Scrutineers at the national election in 2017 (Johnny Blades RNZ)
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" »
Members of Parliament wait to greet a foreign leader. How many are corrupt?
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?" »
| 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" »
Scott Morrison's government has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for legal requirements and ethical norms (Mick Tsikas, AAP)
| 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" »
| 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" »
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
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).
Continue reading "On the death of Ben Micah: Admission & contrition" »
Fairfax Harbour showing Port Moresby CBD and Hanuabada village ( RGAPhoto86, Shutterstock)
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.
Continue reading "PNG economy ‘fragile’, but don’t mention the C word" »
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)
| 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.
Continue reading "Who to blame when foreign crooks walk free" »
An editorial conference in the EMTV newsroom in Port Moresby taken before the dispute occurred
| 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’.
Continue reading "EMTV suspends 19 journalists" »
Eddie Tanago - "The PNG Forest Authority should be abolished". A rogue institution that has orchestrated illegal logging for 30 years
| 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.
Continue reading "Despite promises, foreign loggers run amok" »
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
| 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.
Continue reading "Did Duma's anger trigger suspension of news chief?" »
Tumai Mumu - a warrior and clan leader of great acumen and, in time and when it suited, assistance to the colonial Administration
NORTHUMBRIA - Tumai Mumu, who featured in PNG Attitude a month ago (‘Pax Australiana: Techniques of Pacification’), was a contradictory character and perhaps an extraordinary opportunist.
He was headman of an important group of the Goilala people and lived in a village immediately behind Tapini government station.
This is where I was when, in 1974 he volunteered to me that in his youth, during an ambush, he had killed 24 men and possibly a greater number of women, he could not sure.
Continue reading "The precision killing of Oulaine Papaite" »
Illegal logging comprises 70% of PNG's timber industry
NOOSA – It is easily the biggest illegal land grab of customary land in Papua New Guinea.
Or maybe anywhere in the world outside what used to be called Communism before they discovered how much loot could be made out of Capitalism.
It is a mass theft encompassing more than five million hectares of land, 12% of the country.
Continue reading "Marape's cronies plunder illegal leases" »
ADELAIDE – Land administration and corruption are major and related issues in Papua New Guinea.
They are also long-term and well-recognised issues, and a source of immense hardship especially in terms of their impact on the lack of affordable housing in urban PNG.
Squatting on vacant land is not just a practice of the underclass, it is something even middle class Papua New Guineans are compelled to do because of a public policy debacle neither PNG authorities nor their Australian advisers seem able or willing to address.
Continue reading "Rort the system & make a few million" »
CAIRNS – I was particularly struck by the recent observations of Dr Chris McCall and author Nick Brown (in Phil Fitzpatrick’s review of his latest book).
Their observations of discovering some of life's grim realities provided by salient insights into the shallow ignorance of what former US president Donald Trump contemptuously referred to as “shithole countries”.
Continue reading "Those valuable insights beyond ‘shithole country’" »
Miranda Forsyth - "We do better to view police in a clear-eyed fashion for both their strengths and their weaknesses"
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - Police in Papua New Guinea generally cop a fair share of criticism.
This is particularly true in my area of research, sorcery accusation related violence (SARV), where police are often unwilling or unable to intervene – and sometimes even the instigators of violence.
Continue reading "Let’s be more objective about our police" »
| The Asia and the Pacific Society
PORT MORESBY - Policymakers in the Pacific Islands face multifaceted security issues, a fact that is not lost on the region’s leaders.
This was demonstrated in the 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security, which expanded the definition of security beyond geostrategic concerns to human security.
Continue reading "Many threats surround PNG’s coming election" »
A Hela gang - law enforcement lacks integrity and capability (Michael Main)
PORT MORESBY - In 2020 and 2021, Papua New Guinea faced serious security challenges on many fronts, including Covid-19, cyberattacks and tribal fights.
Many people in PNG do not see Covid as a security risk, as evidenced in the high level of vaccines hesitancy in the country.
