Government & politics Feed

Australia leaves refugees to madness & death

Hamid Kehazaei
Iranian refugee Hamid Kehazaei died in 2014 after contracting a leg infection in Manus that eventually left him brain dead

SIOBHÁN O'GRADY
| Washington Post

WASHINGTON DC - For the past 10 months, asylum seekers held in Australia’s controversial offshore processing centres in the Pacific islands have been able to seek transfers to Australia for urgent medical treatment.

Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton claims the policy has helped people migrate into Australia “through the back door.” Physicians and refugee advocates say it has saved sick asylum seekers’ lives.

Continue reading "Australia leaves refugees to madness & death" »


O’Neill: Izze an Ozzie izze Lizzie…..?

Oneill
"Is he an Aussie, is he, is he, is he an Aussie is he, eh? Is it because he's an Aussie, Lizzie, That he makes you dizzy, Lizzie?" (From the Vaults)

BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Kramer Report

PORT MORESBY - On Thursday 14 November, former prime minister Peter O'Neill released a press statement announcing he had registered criminal complaints against me.

The complaints, made on 22 May 2019 and 28 October 2019, alleged I had made false citizenship claims against him, thus offending against sections 21 and 23 of the Cybercrime Act.

Continue reading "O’Neill: Izze an Ozzie izze Lizzie…..?" »


Push the power of the pen

Power to the pen
"True development comes not when more money comes into the treasury but when the mindset changes"

JUSTIN KUNDALIN

SONOMA – The words of writers live longer than the ploys of many politicians. Writers influence every successive generation. Their legacy lasts long.

I believe in the power of writing and it is a power that has no peer.

The world is changing and Papua New Guinea is changing in terms of buildings and roads and education and international relationships and development.

Continue reading "Push the power of the pen" »


Is Gordons a turning point for PNG markets?

Gordons exterior
Port Moresby's new Gordons Market - symbol of progress or another chance to sink into chaos and anarchy?

BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

PORT MORESBY - The much talked about refurbished Gordons Market was officially opened on the 31 October at a cost of K30 million, most of the funds coming from the New Zealand Government and the National Capital Development Commission.

The market is said to be the biggest fresh produce market in the Pacific and will cater for up to 1,500 vendors.

Continue reading "Is Gordons a turning point for PNG markets?" »


O’Neill: Chief justice’s shock intervention

LetterKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The Papua New Guinea chief justice, Sir Gibbs Salika, has made an extraordinary intervention in politics by lodging a complaint against police minister Bryan Kramer alleging he has spread “a false or misleading report”.

And Salika’s letter of complaint was quickly leaked to Facebook.

Continue reading "O’Neill: Chief justice’s shock intervention" »


Limited pot of money, says Treasurer

PNG Budget
Ian Ling-Stuckey and his Treasury team – “The budget process is a tough one – a demanding one requiring balancing different claims on a very limited pot of money”

IAN LING-STUCKEY MP
| PNG Treasury Minister

PORT MORESBY - Budget repair is difficult. It requires an honest approach, one that exposes the economic lies of the O’Neill years.

It requires an ability to make tough decisions, such as the K1,482 million spending cuts in the 2019 supplementary budget.

Continue reading "Limited pot of money, says Treasurer" »


For PNG's good, an unpleasant political task

Marape
James Marape - "This is nothing tribal or personal but a national strategy to stabilise political numbers to give me and government security and cohesiveness"

JAMES MARAPE MP

PORT MORESBY – On Friday I had the unpleasant task of decommissioning some fine Papua New Guinean leaders but at the same time uplifting leaders of the National Alliance and the United Resources Party into cabinet.

Government needs a cohesive and coherent mindset and, because I was leading a big coalition of over 105 MPs over the last five months, sometimes I was kept busy managing politics rather than the country due to differences of opinions from amongst different political parties in government.

Continue reading "For PNG's good, an unpleasant political task" »


Do politicians actually read books?

Phil Fitzpatrick
Phil Fitzpatrick - "Perhaps politicians see an educated and literate public as a danger"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When Keith Jackson and I were managing the Crocodile Prize in the years after 2011 when it was conceived, we debated whether it might be a good idea to seek the support of government.

On the one hand the funding government could inject into the prize would have been valuable. But on the other hand, the meddling, self-aggrandisement and corruption that might have come attached to that money was strong.

