Has Peter O’Neill become the symbol of all that’s rotten in PNG?
Our corrupt bigman syndrome is pitching rich against poor

Simbu people demand resignation of prime minister O’Neill

Simbu protesters on the marchFRANCIS NII & MATHIAS KIN

THE people of Simbu called upon prime minister Peter O’Neill to resign from office at a recent public forum held in Kundiawa and attended by over 6,000 people.

The forum, jointly organised by university students and Voice of Simbu led by Mathias Kin, was to inform  the people of Simbu and make them aware of how Peter O’Neill has run down Papua New Guinea as well as to explain the Parakagate affair and other allegations involving O’Neill and his government.

The forum also canvassed actions that the people of Simbu could take.

After receiving official permission from the Simbu provincial police commander, Superintendent Albert Beli, Voice of Simbu conducted a province-wide awareness program to inform people of the forum.

People started arriving in Kundiawa as early as eight o’clock last Thursday. At the beginning there was a small misunderstanding with the Kundiawa Police Task Force and the Mobile Squad 8 of Kerowagi when they questioned the legality of the assembly.

However the provincial police commander came out and addressed crowd. He agreed the forum had official approval and could go ahead.

The forum was joined by students from the University of Technology who had travelled from Lae on the tulait tulait bus. The students gave good insights into the current political, social and economic situation in PNG.

They spoke strongly on the many current issues surrounding the prime minister including the National Provident Fund saga, Paraka fraud, the $3 billion UBS loan, the PNG power generator fraud, government mismanagement, the disbanding and suppression of government institutions, sacking of ministers and senior police, public servants pay, university students strikes and the current cash problems.

Simbu protesters listen to speechesThe crowd strongly applauded as the speakers touched upon each issue.

After the students spoke, other people contributed including the member for Sinasina Yongomugl, Kerenga Kua MP, who spoke powerfully on the need for the prime minister and other elected and unelected officials to respect the laws of this country and not to continuously use expensive lawyers to run to the courts and use the media to convince the public.

Kua called on his Simbu colleagues to put the interest of the people and their country first by withdrawing their support for O’Neill. He said politicians who continued support for O’Neill showed that they were selfish and greedy and only serving their own interests.

The forum concluded with a resolution from the crowd that the prime minister must resign to save Papua New Guinea from disaster.

To show Simbu people’s position on this national crisis, it was resolved that 200,000 Simbu people will sign a petition to give to the prime minister. The six Simbu members of parliament will receive the petition on behalf of the prime minister.

The organisers of the forum thanked all the Simbu people for attending the forum, which ended peacefully at one o’clock.

They also highly praised the Simbu peace and good order committee and provincial police commander Beli for their endorsement of the staging of the forum. They commended Beli for his neutrality, observing that police in Port Moresby had become O’Neill’s puppets.


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Rose Kranz

Forget it. Sonja is a jealous woman.

Peter Kranz

Sonja, we appreciate your frustration, but if it wasn't for the efforts of PNG Attitude, Keith and a few others, PNG would have a much lower profile in Australia.

When you have a wife, family and history in PNG you care very much.

It may interest readers to know that over the last week Australia provided about 14,000 readers (40% of the total), PNG 10,500 (30%), the US 3,000 (8%) and the UK 2,000 (5%). India was next with about 1,000 (3%) - KJ

Mathias Kin

Sonja Barry Ramoi, good to see you here among us lapuns!

Michael Dom

Laik b'long yu, Sonja.

Peter Warwick

Susan, I will have you know that KJ is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Queensland. This means he has adjuncted a lot here and there. More power to KJ!

I have since been disjuncted, Peter, so now I do a lot of disjuncting hither and thither - KJ

Michael Dom

When you're swimming in shit it is not advisable to open your mouth.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Wrong question Sonja.

It should be: Why do all you lapuns in Australia care about Papua New Guinea?

The short answer might be because many of us devoted significant periods of our lives there.

Mathias Kin

There is so much anti-Peter O'Neill talk in PNG, Australia and elsewhere in the Pacific. Do we have a dictator, a tyrant in our midst?

Marcus Mapen

'Also consider the difference between wisdom and knowledge. The wisest person isn't necessarily the cleverest, as my grandma used to say (and she'd never been to high school)'

Em trupela tok. I Can't agree more. I may be a living example myself. I think I am smart but I can lack wisdom sometimes.

Peter Kranz

I could go on to quote Maslow, but this isn't a course in developmental psychology. Needless to say this is very relevant and I even managed to bring it into an IT studies course at UPNG some years ago


Peter Kranz

Education and intelligence are not the same thing (and degrees measure neither).

Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligences state that there are eight different types of intelligences, which we all have and are present in differing amounts.

