O’Neill’s economic lies refuted

Stuckey
Ian Ling-Stuckey - "O’Neill dragged us into a debt trap. His economic mismanagement increased PNG’s debt by 435%"

IAN LING-STUCKEY
Papua New Guinea Treasurer | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY - Peter O’Neill does shame to his role as former prime minister by continuing to lie to the country about his economic legacy.

During the years of his autocratic rule, he produced fake budgets, fake national accounts and fake growth figures.

I had hoped that, when he was caught out for his fraudulent behaviour and deceptions through the due diligence exercise and confirmed by the independent International Monetary Fund, at least he might stop lying to the people of this nation.

Continue reading "O’Neill’s economic lies refuted" »


Where are the satirists of PNG?

Yokomo
Yokomo - 1960s Papua New Guinean satire?

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In 1729 the eminent Anglo-Irish writer, Jonathon Swift, suggested in an essay that the poor of Ireland should consider eating their own babies.

The dissertation was entitled ‘A Modest Proposal For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being A Burden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public’.

Continue reading "Where are the satirists of PNG?" »


Corona fears: Torres travel banned

Treaty villagesAARON SMITH
| Guardian Australia | Extracts

SYDNEY - Travel between the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea has been banned after unconfirmed reports of a coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak in the Western Province of PNG.

The PNG government has yet to confirm any cases of Covid-19 in the country but councillor Kebei Salee of the Western Province village of Sigabadaru, said there were unconfirmed cases in the villages of Buji and Ber, while cautioning that “we are waiting for the results of testing”.

Continue reading "Corona fears: Torres travel banned" »


PNG passes historic whistleblower law

WhistleMARTYN NAMORONG

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s parliament passed historic whistleblower protection legislation on Tuesday following a commitment made by prime minister James Marape last month.

The passing of the Whistle Blower Act coincided with the tabling of enabling legislation for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Continue reading "PNG passes historic whistleblower law" »


Fr Jerry Bus & the Enga

Sir Albert Kipalan (with spade) on the spot where Fr Jerry Bus settled at Kopen
Sir Albert Kipalan (with spade) on the spot where Fr Jerry Bus settled at Kopen

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY – In 1948, there was a sudden rush by Christian denominations to establish mission stations after the colonial Administration lifted restrictions of movement to unpacified areas of what is now Enga Province.

Prior to that there had already been rivalry between Lutheran and Catholic missionaries to win new converts around Mt Hagen.

Continue reading "Fr Jerry Bus & the Enga" »


Good neighbours always help each other

PNG troops prepare a mumu (ABC News)
PNG troops preparing a mumu in Omeo to mark the end of the bushfire deployment. Their presence was greatly appreciated and highly praised by Australian authorities and the local community (ABC News)

ROSS WILKINSON

MELBOURNE – What follows is a story that fills me with mixed emotions.

Many thanks to the Papua New Guinea government and its Defence Force, particularly those members who responded so quickly to support the East Gippsland community with the recent bushfire crisis.

For several years I was the risk manager for the East Gippsland Shire Council which includes the Omeo area.

Continue reading "Good neighbours always help each other" »


Planting trees to fight climate change

Mature raintree
The grandeur of a mature raintree

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - Both in government corridors and private sector spaces, environmental conservation is now a hot topic.

Whether we talk about an international conference or the launch of a new green project, people are talking about preserving our Earth, incorporating a great deal of green innovative effort.

Continue reading "Planting trees to fight climate change" »


Neo-colonialism & the South Fly

Martyn Namarong
Martyn Namorong - "The consequence of a constitutional contradiction is that colonialism in PNG has a Melanesian face"

MARTYN NAMORONG

PORT MORESBY - Recent media reports have highlighted the problems faced by Daru in terms of its ailing infrastructure and the chronic shortages of almost everything that could make urban life liveable.

Daru is a stone’s throw away from the first world existence of Australia yet a million miles away from access to reliable safe clean drinking water, decent sanitation and healthcare.