Continue reading "Do politicians actually read books?" »


Dirty tricks & desperate measures

Vehicle - pic before doctoring
The photo of Bryan Kramer MP and Dr Chakriya Bowman in the front seat of a vehicle. The image was later doctored to airbrush out the other passengers

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Following his exposure of Peter O’Neill’s efforts to evade arrest on allegations of corruption, Papua New Guinea police minister Bryan Kramer says he has been subjected to a barrage of social media smears from supporters of the former prime minister.

In a Facebook post entitled ‘Desperate times calls for desperate measures’, Mr Kramer yesterday hit back at people he called “O’Neill loyalists” who he said had decided to avoid the real issue of the allegations against O’Neill.

Continue reading "Dirty tricks & desperate measures" »


Just seeing my kids, says O’Neill

Oneill
Peter O'Neill - Says he didn't run away from justice. So can we expect him back in PNG some day soon?

NEWS DESK
| PNG Breaking News

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's former prime minister Peter O'Neill has denied a claim that he has fled the country to avoid being arrested

This is despite police last week withdrawing an arrest warrant for Mr O'Neill after his lawyers had launched a legal challenge to its validity.

Continue reading "Just seeing my kids, says O’Neill" »


O’Neill saga Part 2: Fakes & flakes

Warrants
The O'Neill arrest warrant at left was issued by the court to police. Note that the appropriate box is ticked. On the right is the fake warrant produced and submitted by O’Neill and his lawyers to mislead the court. The signatures are also different

BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Edited

PORT MORESBY – On Friday, I published Part 1 of the O’Neill story, providing an insight into the events that took place in relation to an arrest warrant obtained by Police on 11 October 2019 against former prime minister Peter O’Neill.

To recap, the national court granted a temporary stop order preventing police from arresting O’Neill until the matter returned to court on Monday 21 October.

Continue reading "O’Neill saga Part 2: Fakes & flakes" »


Peter O'Neill flees as arrest looms

Oneill
Peter O'Neill in PNG parliament's car park with assistant police commissioner Anthony Wagambie Jnr, refusing to leave until his lawyers moved to prevent his arrest

BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Edited

PORT MORESBY – Former prime minister Peter O'Neill flew out of Port Moresby to Sydney on Friday an hour before a national court ruling on a judicial review concerning the validity of an arrest warrant against him.

In this article I will review the background facts of this dramatic event.

Continue reading "Peter O'Neill flees as arrest looms" »


Brutal reaction to handout of luxury cars to MPs

Marape
Oops, prime minister, you just blew up your credibility in one crazy decision. Or will Mr Ngangan take this one himself on behalf of the team?

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Last Thursday, when James Marape despatched his bureaucrat Ken Ngangan to advise the public through the Post Courier newspaper that all 111 members of parliament will get vehicles from the APEC fleet “for their electoral duties”, he must have anticipated there would be a strong reaction.

After all, the purchase of the vehicles a year ago had triggered a story that travelled around the world a few times before hitting the ground as yet another example of the greed and excess of the O’Neill government – which Marape and his brothers deposed in May bringing hope to the nation.

Continue reading "Brutal reaction to handout of luxury cars to MPs" »


Country gutted as luxury cars go to MPs

Marape
Lots to laugh about - James Marape and friends. The prime minister is looking forward to taking out his new K510,000 Bentley Flying Spur for a spin

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – It seems Papua New Guinea's prime minister James Marape is joining the global elite as the owner of a near new Bentley super-luxury Flying Spur.

And the people of PNG have every reason to feel betrayed.

The starting price of a Flying Spur in Australia is K510,000. Marape’s is one of three purchased along with 40 Maseratis and scores of other luxury vehicles for last year’s Asia-Pacific summit, APEC.

Continue reading "Country gutted as luxury cars go to MPs" »


For his credibility, Marape needs to gaol O’Neill

O'Neill and Marape in happier times
O'Neill and Marape in happier times - Phil Fitzpatrick writes that now Marape needs to act against O'Neill to preserve the credibility of his own leadership

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When politicians make a commitment to the public, whether at an election or in the course of governing, they are essentially laying their credibility on the line.

Even if the commitment is something they know will be hard to deliver, it still reflects on their credibility if they fail.

And, if this happens, a shrewd politician will admit to the failure and ask the public to understand that they tried.

Continue reading "For his credibility, Marape needs to gaol O’Neill" »


Medevac Bill - a matter of life or death

Refugees
"If not transferred to Australia, they will be on the streets of our capital city, their days numbered at the hands of thugs or as a result of starvation and sickness"  - Fr Giorgio Licini

FR GIORGIO LICINI

PORT MORESBY - The debate rages on about the possible repeal of the so-called Medevac Bill in the Australian Senate.