These intelligences include: visual, logical-mathematical, linguistic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist.

So IQ tests based on Western-style questions of the logical/mathematical kind won't tell you who will survive the longest if dumped alone in the bush.

Also consider the difference between wisdom and knowledge. The wisest person isn't necessarily the cleverest, as my grandma used to say (and she'd never been to high school).


Michael Dom

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater, can't be Prime Minister forever. We'll put him in a Bomana cell, and there we'll keep him very well.

The National has printed some farcical editorials before, but I would warn readers to not trust Thursday's edition - it's not even fit for smear marks from the nether.

Peter O'Neill is innocent until proven guilty, yes, but that only counts if he steps in front of the judge.


Lindsay F Bond

So it seems, where Sonya states: social media...incorrect information ... becoming more and more popular as time goes by.
Yet, do look: not all who read will adhere to the views they see.
Survey of the landscape is essential in finding best paths.
Problem for any species is hapless deference to poor leadership, path-ing, not parting.

Lindsay F Bond

On the matter of finance portfolio succession…

In 2006, Philemon lost the finance portfolio, which was given to Namiliu…
in May R.J. et al (ed) In Election 2007: The Shift to Limited Preferential Voting in Papua New Guinea
see: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=GapBAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17&dq=Bart+Philemon+in+2006&source=bl&ots=7worb1SJIA&sig=Bs2TSFYwn0Bfa4YdgFJF8OAsHMQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjr8PA2vjMAhVmHaYKHcepA8IQ6AEIOzAG#v=onepage&q=Bart%20Philemon%20in%202006&f=false

(Namiliu) served as foreign minister until 12 July 2006 when he became finance minister during a cabinet reshuffle. (till August 2007)
see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbie_Namaliu

(after Namiliu, Pruaitch) PNG Finance and Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch has called for private sector assistance to implement the country's 2008 National Budget. (22 November 2007)
see: http://www.pngindustrynews.net/sectionstory.asp?section=Government&SourceID=s195&page=41

PAPUA New Guinea’s assistant Auditor-General Gordon Kega has discovered $2 million was paid to 87 people “for unknown services” out of relief funds given to Oro province following cyclone Guba in November 2007.

The Supreme Court chalked up a win over the government recently, however, in insisting on the suspension of Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch following his indictment by the Ombudsman Commission for corruption. Justice Nicholas Kirriwom said in awarding the decision against Pruaitch — overturning an earlier stay order — that “for a leader to remain in office when he has been referred [to a leadership tribunal] is a mockery of the constitution”.
see: https://pngexposed.wordpress.com/tag/michael-somare/page/17/

Task Force Sweep … chairman, Sam Koim, alleges Paul Paraka Lawyers has been paid more than $100 million by the Department of Finance since 2007.
see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-25/an-investigators-allege-massive-fraud-by-papua-new-guinea-elite/5047050

Succession not yet of success?

Michael Dom

Peter O'Neill has been on the NEC and held Ministerial portfolios since 2002 - that's 14 years in parliament and more than half that time with the longest ever government coalition with the National Alliance Party.

O'Neill was the Minister for Finance and Treasury in Somare's 2007 cabinet.

Somare had sacked Bart Philemon in 2006 from the portfolio after Philemon had challenged him for leadership of National Alliance.

Guess who took over the job, although it's conveniently mentioned on his webpage as 2010.


Peter Kranz

I think Mark Twain said it for both our countries.

"We've got the best government money can buy."

Peter Kranz

Marcus and Daniel. Don't forget the remarkable fate of Pope Formosus!

Probably around January 897, Pope Stephen (VI) VII ordered that the corpse of his predecessor Formosus be removed from its tomb and brought to the papal court for judgement. With the corpse propped up on a throne, a deacon was appointed to answer for the deceased pontiff.

Formosus' rotting corpse was accused of transmigrating sees in violation of canon law, of perjury, and of serving as a bishop while actually a layman. Eventually, the corpse was found guilty.

Stephen then cut off the three fingers of the right hand that it had used in life for blessings, next formally invalidating all of Formosus' acts and ordinations (including, ironically, his own ordination of Stephen [VI] VII as bishop of Anagni).

The body was finally interred in a graveyard for foreigners, only to be dug up once again, tied to weights, and cast into the Tiber River.


Marcus Mapen

I remember saying this before, Daniel. When you become dictatorial, you step on people. Those that you step on will never forget what you did to them (and as your case here shows, even those who are 6 feet below shouldn’t feel so lucky).

Daniel Kumbon

Degree or no degree, rich or powerful, when the masses are against you they are against you even after your death.

The last dictator in England, Oliver Cromwell, had his corpse dug up from Westminster Abbey, hung in chains and beheaded.

