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25 February 2012

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David – I do appreciate that shortcomings of the Constitution need to be fixed. But let’s not perpetuate the myth that changing a system necessarily changes the outcome (at least in non-rocket science based fields). Who do we put in charge of the system?

Are the confusions real or merely a matter of interpretation, which has mostly gone in the favour of those in a position to control the outcome?

And what of the argument of 'spirit of the law'?

There is no separating law, interpretation and that essential 'something extra', the willingness to do what is good, just and right, despite vested interests.

I suspect that in the PNG scenario corruption has free reign in the halls of power because the evil runs deeper than one may think to the very roots of society, where complicity is rampant.

Martyn advocates for ‘decolonizing the mind’, a change of mindset that I believe means changing how we choose to do things and above all choosing to do things by a set rules we have collectively agreed upon as law.

We’ve just broken the last set of rules we had in place so it’s reasonable to ask if we will truly hold to the next set we put up, regardless of whether it’s in our Melanesian Ways or not.

We have to decide what we will keep and what we will throw out of this Melanesian Way. That's the action of change.

It is amusing how we bring in that term whenever convenient in the socio-political context but readily fall under the spell of Westernernisation otherwise. And it is worrying that despite the flaunted benefits of the Melanesian Way common knowledge tells us that our socio-economic indicators haven’t been this poor since before colonization.

I’ve not read Aung Sung Suu Kyi’s Freedom speech but I appreciate that she is talking of a spirit of trust and good faith and those fundamental principles common to all people who genuinely desire the best for their country.

What is the ‘spirit of Melanesia’ Martyn? Or perhaps honor, integrity, courage and sacrifice are ‘foreign concepts’ of a colonial past?

And David who would we choose to embody those ideals for PNG?

Leaders will often do what’s best for their people and in a Melanesian society like PNG what’s best for ‘their people’ may not always be in the best interests of the rest of the country and thereby not be right according to law.

We need to change our mind about leaders and start questioning ourselves as voters. We should do this before we start dismantling systems that in essence were intended for our good, despite the actions of those who have thwarted it.

My question is whether we voters will allow our elected representatives to carry out their duties without the expectance of favours, bribes, wantokism, nepotism, cronyism etc that has been the hallmark of our bureaucratic systems since 1975.

I don’t believe we will make any real progress as a nation until we see change taking place in the mindset of voters from every electorate in the country.

David and Martyn - I hope we continue to debate these relevant issues with the objective of finding practical ways forward, if not in action, then in changing mindsets. Thank you for your arguments.

I wish Martyn the very best of success in his endeavors in Melbourne as a step onto a new platform for his advocacy.

Hi Paul. Yes this Pascoe bloke still has a lot to learn about the history of PNG. He needs to go and have a good talk to Sir Paulias Matane and read a few history books.

I think Martyn has used some terms in a way that gives people the wrong impression of what he means! His last few comments seem better. But the fact that he is stirring up the likes of Ausaid is good.

He needs to go and visit the wise old men of PNG before they die. Many of them know what has gone wrong and they know why it went wrong.

Rules put in place by the Australian administration to stop corruption have been altered or removed, using lame excuses!

The corrupt have used this for their own advantage. Sadly so many of the corrupt can't seem to understand that they have been corrupt!

The younger generation need to be given the chance to step in and try to stop the corruption. If, in the process, they slow down the development of the mines and SABLs, etc, that may actually be a blessing.

PNG needs development with equity!

Barbara - Thanks to PNG Attitude today [2 March 2012] and the article 'PNG’s new media underground has its say' by Andrew Pascoe, I guess we know who the 'ajpascoe' is who posted the comment on Martyn's blog.

Funny how he never took up the challenge of defending his inference about the introduction of so called 'colonial systems' and how they created many of PNG's problems?

Possibly he now realises that his version of a crystal ball may have only been bought recently in a 'Nothing over $1' store.

Martyn - Your last three posts are balanced and well reasoned. Why did you not express such views in the first place?

You are an advocate for change so clarity is important not argumentative rhetoric that does not come straight to the point.

You placed blame on Australia and asked us to rewrite the PNG constitution using the term 'decolonisation'.

Take a page from Suu Kyi.

Remember that in your public address.

Lord Buddha said 'The mind is the key to changing the nature of experience'.

Having said all that I am all about this:

‎"The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development.

"A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success.

"Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration.

"It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear."