The politically divisive legislation came into force in March this year allowing about 140 seriously ill asylum seekers and refugees to seek medical treatment in Australia from the offshore processing centers of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Medevac Bill - a matter of life or death" »


Nobetau declines payout; seeks day in court

Joseph Nobetau lands
Joseph Nobetau - "My continued work to address corruption and hold law breakers to account was causing some political discomfort"

ANTHONY KAYBING

BUKA - Sidelined Bougainville chief secretary, Joseph Nobetau, has declined to accept an offer to compensate him for his termination from office by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG).

“The ABG’s lawyer presented me with a cheque for K660,692.80 together with a deed of release in which I would be expected to waive my constitutional rights,” Mr Nobetau said.

Continue reading "Nobetau declines payout; seeks day in court" »


The opportunist who came & now must go

Shila Yukuli Paia
Shila Paia - "Is O’Neill above the law? None of us is above the law. We call on him to be prosecuted and to comply with legal proceedings"

SHILA YUKULI PAIA

ADELAIDE - I am a proud Papua New Guinean who will always stand very tall and speak boldly, loudly and clearly knowing that PNG is one of the best democracies.

In this context I have some observations to make on the saga of the attempted arrest of former prime minister Peter Charles Paire O'Neill, another critical moment in the history of PNG’s political development.

Continue reading "The opportunist who came & now must go" »


Corruption costs billions, trashes economy

Eddie Tanago (2)
Eddie Tanago - Act Now has identified 19 measures the government should use to attack corruption

EDDIE TANAGO
| Campaign Manager | Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - International research shows that corruption is costing Papua New Guinea billions of kina every year. It is ruining our economy and impoverishing the nation.

If the government is serious about making PNG ‘the richest black nation on earth’ then it must introduce a raft of reforms to ensure we have open and transparent government.

Continue reading "Corruption costs billions, trashes economy" »


MPs should not condemn Marape’s dream

Alphonse Mek
Alphonse Mek - "Marape is our country’s prayer answered – the leader who emerged after eight years of dejection"

ALPHONSE MEK

ENGA - Since James Marape, this son of a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, became prime minister of this blessed nation, there have been many criticisms, denunciations as well as condemnation on the subject of his theme to make it “the richest black Christian nation in the world.”

The theme is not new, because God has already blessed this nation more than the rest of the Pacific island nations as well as at a global level.

Continue reading "MPs should not condemn Marape’s dream" »


There cannot be peace without justice

Albert Schram in POM
Albert Schram - "The human spirit craves for liberty and justice. Both have a strange way of being unstoppable in their paths"

ALBERT SCHRAM

The last of three articles based on Chapter 4 of Dr Schram’s memoir, ‘Experiences of a Vice Chancellor in Papua New Guinea’. Link here to read the full chapter

“Our lives are a battlefield on which is fought a continuous war between the forces that are pledged to confirm our humanity and those determined to dismantle it; those who strive to build a protective wall around it, and those who wish to pull it down; those who seek to mold it and those committed to breaking it up...." (Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenyan writer and academic)

VERONA - Despite the disastrous economic situation in Papua New Guinea while I was UNITECH vice chancellor from 2012 to 2018, and the far from propitious operating environment, we were able to produce many positive changes at the university.

Continue reading "There cannot be peace without justice" »


PNG’s odd racialised post-colonial morality

Albert Schram's OK
Albert Schram's doctorate was four times  legitimised - by the awarding entity in Europe, twice by independent inquiries in PNG and once by a PNG court - but its veracity was constantly questioned by political enemies who wanted him out

ALBERT SCHRAM

The second of three articles based on Chapter 4 of Dr Schram’s memoir, ‘Experiences of a Vice Chancellor in Papua New Guinea’. Link here to read the full chapter

“There are some people, be they black or white, who don’t want others to rise above them. They want to be the source of all knowledge and share it piecemeal to others less endowed” (Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenyan writer and academic)

VERONA - People have asked me if standing up against corruption and speaking truth to power was difficult. For me it never was. We all know what is right and what is wrong.

Continue reading "PNG’s odd racialised post-colonial morality" »


Delusional O’Neill's calamitous legacy

Albert Schram and graduates
Albert Schram and graduates - 50% of highlands' university students are unable to pay their fees on time

ALBERT SCHRAM | Edited

The first of three articles based on Chapter 4 of Dr Schram’s memoir, ‘Experiences of a Vice Chancellor in Papua New Guinea’. Link here to read the full chapter

"We think of politics in terms of power and who has the power. Politics is the end to which that power is put" (Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenyan writer and academic)

VERONA - I want to thank my more than 7,000 followers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for their encouraging comments on this series, and Keith Jackson for publishing the short versions.

