Previous month:
July 2017
Next month:
September 2017

100 posts from August 2017

I need help for a citizen’s referral of the electoral commissioner


I HAVE been thinking about the country’s election and the performance of the Electoral Commissioner Patilius Gamato.

In the view of a host of commentators, academics and ordinary citizens, his management of the election was poor and chaotic.

Many Papua New Guineans wanted a change of government as evident during the campaign and in the election itself as anti-O’Neill voting patterns emerged.

But an election process that was demonstrably flawed in many respects, and was credibly assessed as being corrupted in some cases, allowed the ruling People’s National Congress to remain in power with a greatly reduced majority.

Continue reading "I need help for a citizen’s referral of the electoral commissioner" »

Charles Abel's 100 day plan needs a people focus

Paul FlanaganPAUL FLANAGAN | PNG Economics

THE new Papua New Guinea government is proposing a 100 day plan. What should this consider?

A good national plan begins by fully understanding the challenges and opportunities facing its people.

This understanding is improved by seeing how a country is going relative to its neighbours (we economists call this comparative public policy analysis).

One of the best sources of up-to-date information on PNG’s development performance, and how it compares with other Asia-Pacific countries, is the Asian Development Bank’s Basic Statistics publication.

Continue reading "Charles Abel's 100 day plan needs a people focus" »

Pioneer’s great-grandson is PNG’s new deputy PM

Charles AbelROWAN CALLICK | The Australian

THE biggest winner in the new cabinet of Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O’Neill is the great-grandson of a pioneering English missionary of the same name, Charles Abel, who steps up to become treasurer and deputy prime minister.

Mr Abel, 47, of Milne Bay, has a degree in economics from Queensland University and, like Mr O’Neill, is an accountant.

“We’ve got to realise that there’s a limit to borrowing,” Mr Abel said.

“We’ve got to realise that we’ve got to live within our means.”

Continue reading "Pioneer’s great-grandson is PNG’s new deputy PM" »

How the Manus deal stopped Australia pursuing PNG corruption

Professor Jason SharmanJASON SHARMAN

Extract from Chapter 5 (‘Australia in Denial’) of ‘The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management’ by Jason Sharman

THE case of Eremas Wartoto is a rare example of action by the Australian government against Papua New Guinea corruption in Australia, an exception that proves the rule of general indifference.

Wartoto was charged in with misappropriating A$30 million in collusion with former minister Paul Tiensten (who was sentenced to nine years jail for corruption offences in Papua New Guinea in March 2014), and several senior public servants.

Learning that the charges were pending, he fled to Australia in August 2011. He used a car hire company he owned to sponsor him for an Australian work visa. On August 24, 2011 the Papua New Guinean government asked that the visa not be issued, given the criminal charges and outstanding warrant for Wartoto’s arrest.

The request was ignored and the visa granted in September.

Continue reading "How the Manus deal stopped Australia pursuing PNG corruption" »

Here I Am

Faikakai Topai – Dumplings in Sweet Coconut SauceMICHAEL DOM

Here I am soaking in the coconut cream of Pacifica
I am tenderizing like the starch stocked taro
Here I am sweetening like the ripe cooking banana
I am slurping slippery cabbage – aibika, fern, aupa, emi
And all the filling goodness of the family feast

Here I am smoking in the fireplace of a jealous god
I am roasting like a fattened village pig-on-a-spit
Here I am steaming like hot rocks in an earth pit
I am peeling flesh from bone in fat strips
For all the bellyful contentment of kith and kin

Continue reading "Here I Am" »

How Australia facilitates PNG’s culture of elite corruption


This past week, Australia’s largest bank, the Commonwealth, has been in the news for not reporting hundreds of instances of money laundering and is in big trouble. In this extract from Chapter 5 (‘Australia in Denial’) of Jason Sharman’s book ‘The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management’ the author explains how Papua New Guinea’s corrupt elite avails itself of a slack Australian attitude to illicit overseas funds. The book is available from The Book Depository (free shipping) which you can link to here

CORRUPTION in Papua New Guinea fits many of the patterns of kleptocracy elsewhere. Although there are problems with corruption at all levels of government, including the police force, it is the corruption of senior public officials that poses the greatest threat.

