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« The Flame of the Forest | Main | Unitech dialogue with PNG govt reps fails to gain common ground »

20 March 2014

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Congratulations to the PNG Parliament for passing the ICAC Bill.
Now I will pray that wise, courageous, clever, trustworthy lawyers are appointed to run it.

We don't hear enough of what is happening in the law courts of PNG. It would be great to have a PNG lawyer do some reporting on the court scene.

We have heard a lot about the law firms who have been accused of corruption. What about the good law firms, the excellent judges? Let's hear from them.

I am humbled. I must say this though, that there are positive changes developing in PNG.

There is an increasing group of concerned citizens who are becoming more and more agitated at the state of the country and the way the economy is being managed.

Education is the key. Without it, we are lost for sure. People can only make informed decisions if they are sufficiently educated.

I am at once heartened that there are demonstrations of concern seen regularly in PNG such as the current UNITECH SAGA where students have shown true grit, maturity and leadership qualities.

There are efforts being made by genuine concerned people to come together and discuss and do something. Social media has given this effort much significance, the gathering, discussion and consideration and coordination of relevant action.

In Oro, we have placed a moratorium on land deals hence significantly curbing illegal land grabbing, the Provincial Government has instituted legal cases in unprecedented manner against loggers and their agents supporting land owners fight for their rights, corrupt public servants are being arrested and charged and prosecuted, law and order is being restored...the people are moving as one.

If we can get this happening throughout PNG, so much can be done to improve the lives of the people of Papua New Guinea.

At times, it is disheartening and one is attacked by agents of evil protecting their unethical way of life but one must focus on one's objectives and drive them regardless, expecting and accepting the blows, picking oneself up and persevering and fighting for what is right and just...along the way, one will find that others encouraged by this effort, will rise up and march with you...as is the case here..

I retract my comment about it never happening Keith!

Or do I?

Maybe a squiz at the Bill first.

Does this mean there are 91 honest politicians in the house?

One lives in hope.

Congratulations to Peter O'Neill!
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I wouldn't get too excited, Phil. There have already been concerns expressed about the limited scope of its powers, and it still seems some way off from establishment. But now, of course, the government can always claim, 'Oh, we're doing that!' - KJ

That's not a bad idea Laurence.

A few years ago an attempt was made to get readers to dob in a corrupt politician or public servant. The response was zero. People were just too frightened to say a word.

Doing the reverse, dobbing in a good politician or public servant, might make people less afraid. The trick would be to filter the nominations. I could see, for instance, some people nominating people like the Speaker for his great crusade to rid the Haus Tambaran of heathen idols.

Barbara Short, bless her soul, keeps hammering the need for an ICAC-type organisation in PNG. I doubt whether this will ever happen with the present crew.

What Barbara is doing is asking them to create something that will ultimately punish them. The old saying about Dracula and the blood bank comes to mind.

Why would Dracula want to hand over control of the blood bank? Why would the politicians want to install a mechanism that stops them pilfering public funds?

The only politicians likely to condone the creation of an ICAC-type set up are honest ones.

So the only next logical step in PNG is to fill up parliament with honest pollies. To do that you need an election and a right-minded voting public.

What are the chances of that happening?
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Yesterday the PNG Parliament passed the Independent Commission Against Corruption Bill by an overwhelming vote of 91-0. Peter O’Neill claimed it was the first hurdle towards realising the establishment of an anti-corruption body in PNG - KJ

Well said, Paul.

Let me take up on Paul's paragraph, "The media has a role in informing the public however much of today's media has been consumed by a desire to just make a profit and thus appeal to the masses (some may say delude the masses) with sensationalism and non-lethal gladiatorial contests and tribalism thinly camouflaged with colourful sporting uniforms. Good news has become no news."

What about a concerted effort by present and potential contributors to PNG Attitude to report on the good things done by some politicians in their local area. This could be an incentive to encourage others to follow?

Gary has certainly developed a status with wide appeal to thinking voters.

Can he break through the cultural divides that so often characterise the electoral processes?

I dare say, in this media savvy age, he has a better opportunity than many to promote and build a well informed network of adherents with a similar interest of securing political reform.

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