Cromwell had died of natural causes in 1658 but, when the Royalists returned to power in 1660, they hung his corpse and cut off his head to demonstrate the people’s anger for everything he had done wrong against the masses when he was in power.

Peter Kranz

Phil - a degree in nose picking? Methinks you jest, but not far from the truth.

How about degrees in the phallus, or David Beckham studies, or ufology?

They are for real.


Peter Kranz

Hi Gordon! As you know your lovely wife Lyn is Rose's aunty - both from Gembogl and both proud Simbus.

Nathan Doikwa

We can clearly see for ourselves and make logical judgements about the current state of the nation even without a degree.

You and I both understand that we will always choose living and the wellbeing of our people and our future generations more than anything thing else.

And right now all that is at stake while you are so worried about the law and documents and legal processes.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I've only got a couple of degrees Susan but I got mine back in the 1970s when they meant something. They were also hard work, especially when I was holding down a full time job and helping to raise a family.

I got mine from one of the sandstone universities. By the 1980s there was a proliferation of new universities (mostly upgraded TAFE colleges) and the value of a degree headed rapidly south.

UPNG once had a good reputation but now its degrees are not worth much. Divine Word is much better.

Nowadays you can get degrees in just about anything, basket weaving, nose-picking etc. etc.

I've slowly come to the realisation that a decent education doesn't just rely on formal education. It also involves years of experience. Some of the most impressive educated people I've met are illiterate.

I've come across heaps of dickheads in my life who think their qualifications somehow make them better and wiser people. When you take them to task they usually resort to the 'my degree is better than yours' argument.

I don't think you are doing yourself any favours by bragging about your PhD.

What I do like is your 'mission statement' (horrible phrase) on PNG Echo.

What happened to that great ideal?

Philip G Kaupa

We can see from your comprehensive CV nothing of particular reference to Papua New Guinea's traditions and culture, which are the main influences on our political and social way of living.

All we need you to do is to refrain from suppressing us PNGians. We are the voice the world needs to hear, not yours.

Your CV is most fitting for a job in the developed world. What are you doing in a third world country? Serve your interests silently or go back to your developed world.

Stanley Amben

Thank you Simbu! PNG is too big to fit into an individual's pocket.

Philip G Kaupa

Susan Merrell go bek lo ples blo yu

Hoi susan merrel yu blo we?
yu ting ogeda samtin yu save

yu wokim nem lo wanim samtin stret,
politik o helpim man? giaman meri

Wanim taim yu helvim ol grass roots
yu giaman lo klinim pipia na kus

Blo ol stil man blo PNG, go wok lo toilet
na driman lo mani inaf tulait

wanim samtin tru yu makim
blo helvim PNG na stretim

ol hevi i wok lo kamap istap
yu nogat han mak, sem blo yu missis

pasim kap maus blo yu na stap isi
mobeta yu lusim PNG missis

Susan yu no blo hia
pasim maus na opim eye

na painim rot blo yu
go bek lo ples blo yu tru

Yu husat ya?

Michael Dom

Insinuations, allegations, suppositions and character assassination all based on jilted political views with the objective of twisting of reality.

When people discuss who they would like as their leaders that process is called democracy.

Welcome to New Melanesia - the door opens both ways.

Daniel Kumbon

Thanks Brian Kramer for the article. Now I know where Susan Merrell is from – Wales in good old England.

Susan, I lived in Wales in 1989 and enjoyed very much my stay there. I liked visiting the old castles, mines and enjoyed meeting the people. I tried to learn the language but it was very complicated indeed.

I think you also like PNG, respect its people and the 800 plus customs, traditions and ways of life. It’s a nice beautiful country in the tropics isn’t it?

The only reason people seem to be against you is how you defend the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill. He is their Prime Minister, not yours. You work for him but he is not your PM.

People see the country falling apart and I think you (as a foreigner) should not be involved in the country’s politics. Leave it to Papua New Guineans.

It doesn’t seem right when you insult senior citizens like the former Chief Justice Sir Arnold Amet. You are drawing unnecessary attention to yourself.

I suggest you go for a break now and come back when everything has returned to normal – that could be after the 2017 elections.

Michael Dom

Phil and Ed, I agree the article is biased because it was intended to be so.

Bryan's article was an extended riposte to Susan Merrell's attempts to discredit the excellent informative, in-depth and very much needed interpretations of current affairs in Papua New Guinea.

We know very well how easily many Pngains can be cowed by the 'wait-skin, na planti skul pepa b'long ol bikpela saveman'. That is exactly how Susan Merrell has been portraying herself - hence, Bryan's description is accurate.