Previously it seems that most stolen funds were spent domestically, in cash, on consumer goods, and especially to buy favour before elections. However, as the scale of corruption has increased, the country’s ruling elite has become more inclined to send illicit funds overseas.

Interviews with Australian and other foreign officials working in Papua New Guinea suggest that it is an open secret that corrupt Papua New Guinean officials hold their illicit wealth in Australia.

Continue reading "How Australia facilitates PNG’s culture of elite corruption" »

PNG women shine at Sunshine Coast literary festival

Sunshine Coast festivalPHIL FITZPATRICK

I’VE just left the Sunshine Coast international readers and writers festival at Coolum Beach and am still reeling from the experience of sitting on a panel with three of the most intelligent and articulate women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a long time.

To put it mildly they did Papua New Guinean women and Papua New Guinean literature proud – I can’t think of any better ambassadors.

Rashmii Bell was cool and collected, chairing our session.  Helen Anderson, a sage commentator, and present despite a dodgy hip.  And the delightful and funny Vanessa Gordon.

In the mainly female audience were other Papua New Guinean women offering support.

Continue reading "PNG women shine at Sunshine Coast literary festival" »

Voices of independence: Echoing back with nothing new to say

MichaelMICHAEL DOM | AKA Kassandra Komplex, Icarus, Assistant Pig Keeper

IN Samoa there are many people who recall, with only partly contrived awe, that some of their early national missionaries were eaten by New Guineans.

While holidaying there recently, I gladly explained to a few people who asked me about this event that “we ate only the bad ones”. But maybe I should not have been so glib.

It’s a relatively inoffensive question, I suppose. However the agenda the query relates to – reports that PNG people are unbaptized, uncivilized, tribal cannibals – is a familiar frustration to many of us.

We’ve been independent for more than four decades and still we get these “negative images / printed in the media” about our far gone past.

Continue reading "Voices of independence: Echoing back with nothing new to say" »

Bangladeshi man burned to death as election warfare continues

Wabag town still gripped in election violenceDANIEL KUMBON

HUNDREDS of people stood helpless as a Bangladeshi businessman died in a fire early Thursday morning in the Enga Province capital of Wabag, a town already besieged by election violence.

Wabag has no fire service and the man died in an upstairs apartment already engulfed in flames.

The foreign businessman died even as  local leaders from surrounding tribes planned to stage a peaceful demonstration to express their grievances at the lack of interest shown by the new government in stopping an election-related tribal war on the edge of the town.

Four other Bangladeshi men escaped the inferno.

Continue reading "Bangladeshi man burned to death as election warfare continues" »

Is there a special law for O’Neill & his police commissioner?


PAPUA New Guinea is sick and tired of prime minister Peter O’Neill’s constant frustration, misuse and abuse of legal processes.

What is Mr O’Neill’s problem?

He has gone to the most extraordinary lengths to avoid having a conversation with the Fraud Squad on a significant corruption matter, the investigation into which he himself started.

The arrest warrant was only issued because the prime minister refused to meet the police to have that conversation.

Since then he has gone to court umpteen times, appealing every decision along the way, three years of politicking, legal roadblocks and police sackings.

Continue reading "Is there a special law for O’Neill & his police commissioner?" »

Your last chance to enter the Crocodile Prize for 2017

Croc Prize 2017EMTV

OVER the years we have seen some fine works of literary art by literary Papua New Guineans around the country; from writers like Vincent Eri, Russell Soaba, Sir Paulias Matane and Rashmii Amoa Bell.

It’s a steep order to get eight million Papua New Guineans to write. It is even harder to get the younger generations to keep that energy and finesse going.

The Crocodile Prize competition was created for the purpose of relighting the literary fire. The embers are there but barely alight.

The competition is an avenue where Papua New Guinean writers can express their artistry and literary talents. Getting published in the print and electronic media would be great for them.

Continue reading "Your last chance to enter the Crocodile Prize for 2017" »

Flight into the night: saving a precious Bosavi baby

Kevin Pondikou holds baby with father looking on
Dr Pondikou with baby. Proud father looks on


I RECEIVED the call from Keith Kedekai in Tari at 2.30pm. A woman was in labour at Mt Bosavi. The people there wanted a doctor’s opinion about whether she should be referred.

