A GOOD ADDENDUM to the Development Policy Centre’s study into understandings of corruption in Papua New Guinea, would be to interview the politicians, public servants, lawyers and business people who practise corruption, even though they might be a bit harder to find and it might be harder to get them to talk.
However, from what I've seen, particularly among the men with big egos, they are happy to speak off the record. I've found them not to be repentant at all.
In fact most of them seem proud of what they've managed to get away with; the general attitude being "haven't I been smart?" They care not one iota about the people who have suffered because of their greed. I think this has got something to do with the old clan thing - anyone outside the clan is fair game.
The other level that needs looking at is the 'inert corruption'. These are the people who are happy to sit in well paid sinecures and ignore what is going on around them. They know about corrupt colleagues but fail to do anything about it. To my mind this is just as reprehensible as the corrupt people.
Corruption is extremely difficult to understand. Back in the 1970s I worked with Sinaka Goava. He had his own fascinating back story pursuing justice for his father. Sinaka was a very honourable man and as honest as the day is long.
And yet, his son is one of the names on the list coming out of the Finance Department enquiry. How can this be. What turns the son of an outstanding public servant into a alleged crook? It defies logic and is very, very sad.