[Aung San Suu Kyi, from her 'Freedom from Fear' speech]

My understanding of colonisation is that it is about one group dominating and subjugating another.

Say for instance if you have a land lease for 99 years as defined by law, clearly it is the perpetuation of a colonial "subjugating" system. The British rented Hong Kong from the Chinese for 99 years and had to hand it back after the lease expired.

For a Papua New Guinean whose life depends alot on land ownership, 99 years in unfair to the next generation for about three generations.

Whether Intentional or not the system is destroying our people [eg SPABLs].

I hope that when everyone reads my criticism of Australia or AusAID or colonialism, etc they do not "think it's about AusAID or Australia or colonialism etc".

It's all about PNG. We can't rewrite the past but we have to move forward. Moving forward means decolonisation.

Papua New Guineans will always have a positive view towards the Australian people because the colonial experience here was benign compared to what happened elsewhere.

What I'm advocating is the removal of the colonial baggage while engaging with Australia and Australians as equals.

I have been trying to get my message to a wider audience and not confine the debates to blogs and facebook.

I believe this year will be a great year as I intend to use multiple media platforms to deliver those messages to the masses.

I've tried something in South Fly and there seems to be growing enthusiasm amongst many young people for instantaneous news and information via sms. There now exist immense possibilities.

Michael - There are no confusions here. I am saying that now that we know better, we need to revisit the Constitution and fix some of the shortcomings of that document.

No I am not at all proposing to do this through blogging. Social media gives us the opportunity to start sowing the seeds of something that we can do in an appropriate forum in a more open and transparent way.

The only confusion I see are the confusions that prevail today that this Constitution is incapable of addressing.

No one saw these confusions coming and they were clearly not anticipated in the Constitution because of lack of proper debate and analysis at that time before adopting the Constitution in its current form.

As you say, Paul, the kiap system was one of the first things that Michael Somare dismantled. I will always remember the vitriolic exchanges between The Chief and the boss of the kiaps, Tom Ellis, on the floor (literally) of the House of Assembly.

Even though there were a lot of dedicated local PNG kiaps in service and it worked well the system had the taint and smell of colonialism and had to go.

The poor old kiaps became the focus and ended up bearing the brunt of the anti-colonial feeling at the time.

Back in Australia, if they were noticed at all, it was with the sort of disdain also afforded to the soldiers returning from Vietnam.

Although the system had its antecedents in Africa and the British District Occicer tradition it was essentially a homegrown affair - the British system minus the superiority complex leavened with a large dose of pragmatism.

As you note, the kiap system owed a lot to traditional PNG social organisation. Like the big man the kiap looked after his own patch and was in constant battle with Port Moresby for support and funds.

By and large the kiaps were also scruplously honest. What they essentially did was ensure that the maximum possible benefits and services flowed to their particular rural domains.

These days one of the biggest (if not the biggest) problems in PNG is getting services out to rural areas. Now that the taint of colonialism has faded (at least until Martyn dug it up again)maybe it is time to revisit the concept.

I think at most there were about 600 kiaps in the field at any one time. I'm sure PNG could muster another honest and hardworking men and women for the job.

David - You mention that we do not understand the current Constitution, let alone had 'we' really accepted it, and yet you argue that we should re-write the one we have. I'm confused.(And rocket science is miles more fun!).

Perhaps the education about alternatives, as Paul suggested, is a more long term approach that we as writers and communicators (and leaders in that manner) should be challenged by.

After all we agree that we like the idea of having a rule book, even if it is just to throw at each other (but not heavy enough to do any real damage, mores the pity sometimes).

Although my understanding is very limited I do appreciate that there is an entire political and administrative system and moreover a fundamental philosophy represented by a 'head of state', either in the parliamentary or presidential systems of government.

...'the head of state should embody "the spirit of the nation" for the nation itself and the world' - Charles de Gaulle (source: wikipedia).

While debate upon the issue of Constitutional reform may be an acceptable democratic option, the circle in which such moves are debated needs to be broadened and deepened to be inclusive of a majority of the population. I'm sorry; blogging does not suffice.

Otherwise we fall into the trap of our fathers, by ourselves becoming the 'new elite' (or neo-lites: have I just coined a new term Keith?).

It is my opinion that my people will otherwise be as unprepared for such a constitution as we were in 1975.

Such unpreparedness would have the potential to push our already teetering state over the brink of confusion; and in that chaos - anarchy.

