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05 December 2013


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I think the early indigenous members of the PNG National Parliament were held in great awe by the local people. I guess the Australians also held them in high regard and assumed they were "doing the right thing". I'm afraid that some of them seem to have made up the rules as they went along and looked after themselves very well in the process.

As one fellow said on Facebook recently - PNG was given its independence on a golden plate.." and some of those who took over the running of the country after independence "ran off with the gold".

We knew about the great propensity to procrastinate in the Public service jobs. I guess that may have continued and hence the lack of real progress in Government Education and Government Health and the lack of maintenance of roads and so on.

But the "bright sparks" have made their name in the private hospitals and the private schools and in private business.

But now we have the next generation of educated PNGians growing up and many of them are well educated, with experience of life in Australia and other countries. Their parents often hold very responsible jobs in PNG but their parents may not be rich.

They are starting to see how certain members of parliament and members of the Public Service, and lawyers, have become very rich, relatively speaking, and they are speaking out through Facebook and other Social Media.

I think Paul's concept of crime being 5% intent and 95% opportunity is worth thinking about. The early politicians found they had the opportunity to get rich (e.g. by taking bribes, by taking commissions, by making use of their political connections to set up lucrative private businesses, etc) and some of them took it and have become rich.

Hopefully the new ICAC will look into all these "opportunities for corruption to take place" and do something about stopping them. Then surely these corrupt individuals can be brought into line and a precedent set and in the future we can expect a drop in corruption.


I've heard it said that crime is 5% intent and 95% opportunity. The strictures of village life were designed over thousands of years to effectively control (mostly) that way of life. The strictures of modern life have been developed to handle (mostly) the requirements of today's times.

What happened at Independence is that those suddenly in charge of PNG came from a time where the Melanesian village community life was still fondly remembered and practiced in many ways.

The hard reality is that when those who imposed the new way of life were either dispensed with or muzzled, the fondness for a village type way of life allowed a power vacuum to develop and now that lapse in control has to be clawed back with great difficulty.

Whose to blame? Well that's the $64 question isn't it? Should we all have seen this situation coming? That's the real question isn't it?

Hindsight and experience are great things but unfortunately not usually available to most and often not very convenient or acceptable to those in power.

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