Continue reading "Neo-colonialism & the South Fly" »


Booting Exxon boosts Marape – for now

Broken exxon
Exxon’s conduct has been criticised by the PNG government as being “exploitative”

BAL KAMA
| The Interpreter | Lowy Institute

CANBERRA - The recent announcement of the Papua New Guinea government to cease all negotiations with one of the United States’ largest oil and gas companies, Exxon Mobil, over the P’nyang LNG project, a new gas field in PNG, has broader implications for the US and PNG.

At first glance, the decision against Exxon for allegedly acting in bad faith is part of a wider crackdown by the government of prime minister James Marape to ensure greater fairness in the resource sector.

Continue reading "Booting Exxon boosts Marape – for now" »


Our special green axes

Traditional green axes by Simeon Nikints (Peter Kinjap)
Traditional green axes by Simeon Nikints (Peter Kinjap)

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY – For thousands of years before the first Australian patrol reached Mt Hagen in 1933, stones axes (known as ‘green axes’) were used daily in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, and were widely traded often in the context of ceremonial exchanges.

In more recent times, a group of ‘factories’ located in the Waghi and Jimi Valleys accounted for the bulk of production of green axes.

Continue reading "Our special green axes" »


Whistleblower act passed

MarapeJAMES MARAPE
| Facebook | Extract

Yesterday PNG's parliament passed a law to protect whistleblowers but a bill to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption will have to go to a parliamentary committee before being voted on. Mr Marape wrote this before parliament sat - KJ

PORT MORESBY - I gained office with no money, no political party, no lobbyist, and not too many friends except a few loyalists including MPs and the general people of Papua New Guinea who wanted change plus the Hand of my Creator God.

Please circulate that I don’t have agents and if anyone, whether the fake accounts holders in Facebook or others in private who might request help as if coming from me, report them.

Continue reading "Whistleblower act passed" »


PNG Attitude apologises for the less than usual amount of information on our blog  in recent times, but Keith has been quite ill over the past month or so and  as a result his output has been reduced. Full service will resume before too long.


Open up company ownership, say Act Now!

Eddie Tanago (2)
Eddie Tanago - "A public register of beneficial ownerships would make it much harder for corrupt politicians and bureaucrats to hide their crimes"

EDDIE TANAGO
| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - The latest corruption scandal involving a government minister and a foreign oil company emphasises once again the need for the government to legislate on hidden or ‘beneficial’ company ownerships.

Allowing people to register a company without revealing who are the real owners or beneficiaries creates a massive information vacuum that enables corruption and tax evasion to happen right under our noses.

Continue reading "Open up company ownership, say Act Now!" »


The story of Joseph, once Kurai

Lutheran Church pastor Ango Panao with his son and grandson
Lutheran Church pastor Ango Panao with his son and grandson

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG – “Call me Joseph. I am not Kurai anymore,” Joseph Kurai Tapus said to his friends, associates - and anybody he met - soon after Fr Peter Granegger SVD baptised him at Sari Catholic Mission on 8 April, 1977.

Not many Christian converts are known to have done that, but Kurai made public announcements of his conversion and subsequent name change.

Continue reading "The story of Joseph, once Kurai" »


Where did the kiaps go

John Gordon-Kirkby's old patrol box
John Gordon-Kirkby's old patrol box

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY - Many kiaps [patrol officers] and other expatriates left Papua New Guinea in the years immediately before and after independence in September 1975.

Imagine the memories they took with them and may still have in their minds today?

One of the last kiaps to leave the highlands Enga District [now a province] was John Gordon-Kirkby who liked to eat sweet potatoes roasted in an open fire.

