Corruption, crime, law & justice Feed

Robodebt inquiry exposes putrid behaviour

The royal commission was established and is now in session
The royal commission was established and is being streamed live here: https://robodebt.royalcommission.gov.au/

COMPILED BY MAX OPRAY
| Schwartz Media

From time to time, when there’s something important to say, I give space in PNG Attitude for Australian politics. Each morning, Schwartz Media sends me a heads-up on the big stories of the day. This morning’s email brought with it sickening information about how a powerful segment of Australia’s public service, apparently working at the behest of senior politicians, had engaged in what would best be described as criminal behaviour. The passages underlined for emphasis are mine - KJ

Continue reading "Robodebt inquiry exposes putrid behaviour" »


Political leaders enabled PNG election flaws

Image from TIPNG 2022 Election ReportEDITED BY KEITH JACKSON

Edited extracts from the TIPNG Domestic Election Observation Report 2022 compiled by Transparency International PNG (TIPNG). The full report can be downloaded here

PORT MORESBY - The accumulated failings in the preparation, conduct, delivery and conclusion of the 2022 national general election resulted in significant issues impacting the quality of the elections.

Many eligible voters could not freely, fairly or safely vote, and consequently their views were not taken into consideration in the formation of the 11th national parliament.

Continue reading "Political leaders enabled PNG election flaws" »


Another innocent victim of a very cruel crime

DOMINICA ARE

LAE - He may have been hungry and desperate. He may have been dying to drink alcohol. He may have been just looking for luck.

He may have planned my day for this. Perhaps hiding in the thick grass, or behind the trees. Ready to pounce.

As I walked past, the street was quite empty.

Continue reading "Another innocent victim of a very cruel crime" »


PNG's corruption is systemic & worsening

REPORT
| Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG)

Edited extracts from the Civil Society Report on the Implementation of Preventive Measures
of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY - The overall findings of the report indicate that Papua New Guinea is only partially compliant with its obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

Furthermore, although laws and relevant agencies have been established to carry out these obligations, improvement is needed in areas where laws are inadequate and where UNCAC provisions are not strictly enforced. 

Continue reading "PNG's corruption is systemic & worsening" »


Moresby’s police have ways to make you pay

BOMAI DOO *

PORT MORESBY – I remember that morning well. It was around eight and the streets of Four Mile were filled with people, some going to work, some coming from work, plenty looking for work.

Many of the multitude were street sellers trying to make a few bucks from the crowd, or from each other.

Our bus stopped in front of Mondo clothing with the crew shrieking ‘hurry up, hurry up, this is police stop, you want us to get caught?’

Continue reading "Moresby’s police have ways to make you pay" »


The desperate & deadly streets of Moresby

“I'm afraid to live in this country. Police officers and army men think they're above the law and that they can get away with so many things. Corruption runs rampant in these streets” - Kaliop Ingirin Tomai

Least livable
Port Moresby is considered to be one of the world's least livable cities

BOMAI DOO *

PORT MORESBY – I am still on probation in my job and the pay is really not enough to live on. I spend half of it on bus fares to get to and from work.

But who am I to complain or quit my job when so many accounting graduates from the universities are roaming the streets doing nothing.

Continue reading "The desperate & deadly streets of Moresby" »


Our insane & violent love affair with sorcery

Why should an elected member of the government accuse someone of sorcery? Why should a pastor or padre come home after church and blame someone of sorcery?

LEONARD FONG ROKA

PANGUNA – First I’ve got some people to thank for their effort against this insane Melanesian belief in sorcery and sorcerers that is now blighting Bougainville as well as mainland Papua New Guinea.

I’ll particularly mention Anton Lutz, Gary Bustin, the Tribal Foundation and the PNG Post-Courier newspaper.

Continue reading "Our insane & violent love affair with sorcery" »


Drug syndicates boost activity in the Pacific

The Pacific Islands are not only becoming a destination for drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine, they are places where criminals can take advantage of weak or out-of-date laws and police largely focused on local policing and public order

Pacific sunset

ERICH PARPART
| Voice of America | Edited extracts

BANGKOK — The Pacific Islands are increasingly being used as a transit point for transnational crime, including drug trafficking and money laundering, experts say.

