief was very ill in a Singapore hospital.

“Importantly, it is essential that my personal decision to make a bold stand is remembered as a strategic move to preserve the public identity and internal integrity of our political party against the habitually illegal and negligent actions of Peter O’Neill,” Somare said.

O’Neill took the catch and said bluntly that the people of PNG need not worry about ‘Waigani politics’ because it has always been there but it will not provide leadership that his government is providing now.

“We know these people who play politics,” O’Neill said. “We know their history and background very well and what they are capable of doing.

“They are the same people who have been there to bring the country down. This won’t stop us from what we are doing. This government is focused to provide the leadership that this country needs.”

But while ‘Waigani politics’ plays out in the corridors of power the rest of the country is falling apart. After 40 years of nationhood, the gap between the haves and the have nots has got bigger.

It is a very dangerous trend to see the number of restless young men and women passing out of the education system every year. How many of the nearly 60,000 Grade 10 students who sat for their exams on Monday will win places at our tertiary institutions after they complete Grade 12?

Leaders ought to be warned they are vulnerable to attacks from ordinary members of the public if politicians shout prosperity when there is no evidence of it in the rural areas of this resource rich country.

The kind of assassination that we have seen too many times in the United States is unlikely to happen in PNG because of the strong social bonds of regionalism, tribalism and wantokism.

What happened to United States President William McKinley in 1901 in Baffalo, New York cold also happen here? History could repeat itself in PNG.

Nonetheless, PNG politicians need to be warned that their actions can destabilise this multi-lingual and culturally diverse country – the worst thing that can happen to any country.

Our people are no longer living in the Stone Age. The colonial era is long gone. The people are learning enough to understand the work of government – how revenue is generated, how it is budgeted and where it goes.

Is it not right to assume that once people see millions of kina generated from their gold, copper, oil, silver, fish and logs and they see no change in their own conditions that they will they not rebel against a wasteful and corrupt government.

One of the founding fathers of PNG, John Momis, has warned that there will be a revolution if leaders are not careful to distribute wealth equally and if they do not respect the laws of this country.

Leaders continue to be the key to a united PNG. Their very actions will determine PNG’s fate. The people will no longer enjoy peace and prosperity unless leaders change their attitudes and make honest decisions based on popular acceptance – Melanesian consensus must come into play at all levels of government.

Dr Momis said peace and the empowerment of the people are interlocked, for without involvement in the decision making process to regulate their own lives, people will never respect those decisions.

He is dead right. If people are not involved in decision making and equitable resource sharing, PNG will surely be headed on the path to total chaos – the beginning of anarchy.

The stability of PNG is what the poet said: “It is like holding a butterfly in your hand. You must keep your hand wide open and risk that it will fly away. If you close your hand on it, you will crush it.”


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