Continue reading "Where did the kiaps go" »


Marape must investigate Duma, says Transparency

Peter_Aitsi
Transparency PNG's Peter Aitsi - minister Duma must be directed to step down and an independent investigation into corruption allegations immediately undertaken 

NEWS DESK
| Transparency International PNG

PORT MORESBY - TIPNG is calling for the prime minister and relevant Papua New Guinean agencies to investigate what appear to be serious allegations of grand corruption against state minister William Duma, as reported in the Australian Financial Review.

As parliament prepares to convene its first sitting of the year, TIPNG urges prime minister Marape to live by his words that he will fight corruption and that the example must now start with his own cabinet.

Continue reading "Marape must investigate Duma, says Transparency" »


Time to crack down on corruption

Commerce and industry minister William Duma says he did nothing wrong
Commerce and industry minister William Duma says he did nothing wrong

EDITORIAL
| Australian Financial Review

SYDNEY - The Australian Financial Review’s investigation into the issuing of Horizon Oil’s lucrative petroleum development license in Papua New Guinea in 2011 has raised serious questions about the conduct of the company.

Chairman Mike Harding has acted properly by standing down CEO Michael Sheridan – who in 2011 was Horizon’s CFO, company secretary and a board member – pending an independent investigation into the corruption allegations by Herbert Smith Freehills and Deloitte, which will be overseen by an independent board committee.

Continue reading "Time to crack down on corruption" »


The Prayer

PrayerJACK KLOMES

Dedicated to those young Papua New Guinea men who will leave their homes, tough it out with friends and relatives as they hunt for a job. May you have experiences that will warm your soul and give you encouragement to succeed

MADANG - It was a beautiful day. Remember the benches under the marmar trees that lined the road? Remember sitting and looking at the greenish sugar fields and the blue mountains away in the distance, the white clouds building up around them.

Serene, almost dreamlike, as in a painting. Yes, the small township of Ramu Sugar. Gusap Downs, as it is officially known.

Continue reading "The Prayer" »


In defence of a Momis recontest

John Momis
"It is to the advantage of Bougainville that we have John Lawrence Momis as a uniquely experienced leader"

JOACHIM LUMMANI

RABAUL - The parliamentary select committee on constitutional law headed by former Papua New Guinean chief ombudsman Simon Pentanu is looking at Bougainvillean views on whether their constitution should be modified to allow the current president to recontest for a third term.

The committee is also considering whether to abolish the three seats reserved for ex-combatants from the three main parts of Bougainville.

This is because of the critical importance of Bougainvillean unity and leadership continuity to enable successful negotiations with the national government in this post-referendum period.

Continue reading "In defence of a Momis recontest" »


Government still failing on customary land

Eddie Tanago (2)
Eddie Tanago -  Even under Marape, the  government is still disenfranchising customary landowners and diluting rural resilience

EDDIE TANAGO
| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - The Land Minister’s announcement of a new pilot project to further disenfranchise customary landowners is part of a misguided promotion of private sector greed over people’s need for income generation.

The Papua New Guinea government should be focused on empowering rural people to build resilient communities on their own land rather than serving the greed of foreign owned banks and big corporations.

Continue reading "Government still failing on customary land" »


Will PNG get serious about corruption?

James Marape
James Marape speaking at the launch of the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. He said he would set up a national ICAC in 2020

NEWS DESK
| Transparency International PNG

PORT MORESBY - With the resignation of former prime minister Peter O’Neill last May after a seven-year tenure, many citizens hailed the resulting appointment of the Marape-Steven government as an opportunity to start afresh.

A staggering K26 billion mountain of debt and an inefficient and incredibly costly public service has forced the new government to implement a number of unpopular, yet arguably more fiscally responsible, initiatives.

Continue reading "Will PNG get serious about corruption?" »


Capitalising on the Indigenous connection

StockmenPHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Some time ago I was sitting in the international departure lounge at Jackson’s Airport in Port Moresby waiting for the big balus to arrive from Brisbane.

It’s always interesting when a big balus lands because you can watch the new arrivals go past the glass doors on their way to immigration and customs.

Continue reading "Capitalising on the Indigenous connection" »


Will gold mining return to Misima?