Continue reading "Delusional O’Neill's calamitous legacy " »


Bougainville’s freedom depends on killing corruption

Leonard holding coconut
Leonard Roka - "We have paid a heavy cost for development on Bougainville over the past 50 years – too big a cost to now fall into a pit of corruption"

LEONARD FONG ROKA

PANGUNA - As a cocoa farmer and education entrepreneur in Panguna without official responsibilities in the Autonomous Bougainville Government or public service, I have no influence over the decisions my necktie-wearing, long-sleeved and shiny-booted bureaucrats take in their fine Buka offices and elsewhere in the province.

But I can talk as a Bougainvillean who endured the pain during the 10 year civil war after 1988 and who strongly desires to see my Solomon Island of Bougainville progress to nationhood. That is our goal and we have paid for it with our tears and our blood.

Continue reading "Bougainville’s freedom depends on killing corruption" »


Pressure on MRDC to come clean on LNG revenue

Isaac Lupari
Isaac Lupari chairs MRDC where "everything it does is shrouded in secrecy"

MEKERE MORAUTA
MP for Moresby North-West and former Prime Minister

PORT MORESBY - The Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC) needs to publish up-to-date audited details of its group finances since PNG LNG gas production began in mid-2014.

MRDC manages landowner equity interests in both mining and petroleum projects and is chaired by chief secretary Isaac Lupari.

Continue reading "Pressure on MRDC to come clean on LNG revenue" »


We've heard the rhetoric – now plan & execute

Dream plan executeSIMON DAVIDSON

SONOMA - From James Marape’s maiden political discourse emerged two critical enablers for achieving the dream to ‘Take Back PNG’: a workable plan and bold action

Every politician and statesman makes grandiose speeches presenting compelling narratives of an attractive and prosperous future for their nation.

They reveal to the people a vision that looks bright and seems achievable. A vision, of course, is not about the present but the future.

Continue reading "We've heard the rhetoric – now plan & execute" »


Unity in diversity: why we’re still together 44 years on

James Marape
James Marape - "Let's show the world that Melanesian consensus can provide answers to PNG's internal problems"

JAMES MARAPE MP
| Edited extract from an address by prime minister Marape to the Bougainville House of Representatives, Wednesday 11 September

BUKA – Forty-four years ago, we claimed independence from colonial rule over our land and resources.

Yet some legacies and shackles we still try to get out of today show that both Papua New Guinea and Bougainville are not truly independent in terms of economic strength.

Continue reading "Unity in diversity: why we’re still together 44 years on" »


Time to crack down on MPs stealing public funds

Dsip
Hand-outs to politicians for development purposes are being abused and need to be abolished say Cathoic bishop - and many other people

ERIC SCHERING

MICHIGAN, USA - The District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) and Provincial Services Improvement Program (PSIP) are both valued highly by members of parliament in Papua New Guinea because they allow MPs considerable discretion in how the money is used.

For the last several years I’ve been paying particular attention to this DSIP and PSIP spending.

While DSIP and PSIP have great potential for development at the same time both programs can suck MPs into corruption.

Continue reading "Time to crack down on MPs stealing public funds" »


O’Neill continues to deceive on district funding

Peter O'Neill
Peter O'Neill has been been exaggerating the value of funding he provided for district development

ERIC SCHERING

MICHIGAN, USA - Former prime minister Peter O’Neill seems slow to understand the implications of the reality that he is no longer the leader of Papua New Guinea.

He thinks that when new prime minister James Marape attempts to pass legislation that he disagrees with, that he can tell the untruths he was able to get away with during his seven years in power.

Continue reading "O’Neill continues to deceive on district funding" »


Mountain of allegations about MRDC scandal

Mekere Morauta (2)
Sir Mekere Morauta - New revelations affirm prime minister Marape’s decision to hold an inquiry into MRDC

SIR MEKERE MORAUTA

PORT MORESBY - New information about the scandal-plagued Mineral Resources Development Corporation has become available, reinforcing the urgent need for an inquiry into its operations and the status of the hundreds of millions of kina it manages on behalf of landowner companies.

There is now a mountain of allegations about MRDC and its landowner subsidiaries. I expect that in the coming weeks more will be revealed about their dubious activities and the real value of the investments they have made, purportedly in the interest of landowners.