My day had begun with an operation for an infected abscess on a woman's finger then a regular ward round and other work in the wards that ended at two when I went for a break.

Receiving the call from Tari, I said I couldn't make a decision without more details. This type of case would need a medivac which means that an MAF plane would have to be located.

It turned out the Rumginae MAF planes were in Kiunga but the pilots had reached their maximum flying hours and were temporarily grounded.

Then the community health worker at Bosavi called me. She’d had to walk a long distance to get to an area with phone reception.

Continue reading "Flight into the night: saving a precious Bosavi baby" »

After 27 years, BCL’s board returns to Bougainville

Historic BCL board meeting in BougainvilleKEITH JACKSON

BOUGAINVILLE Copper Limited (BCL) has marked its full-time return to Bougainville by holding its first board meeting there in more than 27 years.

In a statement, Mr Burns said it was a “new dawn” for BCL as an independently managed Papua New Guinean company. Former parent, Rio Tinto, handed back its shareholding in the middle of 2016.

“The Buka board meeting was something of a historic moment for us as a company and demonstrates our high level of commitment to Bougainville,” Mr Burns said.

But Mr Burns took the opportunity to “remind third parties” that BCL’s exploration rights under the Bougainville Mining Act 2015 remained in place and should be respected.

Continue reading "After 27 years, BCL’s board returns to Bougainville" »

Empty election promises continue to deny people basic services

Sailing canoeJORDAN DEAN

OUT of curiosity, I typed the name of my birthplace, ‘Iyaupolo village, Papua New Guinea’, into Google and this response appeared: “Your search - Iyaupolo village, Papua New Guinea - did not match any documents”.

This didn't surprise me because this tiny village is devoid of electricity and water supplies as well as basic health and education services. Nor are there houses built of corrugated iron and timber.

Time has stood still for my insignificant village, unknown to the world because it hasn't produced any lawyer, doctor, politician or figure of influence.

Nearly 42 years after independence, my people in a rural part of Fergusson Island in Milne Bay Province are still living with old realities.

Continue reading "Empty election promises continue to deny people basic services" »

Nicholay Miklouho-Maclay IV to visit PNG next month

Nikolai-Miklouho-Maclay-by-Russian-artist-Konstantin-MakovskySIR PETER BARTER

THE great-grandson of the famed Russian anthropologist Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay (pictured) will visit Papua New Guiena next month.

Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay IV is a direct descendant of the naturalist, explorer, anthropologist and artist who first arrived in PNG in September 1871, landing at Garagassi Point and settling at Gorendu village on the Rai Coast of Madang.

Here he established an excellent relationship with the people and is anthropological work and diaries became widely acknowledged in Russia and around the world.

In September 1971, a delegation of Russians visited Madang on board a Russian frigate to mark the centenary of Maclay’s arrival, at which time a monument was established on the site of his house.

Continue reading "Nicholay Miklouho-Maclay IV to visit PNG next month" »

Just re-elected but pressure again on O’Neill over fraud case

Peter O'Neill (Peter Parks  AFP)JOHNNY BLADES | Radio New Zealand International

PAPUA New Guinea's prime minister Peter O'Neill has indicated he will appeal a National Court decision to uphold the legality of an arrest warrant issued for him in 2014.

The Court this week dismissed a challenge to the legality of the warrant obtained by anti-fraud police who have been investigating Mr O'Neill over alleged illegal state payments to a law firm.

Mr O'Neill said he respected that the court made its decision on outstanding legal matters relating to the Paraka Lawyers legal fees matter.

But he voiced disappointment with the ruling in light of what he described as "various inconsistencies with previous rulings and established precedents", indicating he would appeal in a higher court.

Continue reading "Just re-elected but pressure again on O’Neill over fraud case" »

Don’t talk about ICAC, Peter, just front up to the courts


AMONG the pieces of legislation prime minister Peter O’Neill is contemplating introducing at the next sitting of parliament in a few weeks is the much desired and talked about corruption watchdog, the Independent Commission against Corruption - ICAC.

Given the deteriorating amount of corruption in this country, particularly worsening white collar crime, legislation to fight fraud, theft and bribery should be a paramount responsibility of any government.