Continue reading "A place of high threat & ineffective response" »
Bernard Collaery - object of a scandalous prosecution by the Australian government (Lukas Coch, AAP)
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited extracts
This article by barrister Bernard Collaery presumes some prior knowledge by readers of his scandalous prosecution by the Commonwealth government. Wikipedia has a thorough profile here of Collaery and the shocking Witness K Trial. The story from SBS here brings the affair up to the moment. In this stunning piece Collaery provides a compelling first-hand account of the damage to Australia’s international reputation and to the standing of some prominent Australian lawyers and politicians - KJ
CANBERRA - Canberra’s conduct towards the Timorese was so grave that Australia continues to be regarded within international legal circles as a cheat.
Our legal team returned to Cambridge, England, in early 2014 from the International Court of Justice at The Hague in the Netherlands.
Continue reading "Timor: Our lingering, damaging bad-faith legacy" »
FBI assistant commissioner Hodges Ette poses with a RPNGC officer at the financial crimes and corruption training program [USA Embassy]
NOOSA – “Who wears sunglasses on a rainy day looking like they’re going to the concert in a suit?” the joke goes.
The answer is a G-man, the American slang term for agents of the United States government, usually from the FBI.
The famed Federal Bureau of Investigation is the domestic intelligence and security service of the USA, the government’s principal federal law enforcement agency.
Continue reading "FBI & RPNGC join forces to fight corruption" »
Governor Gary Juffa - "Public servants have acted negligently, incompetently and possibly corruptly"
NOOSA – Oro Governor Gary Juffa has blasted companies that have abused medical contracts and continued these practices probably conspiring with corrupt public servants to do so.
Speaking in his capacity as chairman of Papua New Guinea’s Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Sector Reforms, Juffa said he was dismayed that the government had renewed a health department contract with a private company that was providing sub-standard medical equipment and drugs.
Continue reading "Despite exposure, health corruption continues" »
Patrol Officer Roy Edwards and police with a group of manacled villagers, Kunimaipa section, Goilala Sub-District, late 1940s (photo previously unpublished)
NORTHUMBRIA, UK – Roy Edwards was an uncompromising kiap (patrol officer), not fond of paperwork and with his own way of bringing pacification to the warring tribes of Papua New Guinea.
He patrolled the Kunimaipa section of the Goilala region for months on end and was ultimately successful in erasing a traditional payback murder spiral that led to dozens of deaths each year.
The perpetuation of payback was an insurmountable obstacle to securing the wellbeing and progress of the villages.
Continue reading "Pax Australiana & techniques of pacification" »
Former New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian. According to documents obtained by The Australian newspaper Berejiklian had direct involvement in the administration of a controversial $252m (K625m) grants program branded as a ‘slush fund’
ADELAIDE -The politicisation of the Public Service – designed to operate in service of the public - has been an ongoing project for neo-liberal politicians all over the world.
This process is presented to the public as a means of ensuring that the public sector is 'responsive' to the government of the day.
What it actually means is that the public sector remains servile and compliant to whatever the government wishes, irrespective of the merits or even legality of the demand.
Continue reading "Slush funds corrupt, not politics as usual" »
Michael Kabuni reveals the PNG government wasted half a billion kina over five years on just some of its ‘ghost employees’
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - A few years back, it was revealed that a teacher at Oro Province’s rural Bareji High School had no qualifications for the job.
This year, the tireless efforts of Sunday Bulletin journalist Simon Eroro exposed that a consultant hired by the Oro Provincial Government possessed no qualifications for the job he was doing.
Continue reading "We need practical leaders who get things right" »
TIPNG founding director Richard Kassman OBE speaks at the relaunch of the Community Coalition Against Corruption on International Anti-Corruption Day last week
| Transparency International PNG
PORT MORESBY - Ahead of next year’s national elections and amid Papua New Guinea citizens’ concerns about governance and corruption, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has relaunched the Community Coalition Against Corruption.
