The Turnbull visit that went off the track - more revelations
Death of Josepha Kiris, leader in domestic violence struggle

A presentation to separate the PNG truth from the PNG lies

Kessy SawangKESSY SAWANG | The Papua New Guinean Woman | Edited extract

THERE is a famous quote attributed to Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.

When I saw Patrick Pruaitch’s recent denouncement of the O’Neill government of which his political party, National Alliance, is a key coalition partner, it reminded me of the noble actions of our PNG National Party parliamentary leader, Kerenga Kua.

On 13 April 2016, a year ago, he resigned from the National Alliance when his conscience and moral compass would not allow him to accept Peter O’Neill and his government, which he felt was destroying the country, our economy and lowering governance and accountability from acceptable standards.

Where was the National Alliance’s conscience then? Where was the leadership of Patrick Pruaitch then? When he had the authority and power to intervene but refused to at that time, he is equally culpable for the sins of O’Neill and his coalition.

I will start this conversation about the PNG budget with the key indicator of fiscal management – the level of debt.

From there I will discuss the budget deficit and then touch upon the economy. Next I’ll walk through what I call the headline issues.

From this you will see that it has been an unprecedented scale of financial mismanagement, mistruth and a recklessness that seems to be a deliberate sabotaging of the national interest.

This is a sad story of failure and the true costs are yet to be revealed. The adjustment required will be painful for our people.

I have been selective in the topics I talk about because of time constraints, but the key message is one of a failed government that is driving our proud country to its knees.

We see evidence of this already when this government went cap in hand to the Australian government to beg for budget support.

This disgraceful begging was met with a stern rebuff from the Australian government. This is a national embarrassment. It is shameful for a country that boasts of $US20 billion LNG project and with another one just around the corner to beg.

You can read Kessy’s full presentation, complete with explanatory charts, here


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Philip Fitzpatrick

It seems that 'fake news' and 'alternative truths' are not a new invention, they have been with us for centuries. Except back then they called them 'lies'.

All our current politicians habitually lie. That includes Prime Minsters O'Neill and Turnbull and, of course, the leader of the free-world, Donald Trump.

Lies have started a lot of wars and we are currently overloaded with them.

I share Chris' cynicism and despair - we are on a slippery slide, possibly to oblivion this time.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Kessy's presentation is well-worth reading. She presents a series of stunning graphs that show up the incompetence of the government.

`Robin Lillicrapp

Looks like PNG is following leads of Western orientation and buying their own treasury instruments of debt.
Unlike their larger Western neighbors, a reckoning will come sooner than later.
How much longer can the situation endure?

Chris Overland

Kessy Sawang has provided a clear and concise summary of the O'Neill government's appalling record of economic and fiscal incompetence.

The question is: does anyone in PNG know or care? So, for example, have the national media published a summary of Ms Sawang's excellent paper? Has it caused a national uproar it deserves or simply been greeted with incomprehension or a shrug of resigned indifference?

Sadly, I suspect that the large majority of Papua New Guineans neither know nor care about the situation. Given that most continue to live traditional lives this makes some sense but their disengagement and ignorance will doom the country to further misrule.

In this way, PNG is simply heading down a well trodden path in places like Africa, where tribalism, sectarianism and ignorance have been exploited to benefit the few, not the many.

I do not expect to see anything change after the forthcoming election. It will be business as usual unless and until the economy collapses under the sheer weight of the corruption and incompetence that now bedevils it.

History suggests that we humans only learn to moderate our more aberrant behaviours through repeated episodes of severe pain and suffering.

Despite all our collective intelligence, ingenuity and insight it is our collective capacity to repeat the mistakes of the past is one of the more startling characteristics of the human race.

There seems to be a periodic mass outbreak of willful ignorance that propels us into catastrophe on a regular basis. The facts cease to be relevant, being replaced by a combination of wishful thinking, inchoate emotions and sheer bloody mindedness.

This tendency is deftly exploited by the chancers and opportunists who infest our business and political processes so as to garner personal benefits in one form or another.

Thus, in Turkey today, we have a majority seemingly bent upon endorsing a new constitution that effectively renders their democracy inoperative. This seems likely to be done in the utterly mistaken belief that having political power strongly concentrated in the hands of their autocratic President is the best way to secure the future of the country.

History says otherwise, but it seems Turkey must relearn an ancient and bitter lesson.

So, PNG is neither unique nor alone in its journey towards national disaster. The route chosen may vary, but the destination is always the same.

I say this while being fully aware that my own cynicism and dismay about our collective foibles is now distorting my own views of the world.

However, that said, I think that you would have to wildly optimistic to believe that one of the numerous triggers for war and/or economic Armageddon will not soon be either deliberately or accidentally pulled.

Still, I guess PNG and the rest of us may, somewhat miraculously, just "muddle through" and we oldies must hope, for our children's and grand children's sake, that this proves to be the case.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)