While Mr O’Neill has announced he will table an ICAC bill in parliament (a promise made many times before), it does raise questions about his motives.

This is especially so given his failure to adequately deal with corruption in the past, his own reluctance to be called to account over police matters involving himself, and his disrespect for corruption fighting and law enforcement agencies that venture too close to his office.

Continue reading "Don’t talk about ICAC, Peter, just front up to the courts" »

Justice delayed is a denial of the people’s rights


THE national court’s decision to throw out police commissioner Gari Baki's application to stay the arrest of Peter O'Neill has Papua New Guineans urging the commissioner and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to follow court order and execute the arrest warrant.

Unbelievably it has taken three years for the courts to finally make a ruling.

If Mr O'Neill through his lawyer makes an appeal to the supreme court let's hope a decision will made more swiftly than the national court.

In those three years we have had a general election (described by many people as the worst ever) with some key parties in the case contesting and one re-elected as prime minister.

Continue reading "Justice delayed is a denial of the people’s rights" »

Momis says Bougainville national MPs must improve performance


PRESIDENT John Momis says the four Bougainville MPs in the PNG national parliament need to present a unified front to ensure commitments to the autonomous province are implemented according to the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Dr Momis noted the “dismal failure” of Bougainvillean MPs in the previous O’Neill government to advocate the full implementation of the peace agreement.

He said he was particularly frustrated by regional member Joe Lera’s statement in Alotau last week that the Bougainville government had neglected to consult with him on matters relating to Bougainville when he was Minister for Bougainville Affairs.

“As the Minister for Bougainville affairs, Mr Lera should have been proactively pursuing the Bougainville agenda on behalf of the people and not maintaining the neutral stand he opted for,” Dr Momis said.

Continue reading "Momis says Bougainville national MPs must improve performance" »

An act of kindness is a celebration of our humanity – treasure it

New MP, Bryan Kramer


THE other day I went to the shop near my office to buy lunch.

There’s a man there who is always at the entrance asking everyone who passes by for a kina. I see him almost every working day.

It was lus wik [off-pay week] for government employees and I had only K20 left in my pocket to tide me over Enough to buy rice, lamb stew and a can of coke with some change for buai and cigarettes.

As usual, the man put out his hand and asked for a kina. I’ve donated to his cause many times before but this time was annoyed and told him harshly, ‘Oi, mi no wok moni blo yu!’ before giving him a kina.

Continue reading "An act of kindness is a celebration of our humanity – treasure it" »

The Alotau 2 accord is an insult to the people of PNG


THE Papua New Guinean government’s blueprint for office, known as the Alotau II Accord (read it here), fails as a vision for PNG’s future and is an insult to women, the rural poor and business credibility.

Indeed, it insults the majority of PNG’s population by placing women’s economic empowerment as only the 89th item of its list of 90 priorities – and it does so under the heading ‘PNG Immigration and Customs Services’.

It makes no mention of women’s social empowerment (which would include action to address issues such as domestic violence and the killing of ‘witches’) and there is also no mention of women’s political empowerment (which resulted in the failure of any women to win a seat in the recent national election).

Papua New Guinea’s 111 member all-male parliament will have to do better.

Continue reading "The Alotau 2 accord is an insult to the people of PNG" »

Douglas Tennent returns to PNG after action by church


A New Zealand Catholic mission worker deported from Papua New Guinea two months ago returned to the country this week.

Douglas Tennent, who is also a lawyer, was forcibly expelled from PNG in June despite a court stay on the deportation.

Mr Tennent had been providing advice to the Archbishop of Rabaul, Francesco Panfilo, particularly over concerns involving West Pomio landowners and the huge multinational logger and oil palm operator, Rimbunan Hijau.

The church fought strenuously to have Mr Tennent allowed back into PNG.

Continue reading "Douglas Tennent returns to PNG after action by church" »

Where exactly does the buck stop in Papua New Guinea?


THERE is a universal convention in all democracies that leaders accept responsibility for the actions of those under them.

The concept is captured concisely in a phrase popularised by United States president Harry S Truman and which he had mounted on a plaque on his desk. It read, ‘The buck stops here’.

It is a convention that applies to all organisations, including those in both the private and public sectors. It particularly applies to governments.