Criminal organisations from Asia and the Americas are exploiting limited law enforcement resources in the region.

Continue reading "Drug syndicates boost activity in the Pacific" »


Tragedy: Tribal fighting claims 32 lives

An all-out tribal warfare with spears and bush knives broke out between the two parties that led to 26 people killed from the Kuboma side and six people killed from the Kulumata side

Kiriwina
Kaibola dancers on Kiriwina island,

REBECCA KUKU
| The National

PORT MORESBY - At least 32 people have been killed in an all-out war between Kulumata and Kuboma tribes in Milne Bay’s Kiriwina Islands.

Internal Security Minister Peter Tsiamalili Jr confirmed the killings that erupted early last month after yam gardens were destroyed.

Continue reading "Tragedy: Tribal fighting claims 32 lives" »


Buai bans don’t work; so what will?

Under the 'partial ban' policy, betel nut was only allowed to be traded in designated areas, but experience showed this only made the problem worse. The winners were the law breakers

Buai ban

BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

PORT MORESBY - Once again Port Moresby’s National Capital District Commission (NCDC) has embarked on a ban - this time targeting the sale of cooked foods in the city.

This is not the Commission’s first ban. In the last 10 years, there have been three other bans targeting the betel nut trade and the sale of cooked foods in the city.

Continue reading "Buai bans don’t work; so what will?" »


More talk but still no ICAC on PNG’s horizon

The O’Neill and Marape governments’ many years of pro-ICAC rhetoric without establishing a working organisation is probably the best guide to acknowledging that PNG is unlikely to see a viable ICAC any time soon

Corrupt

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Papua New Guinea is moving slowly towards establishing a long-promised Independent Commission Against Corruption with the help of the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC).

UNODC is supporting interim ICAC commissioner Thomas Eluh, who was appointed more than four years ago to deliver the PNG Anti-Corruption Project.

It is now expected that ICAC will begin the real work of fighting corruption in 2023.

The project, funded by the European Union, covers the development of management, recruitment, induction and staffing systems, the preparation of a code of conduct and a communication strategy.

A draft anti-corruption awareness and education strategy was developed in March 2022.

“Fighting corruption is very complex and requires a concerted effort from every citizen to have any chance of minimising this epidemic,” said Mr Eluh.

“If you want a corruption-free and safe tomorrow, I call on everyone now to assist ICAC in whatever way possible.

“We must try and eradicate corruption from society and save PNG from the clutches of corruption,” he said.

In a recent workshop, participants discussed key elements in establishing ICAC, the importance of an effective awareness and education strategy and fostering communication and collaboration between ICAC, civil society organisations and relevant government agencies.

Participants also addressed the topic of whether corruption affects women and men differently.

The main outcome of the workshops was that the interim ICAC will continue working on awareness programs in collaboration with civil society organisations CSOs and government agencies.

That the interim ICAC is still conducting discussions about implementing awareness programs after four years provides a clear view of the snail-like pace of PNG’s adoption of a robust anti-corruption body.

It throws a shadow over the PNG government’s commitment to fighting corruption.

Perhaps we will see a more energetic approach now that the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, UNDP and the European Union are collaborating in the PNG Anti-Corruption Project.

But the O’Neill and Marape governments’ many years of pro-ICAC rhetoric, workshops and discussions without establishing a working organisation is probably the best guide to acknowledging that PNG is unlikely to see a viable ICAC any time soon.

As Wikipedia succinctly notes: "Political corruption in PNG is largely enforced by political nepotism and the patronage system of governance.

"Elected leaders are inclined to seize and distribute resources amongst their electorates in order to secure and maintain popular support."


