PNG is like a butterfly in our hand; let’s exercise care
The Croc growls for members of the DWU Writers Club

The wolves are devouring us in broad daylight


THE phrase “Papua New Guinea has gone to the dogs” is no longer relevant in describing the extent of corruption in our country. It does not go nearly far enough.

We all stand astonished at the magnitude and pace at which corruption has accelerated in PNG in the last decade or so.

The state of service delivery in most parts of PNG is at a pitiful state even when we are in the middle of a “boom” - the boom was supposed to usher in a new era in our nation’s history where we could look forward to a more equitable and fairer society.

Yet in the 40 years of its nationhood, PNG has gone from a progressive nation to one of the most backward developing nations on earth.

The irony is that, all this time, we have been rated as one of the most resource rich nations. Thanks largely to PNG LNG we have witnessed unprecedented growth in our economy in the last decade yet I can’t help wondering what we were raving about when the reality is that this project was not as “transformational” as it was predicted to be.

The landowners of Hides and Moran are constantly threatening the government with closure of the project sites if their demands are not met while the State has not been honest in accounting for the revenue inflows that should be arriving as the shipment of gas takes effect.

In fact, one would assume that the revenue from LNG would rescue PNG’s economy from its dire situation. Yet this does not seem to be the case and questions are now being raised of the whereabouts of this money.

I have come to the conclusion that this nation is been fed to a pack of wolves who are indulging in devouring it in broad daylight.

Service delivery has been turned on its head to facilitate massive fraud with huge ‘variation costs’ and ‘off the book’ contract fees.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the ferocity associated with corruption in PNG has left this nation licking its wounds big time. While the wolves howl for more, the majority is forced to stop the bleeding that is the hallmark of the savagery against this country.

This nation is heading for a very bad place if we don’t stem the leakages that are allowing corruption to thrive under our noses. Somewhere, somehow, something has to give.

We can be sure the wolves are not contemplating an end to their grand scheme anytime soon. They constantly prowl the corridors of our public institutions hoping to identify loopholes and weaknesses they can pounce on.

They are cunning and menacing and ungrateful, giving no consideration to the consequences of their actions nor offering respect to our Constitution.

The very laws and public institutions that are supposed to work for the public good are being infiltrated and plundered for the gain of a few.

My belief is that this “steal from the majority and feed the minority” approach will not last long. They cannot suppress the truth and Melanesian culture is unlikely to enable the establishment of a “ruling class” which will exist in contradiction to the wishes of the people.

What we are witnessing is the creation of an environment for the emergence of “people power” as a legitimate means to end this chaos of theft and deceit. People will not be too long isolated from the benefits that they as a nation are supposed to be enjoying.

We have been our own worst enemy, deliberately turning a blind eye to corruption that is staring us in our faces.

We hope that it is just a bad dream and that all will be well when we awake from our bed. When something is wrong we tend to take a bystander approach. All of us are good at that. Hypocrisy is what we are good at.

The truth (and I hate to admit it) is that we are living in a country that is being designed to feed the wolves. When we become concerned and seek the truth, the wolves’ growl at Mother Corruption, the very mother that feeds them so well, as if they do not know her.

They duck for cover, jump in circles and bend the rules to preserve the power of their greed. They have done it so well so far, with no real opposition from citizens, that they are now chronic thieves living in a system of thievery.

Papua New Guinea belongs to the nearly eight million Papua New Guineans who are scattered from highlands to coast to islands but its riches are plundered to satisfy the greed of a minority few.

When they get caught in the act they scurry to preserve their “integrity” using for themselves the power that has been bestowed on them for the public good.

In a nation run by wolves, private interest is paramount to public interest. The wolves run the country for themselves.


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Ghandi Katao

While these are the fitting words for most of our leaders. On the other end is the ignorance of the people. This had and will continue to create a thriving environment for fakers! The gravest concern here is, how long will we the people continue to reject knowledge? Unless this time comes our salvation is far from reach!