Misima6
Misima gold mine

TIM TREADGOLD
| Forbes | Extracts

PERTH - Investors with a taste for gold, and who hasn’t in the current climate, can thank one of the world’s great financial institutions, the Bank of England, for creating an opportunity to buy a slice of the proposed redevelopment of a once fabulous goldmine.

It was back in 1999 when Britain’s central bank made one of the worst-ever business decisions. It starting selling its gold reserves, eventually parting with 395 tons of gold over a three-year period at an average price of $252 an ounce — 460% less than today’s gold price of $1,554/oz.

Continue reading "Will gold mining return to Misima?" »


Thinking to lose weight, maybe

PaleoPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Apparently philosophising is good for you. The harder you think the better off you become.

This is especially so when compared to passive mind activity, like watching television or social media.

“As an energy-consumer, the brain is the most expensive organ we carry around with us,” says Dr Marcus Raichle, a distinguished professor of medicine in St Louis, USA.

Continue reading "Thinking to lose weight, maybe" »


Providing the water of life

The Aruamu people drill a new well (Tim Wint)
The Aruamu people drill a new well (Tim Wint)

JOHN HALL
| Baptist Standard

PLANO, TEXAS - For years, Marsha Realya-Miles had prayed for 36 remote villages in Papua New Guinea. She lived in them and ministered among them.

She and her husband created the first written language for many of the Aruamu people. They translated the first New Testament in that language in 2005.

Soon, the first complete Bible in the Aruamu’s language will be published.

They knew people in these isolated places thirsted for the Living Water that is Jesus Christ, as well as clean drinking water that wouldn’t make the children sick and cut their own lives short.

The couple first arrived in 1986 as Pioneer Bible translators. The field was fertile spiritually, and people responded. Churches were started—and even a Bible college. The gospel took root and is flourishing.

Physical water proved more challenging. Realya-Miles tried every avenue she could find.

Local drillers couldn’t get their equipment in. Some non-profit organisations could drill the well but weren’t working in the area. Others could teach churches how to drill a well.

Then she learned about Texas Baptist Men.

“We were the only people who could do both drill wells and teach churches how to do it,” said DeeDee Wint, vice president of TBM water ministry.

“We couldn’t get it out of our minds. We felt God impressed it upon on hearts. We had to do it. We don’t decline projects just because it’s hard.”

For Wint and her husband, Tim, it didn’t matter that it took three days to get from Texas to the Papua New Guinea villages. Or that it took three days to gather supplies or another day crossing World War II-era bridges to get where they needed to be. Or even the notion of sleeping in open bamboo huts with little electricity and no running water.

All that mattered was the need and God’s call to meet it.

Still, with the rainy season nearing, it seemed all the effort to drill a well in late November would be for naught. When the rains begin, transportation in or out of the villages is impossible.

After two weeks of hard work, it came down to one day. If they were successful, the first village would have clean water. If not, the entire effort would have to wait another year.

“People doubted that it could be done but they had underestimated God’s people. We were amazed at the Aruamu people’s capacity to learn, their physical strength, their faith in God and their positive attitude.

“They didn’t see obstacles. When something went wrong, they just figured out how to fix it—no complaining, no doubts,” DeeDee Wint said.

“At one point, we thought the borehole had caved in on the bit 40 feet down. If this happens, you cannot only lose the borehole; you will likely lose the bit and drill pipe. Replacements are in Utah.

“After prayer and discussion, they just went back and started drilling again, and it worked. We still don’t know exactly what happened. It was another God thing.”

The entire community participated in the effort. The hope and desire of the village was clear as they worked together for the betterment of all.

“The entire village came and watched and helped,” DeeDee Wint said. “The ladies carried water. The men worked the rig. The children dug clay out of the ground and made clay marbles to seal the borehole below the surface. When it was done, it was a community accomplishment.”