Oz blasted over response to K268m fraud

"Australia's apparent inability to assist in this most basic of legal processes does not sit well with its broader anti-corruption and security intentions in the region" – Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary

Samson Jubi was granted Australian permanent residency more than a decade ago (Facebook)
Samson Jubi was granted Australian permanent residency more than a decade ago (Facebook)

SEAN RUBINSZTEIN-DUNLOP
| ABC Investigations | Extract

SYDNEY - A Papua New Guinea government minister and top justice officials say they are "extremely frustrated" with Australia for harbouring a Cairns resident wanted for one of the biggest alleged frauds in the country's legal history.

In an early test for the Albanese government's Pacific strategy, PNG immigration minister Bryan Kramer and the country's national police force have spoken out to the ABC about "unacceptable" delays in Australia's handling of an extradition request for PNG citizen Samson Jubi.

Continue reading "Oz blasted over response to K268m fraud" »


Corruption eating the nation, says Rosso

"Corruption boils down to the attitude of individuals, which needs a complete change. The onus is on everyone to end this disease that continues to eat away the fabric of the nation"

John rosso
PNG deputy prime minister John Rosso


NEWS DESK
| National Broadcasting Corporation

PORT MORESBY - The Marape government has vowed that it will work closely with key government agencies to combat corruption in Papua New Guinea.

Acting prime minister John Rosso said the government cannot tackle corruption alone, and needs a collective effort from government agencies and every individual.

Continue reading "Corruption eating the nation, says Rosso" »


Does B'ville need a new anti-corruption law?

In 17 years since the first Autonomous Bougainville Government was formed there has been little practical action to utilise the powers to hold political and bureaucratic leaders to account

Jn top
Joseph Nobatau found himself targeted as he sought to bring senior Bougainville leaders to account. He lost his influential job as chief secretary, but was later completely exonerated by the courts

JOSEPH NOBETAU

BUKA - Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama recently announced his government’s intention to enact a new anti-corruption law. 

The president, who campaigned on a platform of eliminating corruption, has since his election advocated for reform and should be commended for his focus on corruption.

Continue reading "Does B'ville need a new anti-corruption law?" »


Corruption is suffocating economic growth

Corruption is a huge problem in PNG and has a huge economic cost. PNG is ranked by Transparency International as one of the most corrupt countries in the Asia-Pacific region

Eddie Tanago 2
"Research by Act Now! showed how just a one-point improvement in PNG’s corruption score could boost the economy by K10 billion a year or 14%, equivalent to over K1,200 for every woman, man and child in PNG" - Eddie Tanago

NEWS DESK
| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - Effective action against corruption is essential for economic growth and it should be the number one priority for the new Marape government.

Recent findings by the National Research Institute has reaffirmed the importance of good governance and the rule of law in attracting new investment, increasing employment opportunities and boosting government revenues.

Continue reading "Corruption is suffocating economic growth" »


The insidious cancer that is corruption

Corruption is an insidious cancer in the social, economic and political fabric of the nation. It will have to be stamped out if Papua New Guinea is ever to reach its true potential

Overland
Tolai man uses tabu (shell money) to buy a soft drink in a Chinese store (Claudio Sieber)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Let us suppose that the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) was not both corrupted and inefficient.

If this was so, then the PNG’s Chinese traders, described by Hamish McDonald in the current issue of The Monthly (link here $ or read an extract here), might have sufficient confidence in the system so they would not feel compelled to adopt some of the extrajudicial measures referred to in the article.

Continue reading "The insidious cancer that is corruption" »


Out of the terror & death, it’s time for peace

Every day there was gunfire in Enga Province. Constant reports of death and destruction poured in from almost every district. Property valued at millions of kina went up in smoke - shops, homes, schools, health facilities

Kumbon top

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY - I had terrible dreams, some so scary they made me sweat, in the last couple of weeks I was up there in Wabag.

Maybe my poor brain recorded so much destruction, crime, violence, atrocities and human rights violations that the events kept resurfacing in my sleep.