Many prime ministers and a few presidents have had to resign because of something a subordinate has done which they had inadvertently or unknowingly condoned or ignored.

Continue reading "Where exactly does the buck stop in Papua New Guinea?" »

Enough of this nonsense: some frustrated words from an old friend


I NEED to say something to a few of my Papua New Guinean friends and colleagues who seem to have become distracted following the formation of Peter O’Neill’s new and hopefully temporary government.

And that is that they ought to be working to protect and enhance what are emerging as some good, strong trends in Papua New Guinea and saving their angst and contempt for the corrupt, the venal and the incompetent.

I’m compelled to write these words after sitting through day after day of intemperate criticism, mocking and trolling of newly-elected MP Bryan Kramer after his decision to forego a new member’s allowance of, I think, K5,000 and donate it to some useful project.

For this Mr Kramer has been characterised as over-privileged, self-serving, a cheap publicist, a phony philanthropist and even narcissistic (how that computes I don’t know).

And then there’s been the excoriation, by some of my friends, of Papua New Guinean voters for re-electing the O’Neill government – a criticism I find both unfair and misleading.

Continue reading "Enough of this nonsense: some frustrated words from an old friend" »

Charles Abel needs to hit corruption where it counts – at the top


CHARLES Abel has announced that fighting corruption will be a priority for the new government of Peter O’Neill.

Where have I heard that before?

When I had finished laughing and then crying, I wiped the tears and thought about it a bit more.

I think Charles Abel is a good man, what he is doing in the People’s National Congress party is a continuing mystery.

But even with the best will in the world he will be taking on an almost insurmountable task made even harder from where he currently sits.

Hercules’ fifth task of cleaning out the Aegean stables pales by comparison.

Continue reading "Charles Abel needs to hit corruption where it counts – at the top" »

Our leaders have chosen their own convenience….

JOHN KAMASUA Kamasua_John Kaupa

SOME otherwise good leaders have chosen convenience and the mediocre ahead of excellence, justice and the protection and upholding of state institutions.

That's how you get by in this country, that's how you survive in the political arena and that's how you gain access to resources such as the improvement funds.

And, if you’re very clever, you, get rewarded with ministries.

Papua New Guinean politics is a game of convenience, not guts and ideals. So we see the mediocre rule over principles and values,

After nearly 42 years of independence, this country has become a sinking ship. We were pretty much characterised as a failed state a couple of years ago (our leaders denied it) but now have a failed election (our leaders denied that too).

Continue reading "Our leaders have chosen their own convenience…." »

The joys of snow skiing in tropical New Guinea


SKIING in New Guinea? You betcha.

Did you know there was a ski resort in West Papua, across the border there?

The story goes that in the 1970s an enterprising German mine manager built a small ski resort in the Maoke mountains so that expat mine workers could enjoy a little Europe-style recreation.

At over 15,700 feet it was reputed to be the second-highest ski resort in the world.  It had ski lifts, a chalet, a ski shop and pomas (detachable cable tows).

I don't know if the facility is still there as the glaciers and snowfields have all but disappeared. But the legend persists and it is still listed on ski-bum web sites.

Continue reading "The joys of snow skiing in tropical New Guinea" »

Momis lays down an action agenda for O’Neill on Bougainville

John Momis & Peter O'NeillKEITH JACKSON

BOUGAINVILLE president John Momis has taken the opportunity of congratulating Peter O’Neill on his election win to remind him that the autonomous province is expecting cooperation from the Papua New Guinea government in addressing joint challenges.

Dr Momis emphasised the need for continued close engagement in relation to the forthcoming referendum on Bougainville’s independence and the importance of ensuring autonomy arrangements work effectively.

Bougainville’s referendum will be held in mid-2019, during the term of this PNG parliament, and relationships between the autonomous province and the O’Neill government have been rocky in the past.

“It is important that Bougainville’s autonomy arrangements operate effectively as intended by the PNG constitution,” Dr Momis reminded Mr O’Neill.

Continue reading "Momis lays down an action agenda for O’Neill on Bougainville" »

Election that secured O’Neill’s second term was chaotic

O'Neill - continuity but not stabilityTHE ECONOMIST

MARAUDING supporters went on the rampage with bush knives, candidates were imprisoned and kidnapped and police stations were burned during the six-week vote and count in elections in Papua New Guinea.

