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05 June 2014


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There appears to be no way to eradicate those who are prepared to lie, cheat and possible steal their way into political power no matter what process is or could be put in place.

The essence of the problem is human greed and the promise of the potential opportunity to unfairly or improperly obtain wealth and therefore power at the expense of others.

Possible ways to reduce the impact of this well known, yet poorly controlled human failing are available but depend on reputable leaders like those portrayed by Governor Juffa, to fight to bring these alternatives into law and then to fight to have those laws obeyed.

One possibility that might potentially help PNG guard against official malfeasance and corruption has been previously suggested.

PNG should have a bicameral system of parliament. While it is true that other nations who do have two houses of parliament still suffer poor government, nevertheless the fact that there is no house of review in PNG allows legislation to pass on the voices and not be effectively challenged, delayed and publicly and transparently debated.

PNG would benefit from having each of the Provincial Governors form a House of Review whereby any legislation or government business must be examined and debated prior to any enactment.

The only Australian state that does not have an upper house is Queensland. In 1922 the then Labor government decided that it didn’t like being thwarted and stacked the upper house with members who then voted themselves out of existence.

Recent legislation rapidly brought in by the current conservative Queensland government has been much lamented by the current Labor opposition yet are they possibly the authors of their own frustration?

The committee system that is supposed to replace the function of an upper house is clearly not working. The essence of the issue is being able to publicly reveal to the voters what their MPs are actually doing by ensuring no legislation is enacted until it is fully understood and transparently reviewed.

Being able to throw a bright light into dark corners may well help reveal where the rodents and 'binatangs' are currently feasting in PNG.

People of PNG, Governor Juffa and others of his persuasion are the bright lights but desperately need your batteries to help keep their torches working.

An unfettered and free PNG media is also required to widely publicise what has been revealed. These days ‘Attitude’ and social media can assist but they need everyone’s help to inform their readers who then must tell everyone else what's going on.

In other words, 'many hands make light work' (sorry, I couldn't resist that one!).

With all due respect Governor, I was not questioning the good work you are doing in your province. Apologies if it sounded that way. I have family from your province and I am very well aware of what you are doing and I commend you for that.

Thank you also for coming down and interacting with citizens. Your action gives me hope that even my little voice is being represented in parliament.

My comment was on the article - great articulation of the idea but I thought it lacked an action item. Afterall, you (and all commentators) are sales persons, selling us your ideas and beliefs and vision.

Today, you caught my attention and made me interested in your point of view, but you did not show me how I to get what was being advertised.

I guess I was just prompting for a few practical actions that like-minded individuals can take in response to what you shared. Paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 from your comment are examples of what i was looking for in your article.

Tanya Zeriga Alone, this is an opinion, a commentary, an educational effort to highlight the differences between leadership and political maneuvering.

If you will allow, I would like to offer my humble claim to your assertion that nothing is happening in action. In fact, that is not true. I do not know of others, but I certainly am making the effort.

I walk many miles in my province, attend many gatherings and speak to many people about leadership and what needs to be done. And I follow through with action.

I invite you to contact me and I will happily show you what action I am taking. I speak because I act too. I do not offer my opinions merely for the sake of speaking.

Your comment reminds me of a recent exchange in parliament. A particular Minister, exasperated at my rebukes of the Nautilus scam, attacked any effort to highlight concerns about the Solwara 1 project claiming that anyone who went against it was a "know it all" thereby attacking the messenger.

To imagine that one only talks and does nothing without making efforts to verify would be shallow.

If you make an effort to research what I do in my province you will find that, where possible, I am constantly speaking about this and the process to highlight this situation then stimulate the desire to learn what can be done about it.

Therein is also the effort to educate our people by highlighting the defective systems that exist and propose possible means by which they can be improved.

We need to convince our people to elect leaders...not just politicians. We need to define what a leader is and why that is far more desirable and what a politician is and why that is not so desirable.

If we all shut up there will be very little progress for it is the need to discuss, debate, talk and communicate that will enhance any action and ensure progress.

One has the option not to read opinions. We should all perhaps just shut up and go about doing things as mutes.

Email me if you want an affirmation of actions being taken on

Great commentary Govenor, but we have heard versions of the same sentiment expressed everywhere. WHat I would have liked to hear with this article is possible solutions to this challenge. From where I sit, voter education is a solution but I am sure with your insider knowledge you can give us something smart so that voters who are reading this piece can go out and do something about it instead of just thinking about it.

Well said, Gary Juffa! Your concept of the "leader" is so true.

I am a member of the Sepik Region Development Discussion Forum on Facebook. The people who stand out are those actually doing something for the community and showing some leadership.

The mayor who is trying to make the market a better place. The man who volunteers to organise the kids into a group to train and discipline them, and get them to tidy up the town.

The fellows who work in the remote Karawari River area helping the people in various ways, the lady in Kabalia who is growing huge cabbages and selling them at Wewak market, and many more.

The main problem as I see it is that the member for Yangoru-Saussia is not talking to his electorate. He is trying to impose a mammoth "development" which, with the aid of SABLs, will remove 38 villages from their land and turn them into labourers on the biggest oil palm plantation run by Wilmar.

He is the sole owner of the company set up to work with Wilmar.

You might like to raise this as an example of "lack of leadership" in the parliament. Or maybe you could form a party to help solve this problem of the SABLs.

In the past, PNG had a wise man in Bernard Narakobi to help set up the Constitution. His son Vergil, who is studying in Wellington, New Zealand, has just commented....

"It is a tough job being an MP as you have a specific period of time to demonstrate your competence in bringing development. So on that score you cannot fault Maru. Ultimately the people of Y/S will make that judgment call....

"Many of PNG laws, beginning with the Constitution are consistent with the principles in United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. For eg NG 2 on Equality and Participation and NG 4 on sustainable development. Maybe the strongest legal safeguard of the landowners is the right to protection from unjust deprivation of property under s 54 of the Constitution.

"Maybe this presents a more readily accessible legal remedy for the people to demand all stakeholders to come to the negotiating table before any project starts."

This is what Maru has failed to do. Which makes us all feel suspicious - is he a leader or just a politician?

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