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09 April 2017


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Hi Peter, I think that's a good point you make. You can't have a people accepting a little corruption and then expect that everyone else won't be corrupt.

You can't accept half measures and poor quality and then expect everyone else to provide you with any less than you have accepted as the norm.

What's that variation on the golden rule? Do unto others as they want you to do unto them?

The ideology that drives Richard Curtain and his ilk of turning a half blind eye to corruption and other "autochthonous" managerial practises that have shown their ugly faces in the last 30 years or more is, in my opinion, more than somewhat responsible for the position that PNG is now in.

This is an ideology of "if you have the numbers on the parliamentary floor, all else including constitutionality goes out the door".

The first time I came across the turning of a half blind eye to a mediocre work ethic was in 1975, a few months before Independence.

For my sins I was directed to comment on junior officers' patrol reports on behalf of the District hierarchy. I included in my comments, corrections to the English language in the reports as I thought that an ability to be able to succinctly explain on paper what those officers thought would be of benefit to all as the essence of field reporting.

It was suggested to me by some in the hierarchy that it was better if I stopped my English correction lessons lest they were perceived as condescending.

Fast forward 15 years and I was involved in community affairs with a large multinational company in PNG working with some of the aforementioned junior officers and their colleagues who through diligence and experience had been promoted.

My estimate at that time was that 40% of the reports from those officers were extremely difficult to follow if you did not know the background to the matters being reported on.

A tolerance of corruption, lack of work ethics such as transparency and accountability and the concept of the rule of law is not in any country's interest in the long run and this, to my mind, has been demonstrated in spades in PNG for some time.

That would have been an interesting conversation on which to eavesdrop Barbara.

Well, there is an election coming up and Turnbull has to wait and see who ends up being elected to the next parliament. It was good to see him with Gary Juffa on the Kokoda Trail.

Let us hope and pray PNG does not become a failed state. There are plenty of very clever men and women in PNG who could get PNG out of its financial hole. Hopefully the voters will elect some of them to be their MPs.

Andrew's article highlights many of the issues as seen from an outsider's point of view. Esoteric solutions can be suggested on a broad scale but as he recognizes, the answer must be acceptable to those who are actually taking part at the kunai roots.

The difficulty of any well meaning outsider offering solutions is that they will inevitably be seen as performing a 'Big Brother' dissertation from a position of superiority.

Whoever can first ameliorate that aspect stands a better chance of success.

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