Continue reading "Out of the terror & death, it’s time for peace" »


Corruption fighter Kramer slams allegations

“The allegations of scandalising the judiciary are nonsensical. It’s a fact the chief justice, who I understand is the complainant in this allegation, is a close friend of former prime minister Peter O’Neill and was appointed on an NEC (Cabinet) submission sponsored by O’Neill"

Bryan Kramer at parliament house
Bryan Kramer at parliament house

THIERRY LEPANI
| PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s Justice Minister and Madang MP Bryan Kramer has been referred to the Public Prosecutor by the Ombudsman Commission on 14 counts of alleged misconduct.

He told a media conference that the Ombudsman Commission had delivered a letter informing him of the allegations and the referral.

Continue reading "Corruption fighter Kramer slams allegations" »


A colonial construct about to be sorely tested

Papua New Guinea’s parliament operates more as a collection of loosely affiliated Mafia mob bosses than a genuine democratic institution

PNG-National-Parliament

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - China, tribalism, corruption and a province that wants to be its own nation pose a prickly pathway for Papua New Guinea over the next few years.

The desire of Bougainvilleans for independence is not going to dissipate on the basis of a deal concocted by Port Moresby to give the province autonomous status within PNG - an offer that falls well short of expectations.

Continue reading "A colonial construct about to be sorely tested" »


PNG fails to deter sorcery-related violence

Brutal torture of women accused of witchcraft goes unpunished and initiatives to end the crime make little progress. The government was supposed to fund the Sorcery National Action Plan, but it never happened

Aaaaaa
After torturing people accused of sorcery, the perpetrators burn down their homes and evict them from the village (Dickson Tanda)

IAN NEUBAUER
| Al Jazeera

SYDNEY - Reports of machete-wielding men slashing innocent bystanders, arson attacks, sexual violence against girls, and the displacement of thousands of people during last month’s election in Papua New Guinea have drawn international condemnation.

But an even more insidious form of violence continues to plague the country: sorcery-accusation-related violence (SARV), the public torture and murder of women accused of witchcraft.

Continue reading "PNG fails to deter sorcery-related violence" »


A voter's observation of a corrupted election

“When you want my wife or my daughter, I can give them to you but when you want my power, I will never give it to you. Even if I lose, I will make my way in”

AChaotic-election-PC
Papua New Guinea Post-Courier front page

 

PHILIP KAI MORRE

KUNDIAWA - According to Greek philosopher Aristotle “Man is a political animal who can work towards his highest good only as a member of a society. Man is continuously searching for an ideal society to live in."

Abraham Lincoln, one of America's greatest presidents, referred to democracy as “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Papua New Guinea accepted this concept and adopted it into our Constitution.

Continue reading "A voter's observation of a corrupted election" »


Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders

A corrupt politician’s strong tribal identity can create an impossible situation for honest candidates to succeed, and so the corrupt are re-elected

Caricatures from Wantok newspaper
Caricatures from Wantok newspaper

SIMON DAVIDSON

PORT MORESBY - Despite colossal efforts by international partners, NGOs and other entities to rid us of corrupt leaders, we are again confronted by their resurgence after the just completed national elections.

As I see things, this is due to three cultural factors that are the salient catalysts that cause voters to install corrupt leaders election after election.

Continue reading "Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders" »


Death in the jungle & the savage aftermath

Jacob Luke’s death ought to be a good lesson that the struggle for power, and the death and destruction of this year’s national elections, is not worth it if a man can die anytime, anywhere without saying goodbye

Kurai Luke
School mates, brothers-in-law and successful Enga businessmen Paul Kurai (left) and the late Jacob Luke at Kurai’s Ribito Hotel in Wabag recently

DANIEL KUMBON
| Edited extracts from an article in The NationalWeekender

The death of Jacob Luke

Engan icon Jacob Luke was found dead in the jungle near his new Mukeres mansion at Lakolam village in Wabag, a few kilometres up the Highlands Highway towards Porgera.

Nobody had noticed his disappearance on Wednesday 20 July until a team of Digicel PNG technicians, there to erect a new tower, found his body in the bush the next day.