Continue reading "Mountain of allegations about MRDC scandal" »


Can PNG become the 'richest black Christian nation on earth'?

Black Christian Countries (Source Devpolicy Blog)
Black Christian Countries (Source: Devpolicy Blog)

ANDREW KORYBKO | Eurasia Future

MOSCOW - The new prime minister of Papua New Guinea only entered office a few months ago after a long-running political scandal led to the resignation of his predecessor, Peter O'Neill.

But he’s already making waves with his ambitious vision of turning this resource-rich but poverty-stricken island country into “the richest black Christian nation on earth”.

James Marape made his Trump-like nationalist proclamation in late July during his visit to Australia, which was his first foreign trip since assuming his position.

Here he also spoke about his plan of one day “participating with Australia looking after smaller island nations”.

Continue reading "Can PNG become the 'richest black Christian nation on earth'?" »


Marape election faces challenge in PNG supreme court this month

Pruaitch
Patrick Pruaitch will go to PNG supreme court - apparently still sore at the failure of his tactics to deny James Marape's election as prime minister

SONALI PAUL | Reuters | Edited

MELBOURNE - Papua New Guinea’s supreme court will hear a challenge to the election of prime minister James Marape, a lawyer for opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch, who has taken the matter to court, said on Friday.

The case, set for Friday 20 September, adds to political turmoil that has delayed progress on two important resources projects in PNG this year: a K30 billion plan to double its gas exports, led by Exxon Mobil Corp and Total SA, and plans to build a major new gold mine, Wafi-Golpu, led by Newcrest Mining.

The PNG parliament elected Marape as prime minister in May, when his predecessor Peter O’Neill quit after losing support from his own party over a range of grievances, including a gas deal with France’s Total.

Continue reading "Marape election faces challenge in PNG supreme court this month" »


Kramer explains reasons for Tokura-Manning RPNGC switch

David Manning
David Manning, whose replacement of Francis Tokura as acting police commissioner has created a few waves

BRYAN KRAMER MP | Minister for Police | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY – This week the National Executive Council (NEC) revoked the appointment of Acting Police Commissioner Francis Tokura and appointed Acting Deputy Commissioner (Operations) David Manning in his place.

The reason behind this decision was twofold.

Firstly, to reinstate Mr Tokura to his substantive position as Deputy Police Commissioner for Bougainville to oversee the preparation and conduct of the Bougainville referendum in November.

Last week, member for South Bougainville Timothy Masiu raised an issue on the floor of Parliament over the decision to remove Mr Tokura as the head of Police on Bougainville, placing him as the Acting Commissioner for Police.

Continue reading "Kramer explains reasons for Tokura-Manning RPNGC switch" »


Plans for a coup against Marape led me to join the government

Bird Juffa
Governor Allan Bird and Governor Gary Juffa - two eminent independent politicians join the Marape government

GOVERNOR ALLAN BIRD | My Land, My Country

WEWAK - To my beloved Sepik people, I make this explanation because I am accountable to you all.

When the [political] events of 2011 came about, I was outspoken against it. Since 2011, the economic climate in Papua New Guinea has continued to deteriorate at an alarming rate.

The East Sepik Provincial Government was particularly punished from 2011–17 because of the position taken by Sir Michael Somare.

Our grants were cut consistently by more than 80% during that period. This was unjust, uncalled for and vicious way to treat the Sepik people.

I stood against People’s National Congress [the part of Peter O’Neill] and it’s vindictive and punitive practice and policies in 2017 and won elections on that basis.

Over the past two years we fought the PNC government. During the vote of no confidence, we tried to depose PNC with the help of the Marape splinter group.

We worked hard to remove PNC. Things didn’t work out well but we kept pushing.

Continue reading "Plans for a coup against Marape led me to join the government" »


Marape sacks ‘negative influence’ O’Neill & PNC

O'Neill Marape
Happier Days! Peter O'Neill and James Marape were the closest political colleagues. No more.

STATEMENT BY JAMES MARAPE MP
| Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY - It is after careful consideration that I announce the decommissioning of Hon Richard Maru as a Minister of State.

Regrettably, this comes as a result of ongoing collaboration with parliamentary leader of PNC Party Hon Peter O’Neill - as well as key leaders in opposition including Hon Patrick Pruaitch and Hon Belden Namah - to actively undermine the Marape-Steven government.

After 89 days in office, it has become clear to the Pangu Party I co-lead that we need to break free of the PNC Party and its negative influence.