Initially co-founded by TIPNG and the Media Council of PNG in 2002 with the support of churches, chambers of commerce, the Ombudsman Commission and the office of the Public Solicitor, the Coalition is a collective community network committed to standing together against the evil of corruption.
Continue reading "Coalition against corruption regroups" »
Bhosip Kaiwi and Jenelyn Kennedy. The 19-year old mother's brutal torture and murder was supposed to be a turning point in PNG. But the criminal justice system has been far too corrupted
WARMIL KRAL *
PORT MORESBY – The criminal justice system exists to apprehend, prosecute, sentence and punish people who commit crimes.
There are many notorious braggarts in Papua New Guinea who boast they have murdered but avoided the criminal justice system.
Gaol is not for me, they say.
Continue reading "Cronies & cash destroy PNG's justice system" »
Bernard Collaery - "The contemptible prosecution of Bernard Collaery is an assault on the rule of law”
NOOSA – When I resigned as president of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia in January 2009, I continued working on a few projects I did not want to see languish.
One was to gain national recognition of the 1,053 civilian and military prisoners interned by the Japanese in Rabaul who drowned when the prison ship Montevideo Maru was torpedoed on 1 July 1942 en route to Hainan in China.
Continue reading "The persecution of Bernard Collaery" »
| ACT NOW
PORT MORESBY - Research into prosecutions for corruption in Papua New Guinea reveals that, despite the enormous extent of the misappropriation of public funds, only a tiny number of officials have ever been charged and almost none has been convicted or imprisoned.
This failure is likely one reason PNG shows no signs of overcoming its unenviable reputation as one of the most corrupt nations in the world, and why allegations remain rife of corruption involving political leaders, the powerful and the wealthy.
Continue reading "Plenty of talk, but corruption is worse than ever" »
Port Moresby - PNG is the most corrupt country in the Pacific, but some of the others are giving it a run for its money
| The Guardian | Extracts
Link here to the full story
SYDNEY - One in three people across Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands region paid a bribe when using a public service in the last year, according to a report by Transparency International.
And one in four people have been offered a bribe for their vote in the last five years.
Continue reading "Bribery makes the Pacific’s wheels go round" »
Colonial kiaps brought the law to the people, and often tailored it to align with traditional cultural values and expectations
Making Law in Papua New Guinea: The Colonial Origins of a Postcolonial Legal System by Bruce L Ottley, Jean G Zorn and David Weisbrot, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina, June 2021, 526pp. ISBN: 9781531005504. Editions: Kindle AU$68.90; Paperback AU$144.75. Kindle edition available from Amazon here
TUMBY BAY - The period just before and just after independence in Papua New Guinea was a time of optimism and promise.
That Pax Australiana - the institutions built by the colonial Administration - would remain intact, as stable and progressive as they were, was never assumed.
Continue reading "Mismatched law (& the law bringers who made it fit)" »
Medical staff work in haste to treat a Covid patient in Port Moresby General Hospital
NOOSA – As Papua New Guinea’s Covid crisis deepens, it has been revealed that the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) morgue is so overwhelmed a mass burial of 200 bodies is being arranged.
The PMGH official Facebook page announced this morning that the hospital “is reaching a crisis point, with services teetering on collapse unless we are immediately given more support.
Continue reading "‘Patients are lying everywhere, the situation is dire’" »
CAIRNS - What is unfolding in Papua New Guinea is nothing short of a human tragedy on a significant scale.
Superficially the nation’s woes appear to be the result of corruption. But they are more complex than that.
This is not the first time we have witnessed failures of the state and the inevitable outcomes.
Continue reading "Communities only answer to PNG failures" »
ADELAIDE - Over a 40 year career in public service I saw many attempts to reform the organisations that provide it.
All such efforts were aimed in increasing efficiency and productivity and usually required major reorganisations, with changes made according to the ideas or prejudices of the people driving the supposed reforms.