Continue reading "Death in the jungle & the savage aftermath" »


Australia cannot ignore PNG election violence

For years Australia has had a mute response to these problems, especially the extent of weaponry that has spread through the country that now threatens the viability of the state. Politicians arm their supporters - Michael Main (Twitter)

Arson
Vehicles burn and ballot papers cover the ground in just one of scores of attacks on voting in PNG

MIRANDA FORSYTH & GORDON PEAKE
| Guardian Australia

CANBERRA - Elections in Papua New Guinea are notoriously volatile and dangerous.

But this year’s elections have involved violence, intimidation, corruption as well as administrative ineptitude on what looks like an exceptional scale.

Continue reading "Australia cannot ignore PNG election violence" »


Ridding ourselves of violence & corruption

Real leadership has several defining factors, not least humility, ethical behaviour and the ability to place the welfare of the people and communities above personal ambition and benefit

Guns

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Yet again a Papua New Guinean national election has turned into a spectacle of mindless violence and corruption.

There are two weeks to go before each electorate’s writs have to be returned, the deadline having been extended from today to 12 August.

Continue reading "Ridding ourselves of violence & corruption" »


PNG’s election: Death, arson & destruction

Elections need to proper planning and management. But this election has repeated previous experience, with 50 known deaths, arson, destruction of property and 3,000 people displaced from their homes

Houses burn in Enga Province
Houses burn in Enga Province

MAHOLOPA LAVEIL
| The Interpreter | Lowy Institute

PORT MORESBY - Violence is a mainstay of Papua New Guinea’s elections.

As I write this article, tensions are high in the capital Port Moresby. Reports of machete wielding men slashing innocent bystanders along the city’s main roads and fears of retaliation fill my social media feed.

Continue reading "PNG’s election: Death, arson & destruction" »


Troops out in force on streets of Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea shamed internationally as candidates’ supporters turned the streets of Port Moresby and some surrounding settlements into a battlefield. Eighteen men arrested as police investigations continue

Troops approach Port Moresby's business district as they move to restore peace in the city (PNGDF)
Troop carriers approach Port Moresby's business district as they move to restore peace in the city (PNGDF)

NEWS DESK
| Asia Pacific Report

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) troops have been directed to patrol the streets of Port Moresby in support of police trying to restore peace in the city.

The deployment followed rioting and machete attacks on civilians across the city triggered by unrest at the general election counting centre in Waigani.

Continue reading "Troops out in force on streets of Port Moresby" »


Election conflict stalks the streets of Moresby

Dozens of people have been killed in election-related violence and 3,000 people have been displaced by conflict. UN officials have also received many reports of sexual abuse, including abuse of children

Chaotic-election-(Post Courier)
Front page splash (PNG Post-Courier). Most people would describe the death and destruction of the 2022 election as being worse than chaotic

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Port Moresby city manager Ravu Frank has condemned “in the strongest possible terms” a fight between supporters of election candidates that spilled out into the streets of Waigani yesterday afternoon.

Machete-wielding men rampaged from the counting centre at Sir John Guise Stadium towards the Vision City shopping centre and the luxurious Stanley Hotel, randomly slashing passers-by, some seriously.

Continue reading "Election conflict stalks the streets of Moresby" »


Fury, arson, chaos and death by parliament

Remember the good times, laughter and fun, the Grand Chief said. We united PNG into one nation of diversity and cultural heritage. Make me proud of what you will become

Enga elections 2022
"Rambos appeared everywhere in the province. They stoned helicopters, blocked national highways, hijacked ballot boxes, set fire to property and triggered tribal wars"

DANIEL KUMBON

I

WABAG - This year’s national election has been a disaster in Enga, and for Enga. It is one of the worst since independence. Perhaps the worst.

For the first time in my life – and in the lives of many town residents, educated elites and senior citizens in this country – we did not cast our votes on that gloomy Friday 8th of July.

Continue reading "Fury, arson, chaos and death by parliament" »


Pundari condemns Enga election violence

Sir John Pundari says known election candidates are responsible for the unprovoked criminal violence in Kompiam Ambum which has resulted in deaths and the destruction of vital government properties worth millions of kina

Burning infrastructure in Kompiam (Teddy Piagari)
Burning buildings in Kompiam, Enga Province (Teddy Piagari)

SIR JOHN PUNDARI
| Papua New Guinea Today

ENGA - We cannot blame the Electoral Commission and security personnel for criminal activities carried out by candidates or supporters.