The Take Back PNG agenda requires a unified team of like-minded leaders, and it is now clear that this requires freedom for Pangu to lead with its new and bold identity.

Continue reading "Marape sacks ‘negative influence’ O’Neill & PNC" »


PNG needs principled leaders to guide us to a better state

SIMON DAVIDSON

SONOMA - Cultivating leaders with moral principles is a societal responsibility to fill the leadership void in every age.

The story of Daniel in the Bible provides a template for how leaders with moral principles can be cultivated, to become a beacon and a moral force in a world washed in moral decay.

Another historic example who fits this mold is Abraham Lincoln who was raised in humble circumstances, developed a passion to learn and taught himself law, philosophy, rhetoric and mathematics.

One of the many books Lincoln devoured was the Bible, and the precepts found in that ancient book transformed and elevated him to become the president of America. His most memorable speech - the Gettysburg address – opens with a quote from Psalm 90.

The lives of these two moral giants show that leaders with principles can be cultivated.

Continue reading "PNG needs principled leaders to guide us to a better state" »


Law & order must be nambawan priority of government: Ipatas

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - If there is one thing Enga governor Sir Peter Ipatas wants to see happen in Enga Province, it is to see his people prosper in a peaceful environment.

He would like many tourists to come annually to events like this Friday’s Enga Cultural Show or to major sporting events like the recent rugby match between Easts Tigers and PNG Hunters in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup completion.

The promotion of tourism is now one of the major policies of the Enga Provincial Government and it aims to promote peace in the province and enable the people to tap into the lucrative tourism industry.

Governor Ipatas has personally involved himself in bringing in visitors like birdwatchers and people who wanted to see how traditional salt was made at Mulisos Yokonda Salt ponds near Sirunki.

Continue reading "Law & order must be nambawan priority of government: Ipatas" »


Let's try to work out who the authentic politicians are

Marape Morrison
James Marape and Scott Morrison - what image do they want us to see? And how closely does it relate to the real leader?

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – Keith’s now in London and getting a first hand experience of Britain’s transition to the rule of Boris Johnson and it will be interesting to watch how Boris the new prime minister progresses.

I'm not quite sure what image of himself he is trying to project and what he hopes will capture the minds of the credulous voters of the United Kingdom.

It is also still a mystery what sort of image Papua New Guinea’s James Marape is trying to project.

On the one hand he is trying to establish himself as someone who will not tolerate being leaned on by Australia while he has also projected an image of a transparent communicator with a strong bias against corruption.

I don't think anyone since Michael Somare has managed to manufacture a persona with such wide appeal in PNG and I'm not sure Marape (unlike Bryan Kramer for instance) has the charisma to do it.

One of the most appealing aspects of Michael Somare, at least when he was younger, was that he would actually answer questions put to him. This was very refreshing and quite unusual. He was a bit like Bob Hawke in this respect.

Continue reading "Let's try to work out who the authentic politicians are" »


James Marape’s quest to finally decolonise Papua New Guinea

Marape
James Marape - ridding Papua New Guinea of corruption is one of his major goals

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In 2005, the late Ulli Beier published ‘Decolonising the Mind’, an account of his time as a lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea between 1967 and 1971.

The book was published by Pandanus Books, established in 2001 by the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University and eventually discontinued in 2006 following budget cuts.

While it existed Pandanus was a prolific publisher of, among other things, Papua New Guinean matters for both an academic and general readership.

Its demise cut off a valuable tool for furthering an understanding of the Papua New Guinean and Australian relationship.

Continue reading "James Marape’s quest to finally decolonise Papua New Guinea" »


Governments we deserve, but not governments we need

Scott Morrison and James Marape
Scott Morrison and James Marape - beanie clad and doing the populist footie thing

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Strangely, while politicians as a class are seriously on the nose across the democratic world, individual politicians appear to remain popular within their own electorates, even if they clearly are not people of the highest moral or ethical character.

The former Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce immediately springs to mind as an example of this.

Papua New Guinea has all too many examples of ethically-compromised politicians who remain very popular in their electorates. It must be the beer and lamb flaps effect at work.

More pragmatically, I put this phenomenon down to the fact that politicians, in their day to day work, spend a lot of time helping ordinary people navigate the labyrinthine byways of the government bureaucracy, thus building a reservoir of goodwill that they can draw upon when elections come around.

Continue reading "Governments we deserve, but not governments we need" »


Kramer investigated for cyber-bullying. But is Mr Kalaut serious?