Wanem, em bai kam raunraun long hia na opim maus b'long em olsem wanpela smatpela meri igat save abrusim b'long yumi.

No fucking way.

Treat us as equals of fuck off!

That's precisely the response she has received with desserts.

Unlike the majority of commentators on PNG Attitude this woman has no life investment in PNG - she has come to cash in off our people's sufferings.

No track record of real professional or personal achievements in PNG.

No track record of demonstrated concern for the society and economy of PNG.

No track record of contribution to really helping the forward progress PNG.

No track record of real time spent working, thinking or actively doing things related to or based in PNG.

No relationship with the grass roots crawling in the underbelly PNG.

No understanding of the complex societies and cultural identification of PNG.

No right to comment without consequence about PNG.

Ed Brumby

Having just read Bryan Kramer's piece on Ms Merrell, I have to agree with Phil, Peter: a biased and unfair piece, hardly worth the effort of reading.

In any case, it appears that Ms Merrell has heeded the call to engage with and not insult us and we should respect that, even if, as it appears, she is an apologist for PM O'Neill - who, given the circumstances, needs all the apologists he can muster.

Marcus Mapen

Susan - At this point in time you should be aware that the name of Peter O’Neill is already tarnished and tainted.

He no longer has the credibility to remain in the position of prime minister of this beautiful country of PNG. It is no longer an issue of whether he is guilty or not.

If you (or anyone who reads my post) are close enough, advise him that the only honourable thing left for him to do now is to just step down voluntarily.

The decision whether to crash or land is entirely up to him.

Philip G Kaupa

Stone patriots will never sell their will to O'Neill....never!

Marcus Mapen

Well done Mathias and Francis. Thank you for taking the lead in taking this fight against evil to the next level.

What goes up must come down. No question this prime minister is going down. It’s up to him whether he lands or crashes. And don’t forget that all his puppet ministers must go down with him.

Jerry Wanahau

The most affected population will be the rural and they need to know what's happening and support or otherwise , thanks for the students who have sacrificed time for awareness as well Mr Kua for the support . Not sure if the PM is satisfied to step aside but for sure his power hungry because time will soon catch up with him .

Philip Fitzpatrick

That is a biased and unfair article Peter.

Whatever her shortcomings or motives personal attack is not warranted. Rather, attack what she is saying.

Peter Kranz

As Ms Merrell has graced us with her presence again to plug her own blog, it's worth being reminded of a two-part article by Bryan Kramer on "Susan Merrell - Journalist or Opportunist?"

This is the first part.

Gordon Barry Shirley

That was very brave of the Simbus to speak out as they did. However, I do not think it wise for students to boycott classes for long periods. This will come back to bite the students of Simbu on their deno!

Gordon Shirley, former headteacher Gagl, Kewamugl and Wandi, married to a Goglme woman for 43 years

Mathias Kin

One thing that came out of the forum was that the majority of our people still live in the rural areas and do not have access to the media (Facebook, newspapers, TV) and they were not aware of the extent of PNG's problems.

People expressed shock that high officials could be so bad, so corrupt. Simbu people who attended the forum will take the messages back to their hausman and their villages. Other activities in protest against the PM are already underway in Simbu.

The Unitech students have also advised they will all withdraw and come back to Simbu.

Other news from here is that the Tuition Fee Free Policy of the government is a scam. Most of the high and secondary schools who have not fully received their funding, will close within the month or next.

With all these energetic young people congregating in Kundiawa and the districts, it would mean trouble for the authorities, adding more pressure to this very defiant to the PM, Peter Charles Paire O'Neill and his government.

Daniel Kumbon

Peter O'Neill is playing hide and seek like when he was a child hiding only his face when the rest of his body was sticking out for everyone to see.

Philip Fitzpatrick

It seems the 'silent majority' want O'Neill to go Susan.

Albert Schram

‪‎Unitech‬ students staged a peaceful and successful demonstration in Kundiawa, with endorsement of Hon Kerenga Kua.

The students have a mandate of 2,059 votes (of 3,000 students) in favour of a indefinite class boycott in a regular referendum.

Here are the facts. The national student movement for transparency and accountability has so far been endorsed by two former PMs (Sir Michael Somare, Sir Mekere Morauta), a former supreme court judge (Sir Arnold Ahmet), a former Attorney General (Hon Kerenga Kua) and a former Ombudsman (Ila Geno).

These highly respectable and accomplished PNGeans all believe the PM should allow himself to be interrogated and step aside to clear himself of any accusation.

So what can we call this movement? After two years of PMs delaying tactics through the courts, police and fraud squad appointments widely played out in the media, it truly stretches imagination to call this movement the actions of a minority of students led by their youthful emotions.

Michael Dom

Simbu has spoken.

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