DON’T ASK ME HOW it happens. I’ve long since stopped worrying how PNG Attitude finds sufficient resources to keep itself going day after day, month after month. But it does.
A combination of mainstream media reporting, gleanings from PNG-related stories that otherwise struggle to see the light of day, and – of critical importance – contributions from our own 100 or so more-or-less regular writers. Bless you.
And it should come as no surprise that usually the most commented upon articles each month are those written specifically for PNG Attitude. This month, they represent seven of the top 10.
So why is this? What drives readers to respond as they do?
My guess is that PNG Attitude contributors tend to rise above the bland and go for the intellectual jugular: pointed commentary, shameless controversialism, incisive analysis (calling a spade a wooden-handled, metal-bladed digging implement, er...) and the candid take-no-prisoners criticism.
Which is just as we like it, and long may it continue.
And when what we do is old hat, and everyone's doing it, we’ll go away. But that doesn’t look like it’ll be anytime soon.
And so to this month’s most remarked upon articles….
1st (26 comments) Bob Carr finds political events in PNG 'confusing' [Keith Jackson]. “The events [in Papua New Guinea last week] were most certainly confusing,” foreign minister Senator Bob Carr told reporters in Canberra early in the month. Whah? Australia’s work experience FM needs to learn the difference between what you say to your wife and what you say in public.
2nd (19) China (and its workers) will rebuild highlands highway [Firmin Nanol]. China is about to provide PNG with a so-called ‘soft’ loan of $3 billion to rehabilitate road infrastructure. Part of the 30 year deal is that Chinese workers will be used, which seems like an invitation to a strife party.
3rd= (16) Reports of major election failures in Hela Province [Reginald Renagi]. Elections in the Hela Province got the PNG poll off to a rocky start with ballot boxes and voting papers hijacked or destroyed. There were also serious problems with the electoral roll, bribery, thuggery and general sneakery. A few PNG blogger Pollyannas thought this was OK. The only OK thing in reality was the avoidance of widespread violence. But as this was written the count was just beginning.
3rd= (16) Good stuff & bad stuff about the Crocodile Prize [Keith Jackson]. There’s a lot that’s gone right with the 2012 Crocodile Prize. And a bit that’s gone wrong. The right was real good – record entrants, record entries, record sponsors, better organisation. The wrong was Australia (at the level of DFAT in Canberra) not coming to the part on an initiative that’s generally agreed to be of great importance.
5th= (15) Many MPs in PNG have wasted the people's money [Joe Wasia]. In Papua New Guinea political candidates, especially in national elections, come up with constructive and attractive policies to be elected to parliament. However, Joe argued, they are “goats in sheep’s coating”. About 75% of all Papua New Guineans still live in rural areas where there is no basic infrastructure, health, education or roads.
5th= (15) How to make PNG a regional middle power by 2050 [Francis Hualupmomi]. Francis offered a strategic calculus for the Papua New Guinea government to navigate PNG through the uncertain environment of the early 21st century. He argued that PNG should translate its resources into becoming a regional power.
7th (13) Could PNG create a truly Melanesian parliament? [Paul Oates]. What is the most appropriate form of government for PNG? It was bequeathed Westminster, which has held the country together (a monumental achievement) but not worked according to Hoyle in terms of the integrity of constitution, parliament or judiciary. Perhaps time for a rethink, proposed Paul Oates.
8th (12) Belden Namah proves his critics wrong, by Belden [Belden Namah]. “It is a shame that the prime minister Peter O’Neil [sic] is crying foul when all along he was collaborating with the PNG Electoral Commissioner, Mr Andrew Trawen, and the so-called Australian expert advisors advising through Australian High Commissioner, Mr Ian Kemish, for opposing the deferral of the 2012 elections.” You can click through to Belden’s eccentric take on the mid-election political scene.
9th= (10) West Papua conflict is infiltration & rape of Melanesia [Leonard Fong Roka]. Leonard’s thesis is that the conflict in West Papua is a signal to the rest of Melanesia to be aware. “The grip on [our] ancient cultural and political tranquillity is being lost by our brothers in West Papua.”
9th= (10) Your muruk might be my emu – PNG motives & perspectives [Phil Fitzpatrick]. This elegant piece persuasively proposed that mutual cultural awareness is critical in consolidating an effective relationship between PNG and Australia – and that this obvious prerequisite is not observed by the generality of Australian government or private intervention in PNG.