On 2 August the incumbent People’s National Congress party finally declared victory and Peter O’Neill was returned as prime minister for a second five-year term. But the violence augurs ill for the country’s stability.

The chaotic campaign reflected enduring problems in the political system. Most politics in PNG is local: the population of 7.6m people speak nearly 850 languages. Fully 44 parties took part and many candidates ran as independents.

Continue reading "Election that secured O’Neill’s second term was chaotic" »

Featuring the work of the gutsy PNG author, Mr Baka Bina

Baka Bina  Sogeri 2014KEITH JACKSON

WE were nearing the end of the event (graciously funded by Paga Hill Estate) that marked the launch of the book, My Walk to Equality, in Port Moresby early in March.

A group of us were standing around having a last drink and finalising a robust discussion on the prospects of establishing a viable indigenous literature in Papua New Guinea.

“Anyway,” I remarked to Baka Bina,” if ever you need a hand just give me a yell.”

Whereupon Baka emitted an ear-shattering and protracted Eastern Highlands whoop that rattled the high ceilings of the elegant Stanley Hotel, toppled glasses off tables and had colleagues ducking for cover.

It was quite a yell.

Continue reading "Featuring the work of the gutsy PNG author, Mr Baka Bina" »

Resuscitating our economy – the Papua New Guinean dream

Jordan is a leading PNG writer & poet


WHY does the economy feel so much worse when we keep getting reports saying everything is fine. I mean, personally, it feels lousy.

Right now, independent economists say Papua New Guinea is in recession and, with further budget reductions expected in 2018 and a growing population, what we really need is growth not cutbacks.

So how do we resuscitate this economy and achieve sustained growth over multiple years and see investors having confidence, employers hiring and consumers buying. That’s what growth would look like in PNG.

I believe the x-factor is startups that develop the capacity to grow. I’m not talking about Microsoft, Apple or Google type hyper-growth, wonderful success stories that contributed to America’s prosperity.

No, what really matters is more modest investment in numerous small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). We should have a target of planning, launching, marketing, building and consolidating businesses, some of which will sail over the million-kina mark within a decade.

Continue reading "Resuscitating our economy – the Papua New Guinean dream" »

Leaked transcript exposes Australia’s unlawful refugee policy

Donald Trump & Malcolm Turnbull aboard USS Intrepid (Reuters)ELAINE PEARSON | Human Rights Watch

THE leaked transcript of the infamous January 28 phone call between US President Donald Trump and Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has some extraordinary revelations.

It confirms how Australia's foreign policy has been hijacked by immigration concerns.

One might expect the first call between these two leaders would have focused on more pressing matters of global security but for nearly the entire call, Australia’s prime minister is desperately trying to persuade the US president to uphold an agreement to take a small number of refugees from Australia’s offshore processing centres in Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and Nauru.

Continue reading "Leaked transcript exposes Australia’s unlawful refugee policy" »

Australia’s response to PNG election: diplomatic ineptitude

Keith in full flight
Keith in full flight


“AUSTRALIA praises 'successful' PNG election as death toll mounts,” the SBS headline said.

Note the single inverted commas around the word ‘successful’; in headline writer’s terms a technique to imply sarcasm.

A statement to SBS News from Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop had said: “The Australian government congratulates PNG, one of our closest friends and partners, on its successful election and we looking forward to continuing to work with prime minister O’Neill and PNG’s new government.”

This was not only wrong (the election was demonstrably unsuccessful in its conduct), embarrassing (the current Australian government persistently confusing diplomacy with prostration and self-abasement) but it was treacherous.

The statement was disloyal and perfidious to Papua New Guineans like Dr Alphonse Gelu, the registrar of political parties and candidates, who said the election had been marred by numerous bad practices and that there were many questions about the way it transpired.

Continue reading "Australia’s response to PNG election: diplomatic ineptitude" »

Keep shining & serving the government of the day

Jordan Dean
Jordan Dean


PETER O’Neill’s re-election as prime minister on Wednesday was received with a mixture of emotions by many Papua New Guineans.