We need to come out clear and condemn these acts in the strongest possible terms.

My district has lost government properties worth hundreds of millions of kina and I am shattered for my people and the public servants who have fled to seek refuge.

Continue reading "Pundari condemns Enga election violence" »


Corruption: Hey PNG, hear Marie Yovanovitch

"Who’s going to be the first to say, 'Oh, I’m going to give up that slot that I got through this little consideration'. People want an end to corruption. Getting there is hard and changing that whole philosophy is a lot harder. It’s the work of generations"

Corruption - Marie Yovanovitch  former United States ambassador to Ukraine (Erin Schaff  New York Times)
Marie Yovanovitch former United States ambassador to Ukraine prepares to address Congress (Erin Schaff New York Times)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The New York Times provides a first rate briefing each day on the Russia-Ukraine War.

The other morning Marie Yovanovitch, who served as US ambassador to Ukraine from 2016 to 2019, spoke to Times journalist, Yana Dlugy.

Continue reading "Corruption: Hey PNG, hear Marie Yovanovitch" »


On election violence & unaccounted billions

Only seven of Papua New Guinea’s 65 government agencies have reported how they have spent billions of public funds provided to them in the budget since 2016

The Money Tree by Channell Arivai
The Money Tree (painting by Channell Arivai)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The delivery of a peaceful election is a shared responsibility that requires broad-based leadership, says Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG).

It says a free and fair election will require a concerted effort by the police, defence force, correctional service and some government agencies working alongside the electoral commission.

Continue reading "On election violence & unaccounted billions" »


When your guardians become grand thieves

Do the people understand exactly what is happening – and how it is happening, and to the benefit of whom? No, too often they don’t. They are not told. These things are not explained to them

Oates cartoon
PAUL OATES

CLEVELAND QLD –There is an argument put forward that, if everyone knows their taxes and public resources are deployed in a transparent and ethical way, where then is the corruption?

And if people vote on issues that have been fully explained to them by their elected representatives, where then is the ignorance?

Continue reading "When your guardians become grand thieves" »


Violence, voting fraud to blight 2022 election

The 2022 election is shaping up to be the most violent ever despite the government purchasing armoured vehicles, imposing a ban on the 50,000 illegal firearms in the country and support from the Australian Defence Force

Election - Men queue to vote at a Highlands election (Treva Braun)
Men queue to vote at a Highlands election (Treva Braun)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The shooting of a returning officer, 30 other deaths in electoral violence, candidates’ supporters burning rivals’ vehicles and other violence have already marred Papua New Guinea’s upcoming general elections.

In a pointed article for the Asia & the Pacific Policy Society, academics Henry Ivarature and Michael Kabuni have expressed fears that the elections due to start on Tuesday 2 July are shaping up to be as bad as what was said to be “the worst one ever” in 2017

Continue reading "Violence, voting fraud to blight 2022 election" »


Is it bribery to pay for campaign rallies?

The smart move would be to bribe the polling officials and security officers. Less people to bribe so much cheaper. But is it worth spending eight years in jail for that? Not so smart really.

Bird
Governor Allan Bird - " I don't believe our voters are stupid. Certainly not in Sepik"

GOVERNOR ALLAN BIRD
| Academia Nomad

WEWAK - I see some smart commentators who, observing transport, food and drink provided by candidates at rallies, say this is wrong and constitutes bribery.

First of all, I don't believe our voters are stupid. Certainly not in Sepik.

Continue reading "Is it bribery to pay for campaign rallies?" »


New push to adopt anti-corruption strategies

Almost no organisations and government agencies have an anti-corruption strategy - even those responsible for protecting integrity

Corruption top

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - With the help of the European Union, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is seeking to persuade Papua New Guinea’s government agencies to adopt and implement explicit anti-corruption and integrity strategies.