Continue reading "The deliberate corrosion of public service" »
Michael Pascoe, Gladys Berejiklian and Darryl Maguire - "Political corruption has evolved to the extent of politicians claiming it doesn’t matter and voters expect it"
| The New Daily
SYDNEY - Evolution happens. Sometimes it’s fast, turbo-charged by an asteroid; sometimes it’s at the speed of dripping water wearing a channel through rock, but it happens.
Right now we are witnessing a high-speed evolution of political integrity in Australia.
In fairly short order, we’ve gone from a premier grabbing bags of cash and selling knighthoods, to a premier resigning over what might be a matter of diving into the pork barrel to do a mate a favour.
Continue reading "The erosion of Australia’s political integrity" »
Governor Peter Yama - along with family members facing numerous charges in relation to missing millions
MADANG – The governor of Madang Province, Peter Yama, and two of his wives have been arrested in relation to K6 million missing from the Manam Resettlement Authority.
The fund was established to resettle displaced people evacuated from the volcanic Manam island and living in care centres.
The Yama family has experienced 18 arrests in relation to this matter and has had numerous charges laid against members including money laundering, conspiracy, false pretence and, in Yama’s case, abuse of office.
Continue reading "Yama & wives nabbed over missing K6m" »
| PNG Bulletin Online
PORT MORESBY - Not all Papua New Guineans are corrupt and PNG is not a corruption riddled country as portrayed by the international media, says William Duma.
State Enterprises Minister Duma made the remarks after the Federal Court of Australia sitting in Sydney last week entered a defamation judgement in favour of him against the Australian Financial Review.
Continue reading "We’re not all corrupt, says William Duma" »
| Transparency International PNG
PORT MORESBY – Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) and the Interim Independent Commission Against Corruption (IICAC) have signed a memorandum of understanding formalising a partnership to develop an anti-corruption strategy for IICAC.
The initiative is part of a TIPNG project to promote anti-corruption and integrity strategies, which is funded by the European Union to restore and reinforce public trust in national integrity institutions.
Continue reading "Transparency signs anti-corruption agreement" »
| Act Now
PORT MORESBY – It has been revealed that a 2017 risk assessment by the Bank of Papua New Guinea found illegal logging in PNG to be a major money laundering threat but that there was a lack of will in the PNG Forest Authority to investigate and prosecute.
A money laundering and financing of terrorism risk assessment by the central bank said that illegal logging generated very large profits and also had a highly detrimental impact on the economy and natural environment.
Continue reading "Ignored report: Illegal logging major crime risk" »
Sam Basil leaves the tribunal accompanied by his lawyer Greg Sheppard
| PNG Post-Courier
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil was suspended from leadership duties on Friday by a leadership tribunal hearing into misconduct allegations against him.
Basil, who is also commerce and industry minister, was suspended after his reference and statement of reasons were presented to the tribunal by public prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin.
Continue reading "Sam Basil faces misconduct allegations" »
The K2.7 million hole in the ground near Kokoda (PNG Post-Courier)
| Asia Pacific Report
AUCKLAND - A one meter-deep hole in the ground is all there is to show of an almost K2.7 million state contract project in Papua New Guinea’s Oro Province.
The project was to design and build a community health building with support facilities for Kiorata in Sohe district.
Continue reading "Undelivered contracts cost PNG billions" »
Carolyn Blacklock - senior woman adviser engaged on an Australian government funded program finds herself in hot water
PORT MORESBY – Carolyn Blacklock, former acting managing director of PNG Power, has been arrested by a police criminal investigation team and charged with conspiracy, forgery, false pretence and misappropriation.
The forensic team had been established by police commissioner David Manning to investigate high level financial crimes.
Continue reading "Adviser’s arrest spells trouble all round" »
Download here the full civil society report on the implementation of preventive measures of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Papua New Guinea
NOOSA – A report by Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) on how the Papua New Guinea government is meeting its obligations under the United Nations Convention against corruption has highlighted “a multitude of deficiencies hindering the successful implementation” of the Convention.