For some, it was with a sigh of relief as they wanted stability and continuity of policies and initiatives from the previous government.

For many others, it was a bitter defeat as the Alliance carried their hopes to resuscitate the economy and weed out corruption.

Like everyone else, public servants had their own perceptions about who they felt was the best person to hold the top post.

I am not interested in judging their opinions but remind fellow public servants that we’ve sworn an oath to serve the government of the day whether we like it or not.

Continue reading "Keep shining & serving the government of the day" »

Once Upon a Time (Mama)

Omce upon a timeJORDAN DEAN

Once upon a time
Mama had big and firm breasts
A lusty Australian sucked all the milk
Now her weak breasts hang empty
Our minerals gone!

Once upon a time
Mama had bushy pubic hair
A horny Asian shaved it smooth
Now she is hairless and bare
Our forests gone!

Once upon a time
Mama wore a grass skirt
Now she is stripped naked
Exploited and raped
Our money gone!

Continue reading "Once Upon a Time (Mama)" »

A spineless Australia is no good for anyone


PAPUA New Guinea may have once been regarded as a ‘colony’ of Australia but a lot of people seem to forget that Australia itself was once a colony - in the true sense of the word.

Like Papua New Guinea, and unlike many other colonies, Australia made the transition to independence peacefully.

It seems that without some sort of struggle for independence many ex-colonies come of age retaining a strong sense of cultural and national inferiority.

Despite the brashness and faux macho of its citizens I think this is the case with Australia.

Continue reading "A spineless Australia is no good for anyone" »

Grotesque comedy as PNG elects a debt-ridden kleptocracy


THE return of the O'Neill government means that, notwithstanding the incompetence and outright fraud that reduced the electoral process to a grotesque comedy, enough Papua New Guineans were persuaded to elect what amounts to a kleptocracy.

This will ensure that PNG's remorseless slide into poverty and squalor will continue unabated. There are many precedents for this in Africa and elsewhere.

As someone who cares what happens to PNG and its people, it saddens me deeply to think that the place I knew, full of bright promise, should be reduced to this state.

In a wider context, what is happening in PNG is reflective of the slow death of representative democracy across the world.

Continue reading "Grotesque comedy as PNG elects a debt-ridden kleptocracy" »

The people of PNG must now see justice delivered not denied


NOW we have entered the era of the tenth parliament with a new government elected, an important agenda item is the resolution of outstanding allegations of corruption leveled against MPs and ministers.

It would be a relief for the citizens of this country if politicians who lost their seats in this election but still have allegations against them were brought before the courts and held accountable.

Now that they are ordinary citizens without the protection of high office it would be good for our democracy and our justice system for them to face the law and be dealt with under the criminal code.

Continue reading "The people of PNG must now see justice delivered not denied" »

Peter O'Neill re-elected as prime minister with comfortable majority

Peter O'Neill todayKEITH JACKSON

AS the lights went out in Papua New Guinea's parliament house during the crucial vote for Speaker a short time ago, so they went out symbolically for the many Papua New Guineans who were hoping for a change of government after a violent, chaotic and probably corrupted national election.

Manus politician Job Pomat, something of an unknown quantity but the offering of Peter O'Neill's PNC Party, defeated the Alliance's Dr Allan Marat 60 votes to 46 in a decisive result for the incumbent prime minister despite a resurgent opposition.

Soon after, in the parliamentary vote for prime minister, Peter O'Neill was elected for a second term.

Continue reading "Peter O'Neill re-elected as prime minister with comfortable majority" »

Is it constitutional to elect both the PM & Speaker today?

Sam KoimSAM KOIM | Facebook

THE combined reading of section 142 of the Constitution, the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates and Part II of the Standing Orders of the National Parliament shows that the following order of procedure has to be followed for the first two critical days of the 10th Parliament.

Wednesday 2 August 2017

  1. Members will assemble in the Chamber at the appointed time.
  2. The Clerk will read the National Gazette notification calling the Parliament together and the notification appointing the representative of the Governor-General to administer the Declaration of Office and Declaration of Loyalty. (This may be administered by the Chief Justice).
  3. Notice is given in the normal manner for the appointment of the Speaker and the Prime Minister.
  4. Parliament adjourns to the “next sitting day” which is Thursday 3rd August 2017 for the election of the Speaker followed by the Election of Prime Minister.