When the community dedicated the well, tears filled people’s eyes. When a child filled a five-gallon container with clean drinking water, people felt they were seeing the impossible. Several individuals remarked how God had shown himself to be “plenty big” enough to meet their needs.

A local church team, Aruamu Water Projects, has the TBM drill and can use it in other villages.

DeeDee Wint dedicates a new well (Tim Wint)
DeeDee Wint dedicates a new well (Tim Wint)

To qualify for a well, a village must raise 15% of the needed funds, form a committee to care for the well and have at least one toilet. Already, communities are working to become eligible.

Another TBM team will visit the area in June to further train and drill more wells and encourage the church.

Everywhere the church goes with its drill, lives will be changed.

“They will be healthier because they’re not drinking out of a contaminated river,” DeeDee Wint said. “With open defecation everywhere, the water is quite bad. They are sick all the time.”

Church members also will share the gospel as they drill each well. People will be healthier physically and spiritually. It is a visible reminder of how God loves his people, the Wints noted.


Embassy tries to quell corona concerns

Xue Bing  China's ambassador to PNG
Ambassador Xue Bing - "The xenophobic attacks against Chinese people are more serious than the corona virus itself"

NEWS DESK
| National Broadcasting Corporation

PORT MORESBY - Chinese citizens in Papua New Guinea are being urged to be cautious in their movements after growing discrimination due to the corona virus outbreak.

The Chinese embassy in PNG said it's worried about the stigma and hate speech the virus has caused on Chinese people, not only in PNG but in other countries as well.

Continue reading "Embassy tries to quell corona concerns" »


PNG manufacturers face tough year

Chey Scovell
Chey Scovell - "A number of manufacturers have had to put their expansion plans on hold"

CHEY SCOVELL
| Business Advantage PNG

PORT MORESBY - It is shaping up to be a difficult and frustrating year. Manufacturers, like anyone else, require people to be spending money to buy our goods and there is just not much money going around.

If you go to the supermarkets there is nobody in line and everyone has a small basket because they can’t afford to fill up a trolley. In the rental market there is a 40 to 50 per cent vacancy rate.

Continue reading "PNG manufacturers face tough year" »


Bad governance & lots of tok gris

Phil Fitzpatrick at mic
Phil Fitzpatrick - "Fake government applying Band-Aids and painting over them with  spin and empty rhetoric"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When mounting evidence suggests that a government is corrupt and they fail to adequately address the evidence, what can be done about it?

The short answer, of course, is not to vote for them. But if they are electorally secure and their term of government has some time to run, well, other options are severely limited.

Continue reading "Bad governance & lots of tok gris" »


Getting it right in energy deals

Pnyang-lng
P'nyang gas field - Is PNG squeezing energy companies too hard when it should be fixing a leaking pipe?

IAN RITCHIE

PORT MORESBY - "A fair deal is not merely squeezing a large slice of ice cream out of our development partners and then losing most of it through a horribly broken and hopelessly leaking pipe," wrote David Kitchnoge in PNG Attitude yesterday.

A clear and pragmatic observation.

Continue reading "Getting it right in energy deals" »


So PNG, what is a fair deal?

Exxon
"Our criticism of Exxon Mobil and other development partners in the resources sector is as much a criticism of ourselves"

DAVID KITCHNOGE

PORT MORESBY - The politics of bigman, the economy of wastage and a public service that has become 'private service for a tip' all combined to deliver prime minister James Marape's ground breaking announcement last Sunday rejecting the P'nyang gas deal.

Mr Marape’s speech rejecting the P'nyang gas deal had been written over the years. It was a speech really aimed at an audience close to home. And if we didn't get it, we have a problem. The irony is that I'm not even sure the PM himself gets it.

Continue reading "So PNG, what is a fair deal?" »


Oil Search fires back at PNG

James Marape
James Marape -“To date my families, tribes, provinces and country are yet to fully see those promised windfalls"

JAMES THORNHILL
| Bloomberg | Extracts

NEW YORK - Exxon Mobil Corp’s partner on a Papua New Guinea gas project that’s threatened by failed talks with the government has hit back at PNG’s position, saying its terms were uneconomical.