In summary the TIPNG report concludes that the PNG government has been only partially compliant with its obligations.
Continue reading "Corruption report indicts 'deficient' PNG" »
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey used parliament to put reserve bank governor Leo Bakani on the spot (PNG Bulletin)
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, has sent a strong ‘please explain’ to PNG’s central bank governor, Loi Bakani.
Ling-Stuckey minced no words in asking Bakani why he had disassociated the central bank from its own Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU).
Continue reading "Treasurer confronts Bakani on money-laundering " »
MAI SATO & MATTHEW GOLDBERG
| Monash University | The Conversation
MELBOURNE - On 30 July, the Papua New Guinea supreme court of quashed the national court’s temporary stay of executions for all people sentenced to death.
The judgment has cleared a major obstacle to carrying out death sentences for the first time in nearly 70 years. It makes execution a real possibility for 15 individuals who are on death row.
Continue reading "Is death penalty a real prospect for PNG?" »
ADELAIDE - Jim Moore’s excellent piece, ‘A Baiyer court case. A good kiap reflects’, accurately describes the situation confronting any kiap when trying to administer the law in a fair and just way in those pre-independence years in Papua New Guinea.
When I went to PNG in 1969 I was 18 years old and knew virtually nothing about life generally.
Continue reading "Kiap law was fair, just & adaptive" »
Peter Aitsi - Over a period of years 90% of government agencies have failed to report on how they have spent billions of kina in public funds
| Transparency International PNG
PORT MORESBY – On Tuesday, as Papua New Guinea’s parliament reconvened on Tuesday following a six-month break, Transparency International PNG took the opportunity to highlight multiple failures in accountability by government agencies.
Transparency’s has made public an ‘Accountability Scorecard’ that reveals that the majority of public bodies in PNG had not submitted annual financial statements required by law under the Public Finance Act, with many not reporting for multiple years.
Continue reading "90% of agencies fail to report how billions spent" »
Peter O'Neill - no apologies for K3 billion loan disaster - 'I did what I thought was right for the country'
NOOSA - Papua New Guinea’s former prime minister Peter O'Neill has changed his position on the K3 billion Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) loan debacle, which he has previously asserted was a good idea at the time
Even as successor James Marape blamed him, O’Neill told a Royal Commission inquiring into the spectacularly flawed 2014 deal that shoddy advice from Oil Search Ltd and some government advisers did him in.
Continue reading "Loan a ‘crime against the nation’ says Marape" »
Auditor General Gordon Kega's report on APEC Summit spending is being held back by the Marape government
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s energetic community advocacy group Act Now has told the Marape government it must immediately make public the Auditor General’s report on 2018 APEC Summit spending.
The International Monetary Fund has estimated the Summit cost PNG over K3 billion despite being budgeted at what was already an extraordinary K800 million.
Continue reading "Did APEC cost K3b? Marape won’t say" »
Greg Sheppard's lawyers say the charges against him are “politically motivated” and “unlawful" (The National)
| The Guardian
PORT MORESBY - Australian lawyer Greg Sheppard has been arrested for the third time in Papua New Guinea over the alleged misappropriation of 268 million kina from a trust fund linked to the controversial Ok Tedi mine.
Sheppard, a former Queensland crown prosecutor, has previously been charged with eight counts of financial misconduct including money laundering. He was arrested and bailed in January and June.
Continue reading "Expat lawyer charged over alleged K268m fraud" »
Reza Barati was just 23 when bashed to death by Australian guards at a refugee camp on Manus
NOOSA – The parents of Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati, who died in February 2014 after being brutally beaten at an Australian-run detention centre, have begun legal action over his death.
Berati was 23 when killed by guards in a violent riot at the Manus Island camp that injured 77 other asylum seekers.
Continue reading "Berati family sues Oz govt over Manus murder" »