I for one do not wish another 36 years or more of struggle on our children.

As regards ajpascoe - This discussion has been going on a long time now. I've already mentioned that all PNG people were given a say in the writing of the Constitution.

I took Brandi students along to a meeting where they could have an input. The people in charge were PNG nationals. Bernard Narokobi played a major role. The constitution is supposedly based on PNG systems. It is not meant to be an alien system.

I'm no lawyer and leave all replies to criticism of the Constitution up to PNG constitutional lawyers.

From my recent study of PNG over the last 10 years or so I have come to see how the members of parliament have somehow contrived to alter the way the Public Service runs.

I've already explained this. Surely this is something that has to be investigated to stop the corruption.

Paul - it's not about the "kwin b'long England".It's about us.

What is the logic of having someone, anyone, who has no relevance to us to be our "head of state". We need a President who is elected directly by us as the Head of State.

Michael - Come on mate. What is so difficult about debating our Constitution and changing aspects of it that don't suit us? You make it sound like a rocket science project when it clearly is not. It is given that it will be a cumbersome exercise but it certainly is not undoable.

Mind you, the Constitution we currently have has never been adopted by Papua New Guineans against popular belief.

My parents were young adults at the time the country was formed and they tell me they never understood what a Constitution was and how it was supposed to work.

If that is coming from my parents who were both a graduate teacher and a correctional officer at that time, then what hope was there for the adults (our grandparents) to make an informed decision when the constitution was adopted.

The point is how could an ignorant person "adopt" something that s/he has no idea about. It is a fallacy that our Constitution was adopted by us.

Now is the right time to really talk about it, debate it in a rational manner and to rewrite and adopt our Constitution properly.

Re-writing the Constitution is easier said than done.
A head of state serves the need to appeal to a higher authority.
Do we have the political maturity to even contemplate a change?

Hi David, I agree that under your Constitution, your Head of State is different from ours however 'Misis Kwen' will only act on advice from the NEC.

The fact that the current PNG GG (an ex Somare Minister) first recognised as PM and then replaced Somare with O'Neill surely has nothing to do with the Queen.

Australia's Head of State is the GG who also represents the Monarch. Apart from achieving respect with everyone who meets her, the Monarch has no actual power in Australia and I suggest, none in PNG also.

What PNG needs is a Constitutional Convention. Unfortunately, that won't happen any time soon or before the next general election unless it is deferred because of the incomplete electoral roles.

Hold on, 'News Flash'. The elections may be postponed says Deputy PM Namah due to the Royal visit. Gosh! Maybe the royals do have some power after all?

I agree with Martyn to the extent that there are some flaws in our Constitution which need correcting.

For example, making the Queen of England our “head of state” and to be represented locally by a lame duck institution which is more a liability than an asset to us is plain stupid.

The political events of late resulting in two of everything in government terribly exposed this stupidity in the Constitution.

It's time to take a long hard look at our Constitution and to re write it to suit our own circumstances.

Hi Martyn,

Here is a comment placed on your blog against our comments you lifted from PNG Attitude. As I don’t know if Barbara reads your blog, I’ve copied the comment here and offered some thoughts. Barbara may wish to share hers as well.
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ajpascoeFeb 25, 2012 05:04 PM

Paul and Barbara, as I see it the point is not what Papua New Guineans have done to 'abuse' the colonial system imposed on them. The point is that a system was imposed on them, period. When you introduce an alien system fundamentally different from a native culture's existing social relations, institutions, and cosmologies, it is inevitable that there will be tension (manifested here in corruption, nepotism etc). These issues will prevail unless the system is decolonised to reinforce Papua New Guinean ways of knowing and being.
_______________

Hi ajpascoe, I don’t know whether you are fully aware of what PNG was like over 40 years ago and what challenges there were then for the PNG people and Australia?

Both Barbara and I were part of a small team of Australians that endeavoured to provide the PNG people with an opportunity to progress into the modern world. At the time we were withdrawn and PNG given its independence, some people were still being discovered that had never heard of the outside world and had no idea that their traditional life and culture was about to dramatically change. Retrospectively, we were under funded and mostly ignored by our own country. Yet those of us who stayed did so because we knew we were doing something worthwhile and could see positive achievements for the people we worked with.

To look back with hindsight now and pontificate on what could or should have been done is easy. Back then we were doing our best and what is very important, precisely what the people themselves wanted. Exactly which traditional PNG system did you have in mind to cope with the modern world?