Kalaut
Sylvester Kalaut - looks like overzealous assistant police commissioner is on wrong side of the law

BRYAN KRAMER

PORT MORESBY – About a week ago, The National newspaper published an article under the headline, ‘Kramer Investigated on Allegations of Cyber-Bullying’.

The article, authored by Clifford Faiparik, reported that assistant police commissioner Sylvester Kalaut had confirmed that I, as police minister, was being investigated on allegations of cyber-bullying.

The allegations related to a Madang-based National news reporter who filed a complaint against me in June 2018 in relation to an article I had published on social media.

The article was critical of her biased reporting and having been paid K3,000 from district development grants by the former Member for Madang.

It appears Mr Kalaut has found himself on the wrong side of this issue. Perhaps he should have first taken the time to investigate what the law defines as cyber-bullying.

Continue reading "Kramer investigated for cyber-bullying. But is Mr Kalaut serious?" »


Housing Corporation: Ending decades of shameless corruption

NHC HQSCOTT WAIDE | My Land, My Country

LAE - Finally, there is government acknowledgment of the corruption and disarray in the National Housing Corporation.

Since taking office, housing minister Justin Tkatchenko has exposed what the organisation looks like from the inside. Its physical state is an absolute mess and a national embarrassment of the highest order.

The suggestion box should have been named ‘buai spet box’ and the NHC office should have been renamed ‘ofis blo kekemanmeri.’

The NHC has absolutely nothing to be proud of.

Continue reading "Housing Corporation: Ending decades of shameless corruption" »


Kramer writes of threats, false arrests & intimations of mortality

Bryan Kramer & police
Police minister Bryan Kramer on cleaning up the force - "No question of doubt that I will eventually get killed for what I do"

BRYAN KRAMER | Kramer Report

PORT MORESBY – Over the last few days I have been receiving intelligence reports from within political circles, police and security forces that there are plans to have me arrested and charged.

Certain high ranking officers within the police force are planning my arrest acting on complaint by former prime minister Peter O'Neill, including a complaint filed by a journalist in Madang who, in June 2018, I exposed for being paid public funds by the former member of parliament.

So there can be no question of doubt, if certain members of the police force wish to bring charges against me, it is their constitutional right to do so, provided of course they have sufficient grounds based on credible evidence.

For the record, I won't be going into hiding or running to court to seek restraining orders, which has been the practice of some members of parliament in the past.

Continue reading "Kramer writes of threats, false arrests & intimations of mortality" »


Women’s road to parliament can start with 50% of the bureaucracy

Tanya Zeriga-Alone
Tanya Zeriga Alone - "Hard to change men stuck in a culture that dictates women have no space in decision-making"

TANYA ZERIGA ALONE | Em Nau PNG Blog

PORT MORESBY - It was just 80 years ago that the hausman [men’s house] ruled.

Some of those men have just transitioned from the village hausman to the national hausman, also known as our parliament.

In Papua New Guinea’s paternalistic society, no woman sits in the hausman with the men.

This current generation of women is just one generation removed from PNG’s cultural past, and women in this age and time are still bound to the cultural roles of women, no matter how educated they are.

It is hard to fix culturally indoctrinated women and men. The present push to get women into parliament has never worked in the past – it is hard to liberate women who still live beneath the shadows of a culture of deferral to men.

It is hard to change men who are still stuck in a culture that dictates that women have no space in decision-making.

Our hope for change is in the next generation. Our hope rests on our girls and boys.

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UBS loan was a crap deal – except perhaps for the facilitators

B&w Overland
Chris Overland - "Politicians are generally crap at making business decisions; PNG has lost money it should never have lost"

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – The UBS bank of Switzerland has pointed out that the multi-billion kina loan to the Papua New Guinea government to buy Oil Search shares was made according to relevant laws and in conformance with normal business and banking practice.

To the best of my knowledge, no-one is accusing UBS of acting unlawfully (at least, not yet).

The real point at issue here is that UBS essentially facilitated a K4 billion bet by the O'Neill government that the price of oil and gas and hence the value of its investment, would go up not down.

At that time, I - and many other critics of the decision to buy shares in Oil Search using public funds - pointed out that the price of oil and gas was at historic highs and thus inflating the price of the shares being purchased to a level that did not reflect their underlying long term value.

We also pointed out that the downside risks of such a manifestly speculative investment in the volatile energy market were very high, so the likelihood of PNG losing a lot of money was also very high.

Now, six years later, the critics have been proved correct and PNG has lost money that it should never have lost.

