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31 December 2016


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Barbara, I would also think that the MPs must be held responsible. We have a system whereby a "contractor" must perform the delivery of services especially road links. In those glory days when we still had the Works Department take care of roads, maintenance was up to date - almost every month.
But now that we have a new system whereby the MP has a discretionary fund at his or her disposal under the DSIP/PSIP, "legalized corruption" is now become a necessary for everyday business.

Phil, I have been told by someone who lectures on this topic that this problem is found all over PNG.
Nobody thought to tell them that the electorate is supposed to be the same as the District.
No wonder some people complain about their MP not helping their District. He may not be the MP for their District, LLG etc and the MP who does look after their District may be from a rival party. He may even be part of the Opposition, while the person you voted for is part of the Government.

Another problem with electorates and districts is that there is often unfair distribution of DSIP in the district concerned. The norm of wantokism, whom you knowism, or no development for you if you don't vote for me comes into play quite often in ESP.

In one ESP electorate many of the MPs over the past 40 years have come from one LLG. When you consider the level of development in that electorate you see the MP's LLG has been favoured when it comes to the spending of DSIP funds while the other 4 LLGs have been neglected.

That's interesting Barbara. The districts are supposed to correspond to the electorates.

If they don't, why were they changed?

Peter, I have been investigating how the East Sepik Province is run. I have found out that there is a difference between electorates and Districts so much so that the MPs must find it difficult to work with the Government Public Service.

In a representative democracy I like to think that the people can consult their local members to get things improved in their district. So you can imagine the problem when you find your member's electorate does not cover your district.

I get this horrible feeling that few MPs seem to accept responsibility for what goes on in their district. Good ones like Richard Maru do, and John Simon is trying and more recently Salio Waipo and his DA Raymond Wungen are starting to get Angoram moving.

They tell me that while Richard Maru's electorate is Yangoru-Sausia his district is Kanauki, but I assume the boundaries are similar.

Joseph Yopyyopy, MP for Wosera-Gawi finds that Wosera is part of Maprik District and Gawi is part of Ambunti District.

The East Sepik Province is a isolated province, a long way from Port Moresby which seems to be going ahead in leaps and bounds. PNG government departments seem to be lacking in ESP. They often seem to have to rely on the local MP to find funds from somewhere to improve a road.

Somare just offered to fix a village road in memory of one of his old school mates who died. Maru has got money from somewhere to build many roads.

Meanwhile the two main Sepik highways have fallen into disrepair and are often impassable.

The same problems arise when discussing Health. Thanks goodness for the church health workers. I feel the PNG Health Department, in Port Moresby, is not overseeing its work in the ESP. No one seems able to solve the problems at Boram Hospital despite the Minister for Health saying great things on his visit last year. They haven't even got an x-ray machine.

Funny, you never hear the local MPs whose constituents rely on this hospital for their lives, taking any interest in the hospital. Maru did one time when they discovered huge corruption there. But there does not seem to have been any follow up on this corruption. They don't seem to have sent anyone to prison over it.

One hears that MPs go off to Australia for their hospital requirements. Surely they should care enough to see that their constituents can have a good medical service when they are sick and dying.

The Education Department has also been criticized a lot. They just say the clever people have all left ESP and the ones left behind as public servants to run the Education Department are not "so clever" so there are not many of their top students getting into the universities these days.

This is such a pity. Brandi students did not even get to Kaindi Divine Word campus to sit for some entry test for Unitech. Unbelievable. Such bad management.

In this fight against "legalised corruption" I think the MPs must be held responsible. The Public Service works under the Government and it is overseen by the MPs who are elected by the people.

Maybe if there could be more compatibility between electorates and districts we could hold the MPs responsible for what goes on in their district.

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