It says it is doing this in the knowledge that few government agencies, including those responsible for protecting integrity and fighting corruption, do not have an anti-corruption strategy.

Continue reading "New push to adopt anti-corruption strategies" »


PM Marape’s compromised & corrupted Pangu

It was Michael Somare’s Pangu that knew the way to independence. Now under James Marape, ‘Pangu ino save lo rot’. Pangu doesn't know the way

A

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI – ‘Pangu save lo ro’ (Pangu knows the way) is a motto made popular by the late Sam Basil.

It refers to the Pangu Pati that attained independence for Papua New Guinea in 1975 led by the late Michael Somare.

Continue reading "PM Marape’s compromised & corrupted Pangu" »


Much of PNG's K2.4b aid doesn't trickle down

If Australia’s aid program had been better administered and less affected by political influence, PNG would now be reaping the benefits

A
Australian diplomat Will Robinson hands a box of medical equipment to then health boss, the late Dr Paison Dakulala

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - A cardinal mistake Australia made, and continues to make, in relation to Papua New Guinea is its extremely generous and sustained provision of about half a billion dollars a year in aid money.

Australia’s promise of ongoing funding aid to PNG was originally used as an inducement to accelerate its progress to independence.

Continue reading "Much of PNG's K2.4b aid doesn't trickle down" »


Kramer on China, PNG & backdoor diplomacy

Good relationships, earned trust and gradualism can get you a long way in Papua New Guinea. But so can bribing the right people

A
Bryan Kramer - Corrupt PNG politicians and other conmen are experts at building relationships, and Australia seems not to recognise this

PHILIP FITZPATRICK & PAUL OATES

On Monday the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas interviewed prominent PNG politician and immigration minister Bryan Kramer for Radio National Breakfast. A number of PNG Attitude contributors heard the exchange and told me they were impressed by it, so I asked two of them to share their thoughts - KJ

Continue reading "Kramer on China, PNG & backdoor diplomacy" »


China lines up to support PNG’s late election

Election Scrutineers  national election 2017 (Johnny Blades  RNZ)
Scrutineers at the national election in 2017 (Johnny Blades RNZ)

KEITH JACKSON

Democracy was hijacked with the vote undermined by brazen electoral fraud and unprecedented violence and insecurity - PNG Election 2017

NOOSA – China is offering assistance to curb election violence in Papua New Guinea, according to a report in today’s The Australian newspaper.

The story by Ben Packham, the paper’s well-connected foreign affairs and defence correspondent, comes ahead of PNG’s five-yearly election starting on Friday 9 July and finishing on Wednesday 22 July after a two-week delay for reasons that are unclear.

Continue reading "China lines up to support PNG’s late election" »


Tok stret ia: Is PNG thoroughly corrupt?

A MPs wait to receive a foreign leader. How many are corrupt
Members of Parliament wait to greet a foreign leader. How many are corrupt?

MICHAEL KABUNI
|Academia Nomad

It’s not just a few people doing the wrong thing. It’s most people doing the wrong thing

WAIGANI - The average turnover of Papua New Guinea’s elected politicians is 50%; at each national election about half of the incumbents lose their seats. 

This is one of the highest rates in the world and has been the case without exception since the first post-independence election in 1977.

Continue reading "Tok stret ia: Is PNG thoroughly corrupt?" »


Lies have power in age of political fiction

A FrankBruni
Frank Bruni

FRANK BRUNI
| The New York Times

DURHAM, USA - Imelda Marcos’s sandals lived better than I did. I just discovered that.

I was reacquainting myself with that whole sordid history — with the unfathomable extravagance that she and her dictator husband, Ferdinand, indulged in before they were run out of the Philippines in 1986 — and found an article on Medium that said that her hundreds upon hundreds of shoes occupied a closet of 1,500 square feet.

