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29 July 2014


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Well stated, Felix. A wisdom appears prevalent among those with will, wit and wiles to win election to a representation office, that is, much is of wiping out chance in opponents and then in office, much less in wiping away ills of national society.

For the latter, in respect of aspirational nationhood, is on-the-job learning sufficiently resourced and, can such be enhanced?

BTW, like the word 'ethic', the word 'leadership' ought not be left unclothed.


Very good "food for thought."

The result of the interplay between 'culture', self-interest and bad leadership is a dangerous concoction, which is suffocating, malignant, and corrosive: they do nothing good for progress, national development or simply inspiring and building the next generation.

There is nothing good in twisted cultural values played out at the expense of the majority, with self interest and topping off with bad leadership.

Yet there are pillars of good leadership in the government machinery, civil society and private organizations.

One challenge is how to replicate them.

In a country like Papua New Guinea, culture and self-interest have a say in the unscrupulous leadership demonstrated by some of the leaders of the public service that contributes to political instability.

To the future leaders of our developing nations, whenever you are in authority make decisions that will benefit everyone.

Also don't forget to consider public opinion about any decision that will affect the population and the country as a whole.

Nice piece, Mr Baraka.

Thanks Leonard. I think we must do this for our nation, region and global recognition.

It's amazing how inconsistent and poor leadership impacts so many things. Apart from government it occurs in just about every facet of public and private life. It must be terribly frustrating for those few good leaders who are inevitably overwhelmed by their incompetent peers.

Perhaps the ideal of consensus portrayed in the so-called Melanesian Way is to blame. Maybe if PNG had had a traditional chiefly system everywhere rather than in just a few places like the Trobriands things would have run better.

I don't know how you manufacture competent leaders from a consensus-orientated society. My only guess would be through education but that obviously doesn't work.

The colonial system worked well because Australia imported it's own leaders to fill the gap. Businesses run by expatriates work well in PNG because the bosses come from hierarchical societies ingrained with the leadership ethos from babyhood but that can't go on forever. The jealousies that are engendered eventually become destructive and end in things like the burning and looting of Asian shops.

You have to be hardnosed, pragmatic and ruthless to be a good leader. That doesn't seem to exist in your average Papua New Guinean.

The only thing that Papua New Guineans in leadership roles seem to have picked up from the west is personal greed.

Agreed, Felix, and well done in articulating what some of us have expressed in other writings for some time.

PNG's fundamental problems are that of consistently poor leadership.

It depends on the right people making individual decisions for our collective benefit.

Every other development challenge presents soluble problems, mere difficulties compared to building up tenable and effective leadership.

Even having individual leaders of quality is not enough because it takes 111 MP's to run PNG.

Good governance depends on group dynamics.

Being my junior in PNG Studies and International Relations at DWU, I would say, Felix Baraka, you really a bullet, fresh from the barrel of the gun on all the issues you are exploring.

Keep up the good work for PNG as I do for my Solomon island of Bougainville.

Thanks Phil. I believe these are the underlying dilemmas.

This is a very good and succinct appraisal Felix.

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