PNG traditional culture was not a common entity. Almost every valley, island and area had its own language and culture. Australia had taken on the task of bringing PNG into the 20th Century from what in many areas was still the Stone Age. I do not denigrate or belittle the traditional PNG cultures. In fact I sincerely believe they are worth teaching in Australian schools. Yet many areas had no practical basis for forming or providing a representative and responsible national government which was what the United Nations required Australia to create and provide.

To look back and say that the dramatic changes we were required to lead the PNG people through will create ‘inevitable tensions’ is an understatement. To say that ‘corruption and nepotism’ will prevail due to the system introduced unfortunately can only be viewed as denigrating the efforts of both Australians and Papua New Guineans who did their utmost to bring about a modern nation under at times very difficult circumstances. Many still bear the scars and some who died now cannot speak about what amazing improvements were achieved. Comments like your's fly in the face of honest, hardworking PNG people who are currently working very hard to make PNG a nation worthy of respect.

To sit back now and dismiss the government systems that were introduced as 'colonial' and therefore at fault is to me, showing very little regard for the same systems that are functioning elsewhere. It also shows utter contempt for what was achieved through sheer hard work and the opportunities created then for today’s PNG people.

I look forward to hearing more from you, especially in regards to your relative experience.

Martyn - I believe our national goal s are what we look forward to achieving, like the American dream.

I'm not sure how we could legislate for precisely that outcome. Perhaps you have an example?

In reality policy and legislation deal with the difficult business of enabling the final expression of our peoples aspirations. Who does policy and legislation?

A tool is only as good as its user.

I believe Australia does feel a sense of obligation to PNG. But it's up to us to choose the path.

Step 1: Australia created the elite.

Step 2: The elite mismanage everything.

Step 3: If we want to progress lets not repeat step 1 & 2.

I hope that makes sense, coz if we don't think Australia is part of the problem we will repeat steps one and two.

Step 4: Refer to the Preamble of the Papua New Guinea Constitution and you will see Our PNG ways defined in the declaration of independence and the National Goals and Directive Principles.

Step 5: If we are not going to repeat step 1 & 2 let's begin at step 4.

Step 6: Amend section 25 of the Constitution, [which i refered to in my previous comment that didn't seem to fit in] and make the National Goals and Directive Principles actionable by Constitutional Law. This sets into motion the development agenda for PNG

#The Preamble of PNG 's Constitution is its declaration of Independence and development agenda. The rest of the Constitution formalizes the perpetuation of institution of colonization that have been abused by the elite.

#At the time of independence it was necessary to maintain the colonial structures in order for government to function. Now those structures are destroying our people. That system has to be dismantled.

National Goals and Directive Principles. Goal Number 5.

5. Papua New Guinean ways: We declare our fifth goal to be to achieve development primarily through the use of Papua New Guinean forms of social, political and economic organization.

PS. Hi Keith, Please post this in full

Michael - Keith hasn't published my precursor comment to the section 25 reference. That really puts the section 25 comment out of context in this debate. Hopefully Keith posts that comment.
__________

Sorry, Martyn. Operating with limited capabilities out here in the Atlantic. I hope the comment above represents the content you refer to - KJ

I don't know much about the legalese in the Constitution but one basic tenet about leadership in problem solving is; assigning blame is like throwing a rock into a crowd of people (casting the proverbial first stone?)

And it doesn't help with the mess we have to clean up either.

Martyn - Is there a point to your argument?

Please note: I actually only wrote the first two quoted paragraphs of Martyn's last comments. The other statements are Martyn's.

Paul writes: "This is the system PNG was left with. It was however changed by the elites who grasped power at Independence and decided to introduce changes to ‘help themselves’.

"The fact that some MP’s want ‘the power’ to both make laws and dole out taxpayer money to obtain personal power and prestige is not the system installed prior to Independence.

"So there could be a very convincing argument presented that in fact, the systems now currently in place in PNG and that are clearly not working are a direct result of home grown actions and not those externally imposed."
___________

No doubt if things were going right the former colonial power would want to take credit for all the fine politicians and civil servants it produced. But things have gone pear-shaped and the former colonial power wont take the blame for the systemic failures.

The Common Law, Acts of Parliament, and Governing Mechanism are either continued from the colonial era or have been cut and pasted from existing systems in Australia.

