LIKE in many societies around the world, corruption in Papua New Guinea has become necessary for the conduct of business.
In very many government departments, schools, hospitals and in the legal system corruption is the mode for easing the pathway for commerce.
Public institutions have become the domain of ‘fat cows’ which the private domain is feeding and milking.
The feeders and milkers include politicians, pastors, community leaders, the educated elite and business people.
Without a bit of bribery – or often a lot - progress in business is slow, or maybe doesn’t happen at all. Like they say in gambling, you’ve got to be in it to win it.
In 2011, towards the end of the Somare regime, several politicians sought to tarnish the image of what they termed a ‘crooked’ government and later forcefully took over that government while the grand chief was offshore for medical treatment.
Many media articles called this move a ‘cold coup’. It is a piece of history that the future will ponder and pronounce on.
In August 2011, the cold coup was the master stroke of Peter O’Neill, Paias Wingti, Don Polye, Belden Namah, Sam Basil, Ben Micah and William Duma to name some of the main players. Many of those same names are now spanking Peter O’Neill for what they see as his inadequate stance on corruption.
If Polye, Namah and Basil were serious about fighting corruption, they would have known who Peter O’Neill was. But unfortunately, they didn’t seem to, even though the saga of the National Provident Fund was before their eyes.
In a recent appearance before the PNG press club, Don Polye promised PNG that, if he gets the chance to form the next government after June’s election, he will reinstate the anti-corruption body, Task Force Sweep, that O’Neill dismantled.
Will he really going to do it? Will he investigate the Paraka saga? After all, these questions concern many citizens.
If we don’t want to forget our recent past, we had better stand up and fight against corruption. But here in PNG we have a tendency to forget or let things slide away and no real action eventuates.
If we really want to fight corruption, we cannot forget the past. If we forget the past, we forget who we are and we might as well forget to fight corruption too.
Corruption is making our people suffer and hastening their deaths. Just about every politician today is corrupted, compromising their role to submit to the bribes and inducements.
Until and unless we get in fresh people who have no connection to corruption, we will see no change. If we don’t change them, nothing will change.