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Juffa warns companies who employ ‘neo-colonial racists'

ProfileFREDDY MOU | Loop PNG

ORO Governor Garry Juffa has warned expatriates working in his province not to swear at or treat his people in a racist manner.

Governor Juffa said these people were not welcome in Oro and said he would remove them from the province.

He also said companies should screen staff for such attitudes before employing them.

Mr Juffa said several companies were habitually employing "neo-colonial racists who behaved as if they were in apartheid South Africa".

He said the Oro provincial government would introduce laws to fine companies whose expatriate staff behaved in a racist manner.


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Bernard Corden

If the PNG government held onto the passports of the tattoos to teeth ratio brigade for the duration of a specific project, it may moderate their alleged cultural superiority.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I'm happy to be proven wrong Keith.

The problem with making broad generalisations like I have made is that there are always exceptions. One of the biggest exceptions occurs in the cities, especially Port Moresby and Lae. There you have a nice balance of quite reasonable people to offset the offensive minority.

When you get away from those cities however the mix changes. That's where you have big projects linked to resource industries, especially mining and logging. I think that might be what Gary is talking about.

I have never in my life met so many racists, misogynists and red necks as I have in those places. They make the casual racism of pre-independence days pale by comparison.

It would be interesting to hear exactly who Gary has got in his sights.

Keith Jackson

"The majority of the expatriates in PNG are there for commercial reasons. As such they bring their conservative views and prejudices with them."

Couldn't disagree more with my comrade Phil on this one. My observation is that the expat presence in PNG has changed from being systemically racist to being episodically so.

That's an improvement, although racism - or even segregationism - in even the merest amount cannot be excused.

As for "conservative views and prejudices", well, the purple haze of time must have briefly blurred Phil's vision of those pre-independence days.

Paul Oates

The essence of the problem is often a complete lack of familiarization training and understanding of different cultures and how the views from some may clash with others.

Often the senior executives are not even aware of what it's actually like at the kunai roots.

I've been trying to get that message through for years and been successfully stymied by Government bureaucratic turf wars and out of touch ministers and their staff.

Perhaps Governor Juffa could work with those of us who also understand the issues and using a pincer movement, nail the problem. Legislation will never change bigotry and narrow mindedness. Careful selection and training of staff will.

Rashmii Bell

Abolish the two-tier pay structure system and that should define who is there for love and respect for country and people, or otherwise.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I look at this in an upcoming article Chris.

My thesis is that the expatriates who go to PNG now are mostly quite a different breed to those who were there in the early days.

Nowadays the majority of the expatriates in PNG and there for commercial reasons. As such they bring their conservative views and prejudices with them.

I also say that it must create a bad picture of Australians and others in PNG.

I imagine Elvina Ogil will endorse this view.

Chris Overland

When the newly elected Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, was asked why he had ensured that his Ministry was gender balanced and included people from a number different ethnic backgrounds, he replied "Because its 2015".

Trudeau's answer was as eloquent as it was brief. In three words he showed his disdain for and rejection of the gender and raced based prejudices that have bedevilled the human race for millennia.

We might therefore reasonably ask why, in 2016, it is still possible to find "neo-colonial racists" in modern PNG.

Sadly, the answer is that the utterly discredited racist ideas that have blighted so much of human history apparently die very hard indeed.

It would seem that there is a hard core of racist recidivists in our midst who just will not accept that their puerile and self serving ideas about their supposed racial superiority have no basis whatsoever in fact.

Certainly, there are cultural differences aplenty across the world but, as I have previously written, these tell us nothing other than that different people have different ideas about the world and how they should live in it.

While I can sympathise with Governor Juffa's evident frustration and anger, I doubt that legislation is the answer. It may be better to work with the companies concerned to improve their recruiting practices to weed out those who are temperamentally unsuited to working in PNG.

I suspect that the main offenders are not people who tend to treat anyone with respect. PNG does not need such people any more than we do.

Lindsay F Bond

Bullying is much, these days, a discussion topic among folk in Australia. Workplaces are one location type.
Of Oro, however, are the reported incidents incurring among security providers?

Bernard Corden

I abhor any forms of racism but is statutory legislation the answer? Eventually, it will only benefit the legal profession and line the pockets of Paraka et al, who are amoral.

We have so much tax law yet everybody from corporations down to individual tradesmen use the law and advisors to avoid paying tax.

it was Cicero who remarked " More law, less justice"

`Robin Lillicrapp

Maybe the need for social mapping should also be revisited before projects are undertaken by contractors.

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