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Providing police housing is a Marape government priority

Police Minister Bryan Kramer and chairman of Nambawan Super chairman Anthony Smare
Police Minister Bryan Kramer and chairman of Nambawan Super Anthony Smare - hundreds of new homes for the police

BRYAN KRAMER | Kramer Report.

PORT MORESBY - While members of the police force have received much lip service over the years to address on-going housing issues, this will be a priority issue under the new Marape-Steven government.

My office has already commenced discussions with Anthony Smare, chairman of Papua New Guinea’s largest superannuation fund, Namabwan Super, on developing a strategy in partnership

Mr Smare explained that Namabawan Super has plans to build 3,000 plus houses at 9 Mile in Port Moresby, a project I hope the government will buy into, providing over 1,000 houses to members of the police force and their families.

In addition to the government housing component, we also discussed establishing a police home ownership scheme where officers who have served 10-15 years will qualify for home ownership at cost.

There is no point in the government providing police housing only to kick retired officers on to the street without any recognition of their service to the country.

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Interesting moves by a fresh prime minister. We wish him well

James Marape
James Marape’s new course for Papua New Guinea is laudable but its grandiosity has a touch of the unbelievable

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Papua New Guinean politics has always been interesting to watch.

For anyone brought up under the Westminster system of government with its adversarial politics and strict rules of process what goes on in Papua New Guinea can appear both bizarre and quixotic.

On the one hand its politics conforms to the Westminster ideal but on the other it seems to owe much more to traditional clan politics.

Mixed in there too is an element of patronage and corruption imported directly from Asia.

This potpourri has now been stretched even further from the realms of possibility by the recent musical chairs surrounding the sidelining of Peter O’Neill.

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O’Neill's end brought forth the good; now call puppets to account

Kua
Kerenga Kua has never been politically disloyal or a yoyo in the many indecisive moments of PNG politics. He’s a steady, no-nonsense man

JIMMY AWAGL

KUNDIAWA – It was a lively session on the floor of parliament before the election of Papua New Guinea’s eighth prime minister a few weeks ago.

One little remarked aspect of the controversy was Madang governor Peter Yama’s words to Kerenga Kua, member for Sinesine Yongomugl in Simbu and now petroleum minister.

The remarks have drawn widespread conjecture and condemnation, especially in Simbu. from many people, where people are questioning the integrity of Yama in calling Kua a ‘liklik mangi’ [little boy] in Pidgin.

Personal interest too often ruins the public interest. Even in the heated situation of a stressful parliamentary sitting, Yama should have shown the patience of a mature leader and representative of the people of Madang.

However, he egotistically levelled this derisive remark at his political rival, Kua, who without hesitation branded him as a political puppet.

Kua took the phrase ‘liklik mangi’ as no more than political rubbish from an ant speaking on behalf of floundering prime minister Peter O’Neill as the curtains were being drawn on the previous regime.

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How decentralised funding became decentralised corruption

Jeffrey Febi
Jeff Febi - "If corruption was bad in Port Moresby, at district level it was worse. If corruption was secretive in Port Moresby, in the district it was in plain sight"

JEFFREY FEBI

LUFA - Over the years, successive Papua New Guinea governments did well in decentralising power from Waigani.

The establishment of District Development Authorities signified the completion of the decentralisation process, and also showed that the distribution mechanism for funds was ready to roll.

Disbursements of K10 million each year to the districts was the highlight of decentralisation.

These funds not only enabled districts to implement their development goals without having to face the Waigani bureaucracy, it also gave them financial power and, ultimately, the freedom to choose and fund projects and deliver services according to home-grown plans.

With this freedom and power, rather unfortunately, followed endless impairments of virtue and moral principles.

The K10 million became everyman's object of envy: district government officials, local businessmen, village leaders, church pastors, recent graduates, and village illiterates. In fact every Tom, Dick and Harry.

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PNG’s fluid politics: winners & losers from O’Neill to Marape

Figure 1
How members of parliament voted in the first five months of 2019

MICHAEL KABUNI | Devpolicy Blog | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea politics is fluid. In January 2019 the government voted to adjourn parliament with 88 votes to the opposition’s 23).

On 10 April 2019, James Marape resigned as minister for finance as well as a member of the People’s National Congress (PNC) party led by O’Neill.

Joining the opposition, he was nominated to replace prime minister Peter O’Neill in a vote of no confidence when parliament met on 7 May 2019.

Marape was later followed by 26 other MPs who either resigned as PNC members or left the coalition and joined the opposition, increasing numbers to 50.

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