For example the Criminal code was adapted from Queensland, the current Public Private Partnership Institutional, Policy and Legislative framework is adapted from Victoria, etc...

Since Australian systems are adapted for PNG, naturally those trained in Australia would be seen as best suited to run these systems.

Now it now becomes totally obvious that neo-colonization by Australia exists.

So if the Australian systems are failing PNG and the Australian trained elite are failing surely it reflects badly on Australia. Australia is party to the mess and perhaps should now be thinking of an exit strategy.

Instead the dorminant opinion particularly amongst PNGeans seems of be of greater Australian involvement in PNG affairs.

Section 25 of the PNG Constitution makes the National Goals and Directive Principles non-justiceable.

25. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL GOALS AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES.

(1) Except to the extent provided in Subsections (3) and (4), the National Goals and Directive Principles are non-justiciable.

(2) Nevertheless, it is the duty of all governmental bodies to apply and give effect to them as far as lies within their respective powers.

(3) Where any law, or any power conferred by any law (whether the power be of a legislative, judicial, executive, administrative or other kind), can reasonably be understood, applied, exercised or enforced, without failing to give effect to the intention of the Parliament or to this Constitution, in such a way as to give effect to the National Goals and Directive Principles, or at least not to derogate them, it is to be understood, applied or exercised, and shall be enforced, in that way.

(4) Subsection (1) does not apply to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman Commission or of any other body prescribed for the purposes of Division III.2 (leadership code), which shall take the National Goals and Directive Principles fully into account in all cases as appropriate.

Hi Martyn - Like Paul, and many other Australians (as well as young men and women from other Western nations), I gave some of the best years of my life serving the interests of a developing Papua New Guinea.

I enjoyed my service there and have fond memories of the many thousands of PNGeans I worked with and for, and if it were possible to hit the replay button and do it all over again, I would do so in a flash.

I am happy to admit that mistakes were made at both the personnel and Administration levels, but these must be seen in a context that includes an overwhelming number of positives, not the least of which was to help prepare a largely closed society to engage with the modern world.

And it is against this context, Martyn, that I am highly offended by remarks such as "most of our elite were trained by Australians before independence and up until now" and that "Australia has produced and continues to produce the monsters and psychopaths who run PNG."

I detect in your reasoning, Martyn, what I have long felt is the chief stumbling block to real political and social progress in PNG, and that is the penchant of many PNGeans to sail backwards into the future.

It is the mindset that casts every current problem in the mould of yesterday. Or to put it bluntly: "Whenever a Black man sneezes, it is a White man's fault."

Let me make a small prediction, Martyn. Until PNG's leaders and influential elites are prepared to face up to their own mistakes and to do something to resolve those mistakes, then PNG will continue on its carousel of corruption, graft, and ineptitude.

You might change the rider on the leading horse from time to time, but the horse still keeps going round and round and round, getting nowhere and inevitably stepping in its own mess.

It is time, Martyn, to stop blaming Australia for that mess.

On reading Warren Dutton's comments I can see he has a good understanding of how the introduction of the First Past the Post method of voting seems to have ascerbated this problem of having to vote for the Big Man who is going to give them personal gifts.

It is quite obvious that there is a great need for Political Education at the grassroot level. If the Preferential System was reintroduced this may help to stop the problem of the wrong men getting elected to parliament.

Over to you, Martyn!

But Martyn, surely these "monsters and psychopaths" have altered the way they have been taught by the Australians. They are not running the place in the way we intended!

This may be due to their own greed or it may be due to the application of traditional PNG customs to the political system we left behind.

It is up to you to work this out! It is probably a bit of both!

I know my PNG friends, many who are ex-Keravats who are not corrupt, have been working to try to stop the corruption.

I feel that this "colonisation with a black face" is something we can see in the history of the development of the former African colonies. We can learn from their mistakes.

It is hard for so many of these men elected to parliament to stop their own greed. When they find they can manipulate things for their own benefit then the rot sets in.

But my argument is that the wrong people are being elected to parliament. This goes back to the PNG custom of electing the "Big Man" who gives them the most gifts.

They have to start valuing schools, hospitals, roads, police stations BEFORE alcohol, mobile phones, videos,and personal bribes of all kinds.

There needs to be a lot of good talks going on at the grassroots level to get the people to be able to discern the best man for the National Parliament.