Continue reading "Lies have power in age of political fiction" »


Morrison is in breach of govt integrity laws

Scott Morrison (Mick Tsikas  AAP)
Scott Morrison's government has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for legal requirements and ethical norms (Mick Tsikas, AAP)

MICHAEL KEATING
| Pearls & Irritations

The establishment of an anti-corruption body has been long promised in both Papua New Guinea and Australia, but has never happened. Voters understandably explain this reluctance as an attempt to avoid scrutiny of how public money is spent and of other crucial decisions – KJ

CANBERRA - There is a legislated process prescribing how government grants should be administered, but it clearly is not being followed and we need an integrity commission to enforce it.

An important issue for many voters in the current federal election – particularly the 'Teal Independents' – is government integrity and the need to establish a national integrity commission with teeth.

Continue reading "Morrison is in breach of govt integrity laws" »


Guns & politicians: no special privileges please

Kabuni - Rainbo PaitaMICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY – Recently, there have been two gun incidents in Port Moresby involving politicians.

The most serious of these occurred when a gun allegedly belonging to a PNG politician was accidentally discharged killing a bystander.

Continue reading "Guns & politicians: no special privileges please" »


On the death of Ben Micah: Admission & contrition

Ben Micah
Ben Micah lived the high life while, along with many cronies, stealing the money that kept PNG and its people poor. Micah's now dead but corruption is well and truly alive

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The veteran New Ireland politician Ben Micah died on Wednesday morning after a suspected heart attack. He was aged about 63.

Micah had previously been admitted to Port Moresby’s Pacific International Hospital.

I republish below an extraordinary mea culpa Micah wrote two years ago, when he seemed to realise his political career might be over (although cronies say he was contemplating standing again in this year’s national election).

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PNG economy ‘fragile’, but don’t mention the C word

Fairfax Harbour and Port Moresby CBD (left) and Hanuabada (right)
Fairfax Harbour showing Port Moresby CBD and Hanuabada village ( RGAPhoto86, Shutterstock)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s economy is projected to grow by 4% in 2022, about the same as forecast for Australia, but the World Bank characterises the recovery as ‘fragile’.

As Covid slowed global production, the PNG economy contracted by 3.5% in 2000 but returned a small but positive outcome of 1% last year.

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Who to blame when foreign crooks walk free

Crashed plane top
The pilot tried to take off from a rough strip of land. The empty plane got down OK, but with 500 kg of cocaine on board it was journey over  (Russell Saigomi)

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - There may be more, but going by media reports since 2020, three Australians have broken the laws of Papua New Guinea and walked free.

They have been helped by a combination of outdated laws and police negligence.

The first case involved an Australian pilot who, in July 2020, crashed an aeroplane on the outskirts of Port Moresby attempting to fly 500kg of cocaine out of the city.

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EMTV suspends 19 journalists

EMTV newsroom  Port Moresby  before the dispute
An editorial conference in the EMTV newsroom in Port Moresby taken before the dispute occurred

REBECCA KUKU
| The Guardian
| The Pacific Project is supported by the Judith Nielson Institute

PORT MORESBY - Nineteen journalists from Papua New Guinea’s leading television media company, EMTV, have been suspended following a walk-off protest by staff.

The staff walked off the job last week in support of their head of news and current affairs, Sincha Dimara, who was suspended earlier in February for ‘insubordination’.

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Despite promises, foreign loggers run amok

Capture
Eddie Tanago - "The PNG Forest Authority should be abolished". A rogue institution that has orchestrated illegal logging for 30 years

EDDIE TANAGO
| Campaign Manager | Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - The Marape government’s claims that it has stopped issuing new log export licences to foreign-owned logging companies are not borne out by the evidence.

Nor are its statements that it is moving to 100% downstream processing of logs before they are exported.

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Did Duma's anger trigger suspension of news chief?

Sincha Dimara
Sincha Dimara - EMTV news boss suspended after minister 'displeased' over news team pursuing a story about a hotel owner caught up in a drugs bust

NEWS DESK
| Pacific Media Watch

AUCKLAND – The Paris-based global media freedom watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has condemned the “unacceptable political meddling” at EMTV News, Papua New Guinea’s main public television news channel.

Sincha Dimara was suspended as head of news and current affairs at EMTV after three news stories annoyed a government minister.

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