BY HARRY TOPHAM
After Martyn Namorong’s trip to Australia was postponed for reasons beyond the control of anyone other than people who demand bribes , there was an extraordinary attack on Martyn by the self declared “foully fascist” John Fowke and PNG’s cut and paste blogger Malum Nalu. Harry found it all a bit hard to take….
RECENT EVENTS HAVE REMINDED ME of a very hot topic, which surfaced several years ago on the Ex Kiap website. It was entitled The Kiap’s Story – and it was about gaining formal recognition for the service of said kiaps in Papua New Guinea.
Boyo, did that subject get some hits at the time. It even drew old Col Sanderson, since deceased, out of the woodwork - firing from the hip with all guns blazing.
After some five years that issue is still bubbling along unresolved in the back room corridors of Canberra.
Hats off to Chris Viner Smith for his unswerving and dogged endeavours in seeing this matter through.
If nothing else he deserves a gong for his long and drawn out efforts petitioning to an apathetic audience.
I am somewhat perplexed on the psyche of certain old ex PNG hands who think they hold the Holy Grail on truth relating to matters PNG.
I guess that is the nature of the beast, as most expatriates who spent time in PNG were, in many cases, quite strange disparate and iconoclastic types.
Back to issue I write of.
John Fowke and his mate Malum Nalu seem rather defensive on the issue of Martyn Namorong’s visit, even to the point of sending unsolicited emails to all and sundry - including yours truly.
What they both miss in their responses is one of the key roles your site has played in giving the bloggers in PNG an opportunity to get their message broadcast to a much wider audience.
Much wider than they would have had in the restrictive environment existing in PNG.
In addition they have broken down the previous apathy arising from the frustrations felt by many who felt their viewpoints were falling upon deaf ears.
It would seem that both gentlemen - Fowke and Nalu - lack any understanding of the true nature of open democracy and the right of individuals to express their opinions even if such opinions are contrary to their own beliefs.
In John Fowke’s case, his opinions may be attributed and excused by the vagaries of old age.
However in Malum’s case, his modus operandi can be only be seen as being driven by mercenary necessities
In the absence of any PNG news media outlets taking up the challenge of conducting open and investigative journalism the majority of important news issues in PNG go unreported with such tasks then falling to the very occasional fly in fly out visits by Australian news media.
Considering that the majority of PNG citizens do not have access to the electronic media perhaps the creation of a third newspaper in PNG is well overdue.