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14 December 2013


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Mere removal of artefacts? Wow! The destruction of our cultural heritage and national identity hurts me more than all the millions, billions, trillions and squillions of kina that have been misappropriated since Independence.

Yes, of course, corruption is wrong, but what is money compared to our PNG identity?

Corney - Spoken Tok Ples is picked up automatically granted, but how about the written language, the art and poetry, the cultural identity conveyed by your families' language, the skills to use it creatively etc?

I studied English for 12 years at school even though I was already an english speaker, so why can't a Kuman speaker study Kuman language and literature at school, thus helping to preserve and develop their culture?

I prefer to agree with Peter Kranz. There's a whole reason why Peter is more on track on the productivity of multilinguialism that otherwise. I am definite Conie has a misguided, misleading, and shallow view. There is a whole reason in that too.

Learning Tok Ples is "automatic". We definitely don't need a school teacher to teach us that. Our parents are more than qualified for that.

That "bridging system" you allude to was a mammoth failure in PNG at least. That's why OBE has been ditched.

I learned Tok Ples (Kuman) when I was a young girl. Then I learned Tok Pisin, then English when I was at school. If I had not learned Tok Ples I would not understand my family's culture.

Maybe I cannot write like Shakespeare, but I can tell you why Tainim Lek is important to Simbu culture.

Peter Kranz - I wish you and those 8 ministers could show the same quick response and condemn and call for the sacking of miniseries Marape, Polye and the prime minister for the recent K71 million Paraka lawyers scandal.

That is hurting the country more than the mere removal of artefacts. People let's not be misguided, the real issue is corruption not removal of traditional carvings.

People will surely die because of lack of health services due to no money, not because artefacts were removed. Referring to the Speakers' family past is irrelevant and uncalled for.

There are a lot of 'real issues' in PNG. Many are serious and they all need to be addressed. Vandalising carvings (that are owned by the nation) is a form of corrupt behaviour. Why? Because it is abuse of office. The Speaker is using the powers and privileges of his office to remove and destroy property that is not his. Not too dissimilar from those people who use the powers and privileges of their offices to steal money that is not theirs - KJ

Corney - I beg to disagree.

My PNG family learned first Tok Ples, then Tok Pisin, then English. Schooling was multilingual.

Is this wrong? Studies have shown that multilingual early education improves performance.

Peter - I was one of those campaigned the against Outcome Based Education in Papua New Guinea. Our target was clear and specific - to improve literacy rates in the country.

Teaching students in Tok Ples starting at Primary Schools was one of those causes of the slide in educational standards in PNG.

I have sizable achievements on this here

Your linkage to that issue to the current case of Hon Speaker Theo Zurenuoc is unfortunate and misdirected.

You are right Robert, there are more important issues for PNG. But this does not excuse the actions of Zurenuoc and his friends.

Theo defeated his cousin Guao in 2007, and the family have a long history of political life in PNG. You may remember Theo saying that all classes should be in English in primary schools, with classes in indigenous languages abolished. His support was influential in bringing down the Abal(Somare) Government.

Sir Zibang Zurenuoc, Theo's father, served as a co-operative officer in the colonial public service in New Ireland when Papua New Guinea was under Australian colonial administration.

In 1958, he set up the now famous Finschhafen Marketing and Development Co-operative (FMDC). He was also a founding director of Mainland Holdings. He was subsequently appointed business representative to the Morobe Constituent Assembly, and served as chairman of Morobe's Constituent Assembly.

Some old PNG hands might remember Zibang.

There seems to be a tradition of political family dynasties in PNG (also known as nepotism).

It is sickening that these eight ministers and PNG Public Service Minister Puka Temu are very quick to pass judgement for the sacking of the parliament speaker Theo Zurenuoc.

These cabinet ministers are quick for political gain and slow to respond when PNG has been listed as the top corrupt nation among the Pacific Island nations.

PNG leaders and public servants have been stealing millions of kina depriving Papua New Guineans of basic services and the ministers are quick to pass a judgment on parliament speaker Theo Zurenuoc for a “crime” of removal and partial destruction of carved heads and parts of totem poles.

There has been a lot of passion and heart for removal and partial destruction of carved heads. But can we have the same passion to root out corruption in our PNG system?

If sacking is recommended for Speaker Theo Zurenuoc then greater punishment and commitment is demanded for corrupt practices in any institutions and corrupt government dealings. And a stronger and prompt punishment for any political leaders at any level.

And of course, resources-rich Papua New Guinea has been ranked 153 out of 187 countries surveyed on the Human Development Index, falling below most of its smaller South Pacific island neighbors. How passionate are these ministers to have it changed?

Elvina Ogil in her usual acerbic wit has called on Twitter for Loujaya Kouza and Theo Zurenuoc to move to Israel so they can enjoy their Zionist cult and help keep PNG culture safe.

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