I believe Paul and Barbarra assume I'm putting all the blame on the colonial masters. You will find this paragraph in my article, which explains what the article is on about:

"Colonisation now has a black face that perpetuates that colonial legacy. You don’t govern your people using a system that was intended to dominate them. You cannot secure a prosperous future unless to address the issue of neo-colonisation."

This paragraph basically agrees with Paul and Barbara with respect to how the so called elites have used the machinations of colonialism to subjugate the rest of their fellow Papua New Guineans.

Just in case Paul still believes there is no outside involvement whether direct or indirect: most of our elite were trained by Australians before independnece and up until now.

Australia has produced and continues to produce the monsters and psychopaths who run PNG.

I was a returning officer in the North Fly Electorate in the 1964 House of Assembly Elections, when the first time ever voters were introduced to, and capably used, the Optional Preferential System of voting.

I was elected as the Member for North Fly in 1968, defeated in 1972, and re-elected in 1977 by the same voting system.

I will state categorically that the large majority of members elected to those three Houses of Assembly and the first National Parliament by that system of voting were, because of it, people who were elected, not to represent only their own clans, but to represent their whole elecorates.

Most of them tried dilgently to do so, and were by natural consequence nascent Papua New Guinean Nationalists and responsible Members, Ministerial Members, and then National Ministers.

When the First Past the Post system of voting was introduced it inevitably took away from all voters the ability to exercise their judgement when choosing whom to vote for.

Very few villagers can be fairly expected to give their Vote, or their First Preference, to anybody but to their own clansman.

Unfortuantely the corollary is that they will tend to vote for the biggest thief in their clan, in the vain hope that he will steal more from the government for them, than he keeps for himself.

The events of the past ten years have clearly demonstrated this fact, and it is the ordinary people's belated recognition of it, that has caused the Poice, the Defence Force, the Unions and even the Raskols, to say enough is enough, a pox upon all politicians and their parasites, we will not support any of them!

It is not the Westminster System that is PNG's problem. It is the effective disenfrancisement of our voters by the introduction of the First Past the Post system.

Ironically the Australian Administration probably introduced the (Optional)Preferntial System without too much thought, because that is what they were used to, and did so in the blind confidence that Papua New Guineans would quickly adapt to it, as they had to everying else new that they were introduced to.

It was our elite, educated Papua New Guineans, and their elite, academic advisors, who also helped in the drafting of our overblown Constitution, who looked down on our bush villagers, and believed that they didn't have the intelligence to continue using the Prefential system,which they had clearly mastered for the previous four elections, and so imposed on them something that they thought their bushy relatives could handle.

Oh they of little faith in their own parents!

Fully agree with you Paul.

As somebody said recently somewhere on this blog, the parliament scrapped the talented public servants and awarded the Public Works jobs to contractors, probably the Minister's wantoks, who often were not trained for the jobs.

The tender system was scrapped and the jobs went to the Minister's wantoks, with a commission thrown in for him. The job didn't go to the best tender.

the Minister made the decision if the job was done properly or not. The job may not have been completed but he would sign it off and his wantok would be paid, and he would get his commission.

Getting back to the "big man concept". I know that there are some older well educated men and women in PNG, who would be great people to have in charge of development in the provinces.

They may have been Professors at the Universities, got their doctorates from overseas universities, run various Government Agencies etc etc but are now sitting home retired! But they are just in their 50s.

What a waste of good manpower!

They may have come from provinces where the local "big men" are trying to bribe the electorates to elect them to the parliament at the next election so they can grow wealthy in the way mentioned above, pure greed and corruption!

What on earth can PNG do to get the right type of person elected to the Parliament? There are men and women who have the training, the character, the motivation to do the best they can for the country, but they don't fit into a "corrupt scene" described in Simbu!

Let's hope Martyn will come up with some solutions to the current problem.

As Paul points out, this concept of thinking - "These systems were created for the purposes of taming so called primitive natives and pacifying them." - is actually something that has been contrived by recent PNG parliaments and it is not something that they inherited from Australia.

This is a well thought criticism. There is now are blame-syndrome in PNG and throughout the world that affects short-sighted people.

We are, I believe, in a free world. The fellows behind neo-colonialism are using every available means to survive in this international system.

Getting our political, econonmic and social priorities right and fighting for a place in the world system is right. Sitting in our irresponsibility and pointing fingers is negativity.

Our political fathers, like Somare, what did they invest? This status quo is the fruit of that past...

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