Continue reading "Is it constitutional to elect both the PM & Speaker today?" »

O’Neill’s gift to new govt: Extraordinary economic mismanagement

MYEFO-front-pagePAUL FLANAGAN | PNG Economics

THE Papua New Guinean Treasury has released its 2017 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO).

It is an extraordinary document.

Amongst the detail is a damning insight into Peter O’Neill’s continuing mismanagement of the budget.

And there is little doubt that the original 2017 budget was fiscally fraudulent.

The Treasury document indicates that the budget deficit is over K1 billion larger than forecast only seven months ago. The document states the deficit has increased from K1.9 to K2.8 billion.

Continue reading "O’Neill’s gift to new govt: Extraordinary economic mismanagement" »

Election diary: How will our children remember this violent time?


THE sound of shrieking children playing slowed my heart beat and brought a feeling of normalcy. My heart had been pumping furiously every day since election writs were issued.

It seemed that the children sensed it was safe to play after the nightmare – gunshots, deaths, destruction and chaos - of the past couple of weeks in Wabag town.

But I’m sure those children will never forget the sad events of this time which we hope will culminate with the formation of a new government on the floor of parliament, and a new prime minister, on Wednesday.

How will those children ever forget our young neighbourhood mother who lost her infant as she fled for her life from the hospital? She had been struggling to give birth in the maternity ward when assailants started destroying Wabag General Hospital in a surprise attack.

Continue reading "Election diary: How will our children remember this violent time?" »

Take PNG's side to protect and defend our union


EVENTS that have transpired leading to the formation of a new Papua New Guinean government are raising serious questions about the state of our union.

Already on social media there are calls for autonomy and even independence for some regions or provinces. Such calls are unwarranted but indicate the need for our elected leaders to assess the strength of our union.

The Bougainville crisis is a reminder that if we don't take this issue seriously, conflict between regions or ethnic groups may alter our nationhood forever.

Certainly the results of the 2017 national election demonstrate that, with one or two exceptions, our political parties are becoming more regionalised.

Continue reading "Take PNG's side to protect and defend our union" »

O’Neill appeal wanes as Alliance moves to secure majority

Attitude readership soarsKEITH JACKSON

AS readers turned to PNG Attitude in the post-election turbulence (graph), SirMereke Morauta said a third independent politician has aligned with him to “play a leading role in the election of prime minister and formation of a new government” in Papua New Guinea.

South Fly MP-elect Sekie Agisa joins PNG’s first Airbus pilot and Rigo MP-elect, Captain Lekwa Gure, and leading businessman and Central governor-elect Robert Agarobe in aligning with the former prime minister in an Alliance grouping that looks increasingly credible.

Continue reading "O’Neill appeal wanes as Alliance moves to secure majority" »

How this PNG election miscarried. Let me name the ways….


LET me state from the start that, when I refer to ‘electoral commission’, I include not only the commissioner himself but others.

The returning officers, assistant returning officers, counting officials and all the electoral commission’s agents who - one way or another - contributed to making sure the 2017 national elections were the worst in Papua New Guinea’s short history.

I am of the view that the current administration of the electoral commission has shown little proof that it has conducted its duties without fear or favour.

When the first seat (Tari- Pori) was declared, one could sense something was not right.

Continue reading "How this PNG election miscarried. Let me name the ways…." »

Desperation of O'Neill & PNC cohorts reaches new heights


WITH Papua New Guinea’s new parliament sitting for the first time tomorrow, Peter O’Neill’s desperation to secure numbers has reached unprecedented heights.

There was more drama at the airport yesterday as people from the North Fly and Western provincial seats sought to reinforce their new MP and Governor elects desire not to join the PNC Alotau camp.

They protected the MPs from hijackers until the arrival of PNG Party leader Belden Namah. The people then introduced the MPs to Mr Namah with much dancing and celebration.

However, upon landing at Port Moresby airport, police believed to be sympathetic to Mr O’Neill tried to hijack the two MPs. This resulted in a commotion as Mr Namah deterred the police.

Continue reading "Desperation of O'Neill & PNC cohorts reaches new heights" »