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31 December 2013


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We had a lovely evening last night with an expatriate who worked for the good of PNG for many years but who left feeling very frustrated about it all. Our other companion was an ex-student from Keravat who is part of the "Brain-Drain" and has an excellent job in Australia and sometimes it involves helping PNG.

Lucas, I have felt sorry for you for ages. I can see how your generation is suffering. I'm sorry I don't have any quick answers to the problem.

I can see why if some very capable caring person appeared and wanted to take over the running of the country you would probably back him. Democrary is not working as the electorates are not electing many capable caring people.

I feel Education is the answer but with 50% still not having any schooling the problem is huge.

I can see the provinces led by capable caring people, who have a healthy income, being able to help themselves. They can get more of their children educated. They can help develop the local businesses. They can build more roads and ports. They can build new Aid Posts and Medicals Centres and Hospitals.

If the opportunity arose I would go back home and start pushing for all the things that needs to be done at the provincial level.

It would be interesting to know what sort of educational qualifications the members of the Haus Tambaran Boy's Club have actually got, maybe the problem is that they are basically dumb.

It would also be interesting to know what sort of qualifications they might be. The Prime Minister, for goodness sake, is a qualified bean counter. Along with economists they are the worst possible choices to run a country.

There are plenty of smart, educated (and I don't necessarily mean with bits of paper to prove it) individuals in PNG who could replace them.

In fact, you could probably round up a decent quorum by scanning the comments pages of PNG Attitude.

How you talk those people into taking over is a mystery. And would the elevation corrupt them anyway?

And do the majority of people in PNG care? That's another interesting question that has been exercising my feeble mind for a while now. I think the answer is 'no'.

So, to indulge this libertarian fantasy, I would like to nominate Elvina P Ogil as Prime Minister. Anyone want to second that motion?

Lucas. Over the years I have often wondered 'who is this Lucas Kiap and is he just a Nom de Plume' (Pen Name)?

The many articles you have written in the local media and with so much insight that it almost seemed it might a former Kiap making them. Thanks to Keith we now know a little more about you.

You have expressed the real challenge of today to the educated PNGians like yourself. The only way to pull the PNG we all know and support back on track is to unite and work together. The expression 'Bung Wantaim' seems strangely familiar for some reason. Rather like the motto of the new Australian police deployment 'Wok Wantaim'.

Outsiders can only offer what are hoped can be helpful suggestions and moral support. The way ahead can only be charted by PNG people.

What can those educated PNGians do to help their nation and today's and future generations? The community I live in could only function because of the efforts of all the volunteers that make it work. There is never and will never be enough taxes to pay for everyone that today's society must have to exist.

PNG has a splendid history of voluntary work in the villages. This history seems to have mostly evaporated once everyone gets together in the towns but doesn't start thinking in terms of national identity but only of regional and clan allegiance.

What PNG requires is organisation, leadership and self sacrifice. What it doesn't need is more hand wringing and exasperated queries of why things aren't working. As President Kennedy once said: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Rather ask what you can do for your country."

PNG people with knowledge and opportunity (i.e. Education, computers and mobile phones) now need to help those who don't have these benefits to see or find out what is happening to their nation and do something positive to improve their country.

Some volunteer self help institutions that currently exist are service clubs, Neighborhood Watch or organisations like the University of the Third Age (U3A). If they don't exist in your metropolitan community, why not start one up?

Joining these organisations you tend to meet people of similar mind under a recognised code of ethics and charter of intent. These organisations can also arrange and organise all those community minded volunteers to help others in their community. The real challenge is then to have these organisations start be set up and help those in rural areas where people who still reside in the villages don't have the same opportunities as those in town.

Until more PNG people start becoming better savvy and start taking an active part in pulling their own country in the right direction, the current impasse of corruption and malfeasance that is pulling their country down will only continue.

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