Dominica Are

I pray and hope for the downfall of the wicked.

Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

Bunch of eunuchs in the criminal justice system have not used one iota of the law to acquit or sentence. All they do is shiver at the sight of money, guns, women and promotion.

They take all and run leaving the rightholders (the people) to fend for themselves in an obsolete democracy.

While the fourth arm of government such as the Auditor General, Task Force Sweep, Ombudsman Commission, Public Service Commission etc are demolished through ignorance and meagre funding.

How long can this go on? Insh Allah?

Paul Oates

Let’s be brutally honest about this subject.

All human societies originally evolved from small hunter/gatherer groups that gradually coalesced into semi-permanent villages depending on whether there were sufficient resources available to support a larger and fairly static population. Some societies were able to evolve into larger societies and permanent villages and cities but only if there were sufficient resources available in order to do so.

When resources start to diminish due to either environmental conditions/degradation or over population or a combination of both, there is inevitably conflict to determine who will survive.

Irrespective of any fantasies of modern imagination or what some may choose to delude themselves in believing and wherever they currently live, the ancestors of everyone on the Earth today will have at some stage has gone through this continuum. So whatever is currently happening in PNG today has happened elsewhere and probably many, many times previously. It will also happen again unless we choose to learn from the mistakes of others through the historical records that we today are lucky enough to have available.

I and many others like me previously made the mistake of thinking we could explain what societal constraints would work in PNG based on our knowledge of the human history. Having now had the benefit of hindsight and the opportunity to learn from my children and grandchildren, I now believe I see the problem far more clearly.

You can never fully pass on the knowledge gained from experience without first having had those listening conceptualize the problem themselves. What is possible however is to educate oneself and your perspective on life as to what works well and what doesn’t. That’s why history used to be taught in a comprehensive way at school.

Those who long for a beautiful, Utopian existence where the sun always sines and the fruit just needs to be picked from the trees or the fish caught easily in the local rock pools ain’t never really tried it as a long term lifestyle plan. Self-delusion is a great way to dream away a lazy Sunday afternoon but it ain’t practical.

The problem is really very simple. PNG was bequeathed a set of rules that were inappropriate for her people and no amount of tinkering will ever fix what was at the very start basically a false premise. The Westminster system doesn’t work in PNG. It never did nor will it ever work while the conditions that evolved in order to allow this this system of government to evolve do not and have never yet happened in PNG. The majority of PNG people were not ready or sufficiently prepared for the type of government imposed upon them at Independence.

Having now traveled and seen how the British left their former 20th Century colonies in the lurch so to speak, when they gave up trying to manage half the world, I can now understand why the UN Committee led by Sir High Foot imperialistically pontificated PNG should be immediately prepared for Independence and have it granted it as soon as possible. All Australia could do was effectively say to the UN "Yes Sir!'

But the British mistake was to myopically believe they knew best. Wrong! You only have to look at Nigeria, India and Pakistan, Burma, Malaya, Kenya, Fiji, etc. etc. to see that the Westminster system is not only impractical, it is also divisive while ever there are insufficient checks and balances available to keep the government of the day accountable to the people.

When the system of checks and balances on a government aren’t working the eventual result is chaos, confusion, corruption frustration and the potential for revolution. One has only to look at human history to see how this happens.

So if we agree on the problem, what’s the answer?

Look at what works and what doesn’t and start changing direction. The trouble is, those in charge maybe don’t want any change in direction, and guess why?

Well it could be summed up in the words of an 18th Century American revolutionary against the tyranny of British rule; “We all have to hang together or else we’ll definitely hang separately!’.

But in this case, it’s only a matter of time before bonds that keep those corrupt together (i.e. greed), then logically start to disintegrate since they only arise due to a lack of effective checks and balances.

Philip G Kaupa

The wolves here are nothing but puppies being monitored by some giant dogs! When these connections come to light, they cannot be tolerated in our Melanesian society. We are likely to see a civil war and economic collapse.

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