Oil Search, in its first comment since the talks broke down on Friday, said that the government’s demands meant the project would not gain a sufficient return on investment.

Continue reading "Oil Search fires back at PNG" »


The big bad Australian buai boom

Betel nut gearMARIAN FAA
| ABC Far North

CAIRNS - Health experts are warning about the devastating consequences of chewing an illegal tropical nut with dentists across Australia reporting an alarming spike in oral cancer symptoms associated with the product.

Market vendors in far north Queensland said the intoxicating nut was being traded illegally in growing quantities across the country.

Continue reading "The big bad Australian buai boom" »


Between two cultures

Gulpilil
David Gulpilil - "A man caught between two cultures and two different Australia’s, the old one and the new one"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - I’ve got a bird feeder in my backyard. I built it out of scrap wood. It’s got a platform where I put bowls of seed, fruit and other stuff for the birds and a roof over it to keep off the rain.

It looks quite picturesque but the only customers seem to be sparrows, starlings and the odd blackbird.

An occasional galah drops by and a few New Holland honeyeaters go past on their way to the blossoms in my flower beds.

Continue reading "Between two cultures" »


Communicate virus better say journos

CoronaNEWS RELEASE
| Media Council of Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY - The Media Council of PNG is calling on all state agencies involved in policing and securing the country’s borders and people against a potential novel coronavirus outbreak to be better coordinated and to collaborate more closely.

It also says PNG must ensure that all preparatory measures are clearly articulated to the mainstream media if people are to be kept informed and reassured of their safety.

Continue reading "Communicate virus better say journos" »


Students fleeing China refused passage

Marooned
"We wait at Shanghai International airport without any hope"

AS TOLD TO SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

SHANGHAI - After a long day waiting for our flight to Manila to transit to Port Moresby, we were removed from the flight to Manila.

A total of 12 students were not allowed to board the flight.

Manila immigration could not give us access to at least transit to Papua New Guinea, our home country.

Continue reading "Students fleeing China refused passage" »


LNG treads water after talks collapse

James Marape
James Marape calls off LNG negotiations. Big mining exploiters cry, beat breasts and stamp on floor

SONALI PAUL
| Reuters | Extract

MELBOURNE - Plans to double gas exports from Papua New Guinea within the next four years are in doubt after the government walked away from talks with Exxon Mobil Corp on a key gas project needed for the $13 billion expansion.

PNG prime minister James Marape has called off negotiations with Exxon on the P’nyang field, blaming the energy giant for failing to budge on a proposed deal that was “out of the money”.

Continue reading "LNG treads water after talks collapse" »


Land ownership & disharmony

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) 
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) - "....the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Scientists tell us that the first humans were hunters and gatherers who lived in roving bands. They cooperated with each other in their pursuit of game and bush tucker.

Through experience they learned where game was to be found and where and when certain native foods were available.

Continue reading "Land ownership & disharmony" »


Decline & Fall, Mk II

DystopiaCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - My article, We the People, described how ruling elites, with rare exceptions, fail utterly to recognise or understand the paradigm shifts that lead to their demise.

Even if the elites do see the emerging danger, they invariably think that the usual mechanisms of suppression - subversion, persuasion, coercion and violence - will work in their favour.

Continue reading "Decline & Fall, Mk II" »


PNG reacts to corona virus

CoronavirusNEWS DESK
| PNG National Broadcasting Corporation & Sources

PORT MORESBY - The Papua New Guinea department of health has said PNG is among the high risk nations of contracting the corona virus because of its location in the Asia-Pacific region.

Acting health secretary Dr Paison Dakulala said PNG has joined the world in stepping up efforts to contain the deadly virus, which has so far infected 11,000 people and killed 200.

Continue reading "PNG reacts to corona virus" »