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Prominent MP joins author's attack on PNG leadership

KEITH JACKSON

Gary JuffaEMINENT AND OUTSPOKEN Governor of Oro Province and Papua New Guinea member of parliament, Garry Juffa [pictured], has endorsed trenchant criticism by PNG Attitude commentator, Phil Fitzpatrick, that PNG’s political leadership is “an international disgrace”.

Fitzpatrick, an author whose recent book Inspector Metau, on the surface a detective story, delves into the murky world of PNG politics, last week wrote a pungent article, The scum that they call politicians in PNG, which accused the PNG parliament of being “one of the biggest cabals of thieves, robbers and rogues on the planet”.

Responding to the criticism, Governor Juffa said, “You are absolutely right. Your article is nothing but the truth. I am sad to say that the trend is indeed worrisome. This nation, as great as it is, is being packaged and sold fast.”

And an academic with a deep interest in PNG, Dr Kristian Lasslett, also agrees with Fitzpatrick, saying that “most people I work with around PNG would agree with 98% of the sentiments expressed”.

An aggrieved Fitzpatrick particularly examined the social cost of high level, multi-million dollar corruption: “The completely unnecessary deaths and injuries attributable to a dysfunctional health system and moribund hospitals, not to mention the horrendous infant mortality rate (and) the victims of violent crime due to the lack of law and order.”

“These egomaniacs are also responsible for the nepotism, dishonesty, inefficiencies and downright stupidity which are defining characteristics of the Papua New Guinea public service,” he said.

“When they have finished selling off all the countries’ resources to the global multinationals and shonky and rapacious Asian businessmen they will have completed the total destruction of a nation which once had such enormous potential for the welfare of its people."

Fitzpatrick also blamed Australia’s succession of “gutless governments” for “aiding and abetting the process by feeding vast amounts of taxpayers’ money into this abysmal pit without the slightest hint of concern.

“In human terms what it has done it has been akin to feeding a drug addict with free and unlimited amounts of heroin,” Fitzpatrick said.

Lasslett_KrisDr Lasslett of the University of Ulster said people in the settlements of Port Moresby “are angry ... they pay taxes, and they work in government offices, the service industry and the informal market so they can send their kid to school and university and feed their families.

“In the working class urban communities people are angry, fed up, overworked, sick, and entirely aware of the darkness of neon lights.”

“Often they speak to me of revolution. ‘We aren't communists they usually add’, so breathe easy Canberra and Jakarta," Dr Lasslett said.

“But people are searching for a revolutionary answer to this static crisis that is PNG's political economy.

“Politicians like Gary Juffa are perhaps the one ray of light in this respect," Lasslett added. “He is destigmatising the R word.

“It appears the entire tectonic plates of PNG's social existence need shifting if people are to realise the noble aspirations in PNG's Constitution, one of the finest documents you will see anywhere in the world.

“People are hungry - it needs a spark and organisation, but I don't doubt PNG will be going through some interesting changes in the years to come."

______________

Inspector Metau: The Case of the Angry Councillor by Phil Fitzpatrick, Pacifica Sene 2013, 286pp, ISBN-10: 0987132121, ISBN-13: 978-0987132123.  $10.80 (paperback), $5 (Kindle ebook) from Amazon.com here

Comments

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Bernard Yegiora

Where the head goes the tail will follow, so there is no wrong in blaming our politicians.

Constant nagging in written form on social media and traditional avenues might pressure those immoral ones to swing.

Albert Schram

I am afraid some PNG MPs prefer taking out of the Kenyan Parliament's book:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22690820.

Danny Kurupani

The Papua New Guinea Parliament is a place where elected MPs become overnight millionaires. Its a cult!

The leaders (majority), once entering the parliament after elections, inevitably get pocessed by these cult cultures called nepotism.

There are 10% cuts in lucrative business deals, local and foreign companies denting processes to allow for corrupt practices, and funding paper companies with millions of kina without providing tangible services.

Senior government officers and staff from the SOEs noticing the weaknesses and they too are tempted to partake. All these practices become part of their everyday working life except for a few candles still alight.

It is like, who cares? The countrymen and women do notice but some are part of the system, many support wrong for right and say, who gives a f**k.

Well, people are dying, hospitals are in chaos, infrastructure like roads, bridges and airstrips are all in a mess.

So the leaders are on the media talking about change. What change? Who is telling facts? How can we believe that the delivery mechanism is fully functioning?

Well, everyone seems to notice but no-one wants to be patriotic. Papua New Guineans are living unconsciously and as a result seem to immune to corruption.

In this midst of this calamity, credit to the Hon Gary Juffa. Please keep the candle burning and those few can join while nature can take out the rest.

It is my prayer that we must not become victims of those perpetrators of breaking rules and corrupting processes and that our patroitism will speak louder than our size.

Trevor Freestone

Don't forget the thousands of villages that have no clean fresh water. A system of water catchment and storage facilities could have been paid for by spending that money politicians spent on going to the World Cup rugby league games overseas.

A disgrace when the games are easily viewed on TV. I am sure all those politicians have expensive TVs.

To the villagers "A TV is a box with a radio inside and also shows films at the same time. They won't work in most villages as they need power"

Gabriel Ramoi

If the Political Leadership is Politically and Morally Bankrupt then the Nation is also morally and Politically Bankrupt as Politicians are a reflection of their Electors.

Today in PNG voters are paid for their votes and men of God have received payment from Politicians to bring their folks into the Fold. Those that do not support this practice are as a rule not elected to Parliament.

PNG as a Nation has lost its moral compass and needs to get back on track fast. It needs to improve on the integrity of the election process to ensure that cheats do not enter parliament by ensuring Electronic voting in 2017.

It needs to immediately implement the Death Penalty to strengthen the rule of Law in the Country.

Finally with the support of Australia it needs Commonwealth Public Servants to return to PNG under AusAID to help install a puritan work ethic to prevent PNG sinking into a black hole such as Katanga in Congo where its rich resources is contineously raped by others and where its People continue to live in misery.

Joe Wasia

That's right. Gary was one of a few bureaucrats in PNG who shined brighter in the dark before entering politics.

Thank God that this man continues to think hard and fight hard for his country as a member of the Haus of Parliament.

David Wall

PNG MPs should take a leaf out of the President of Uruguay's book!

See: http://au.search.yahoo.com/search?_from=R40&p=President+of+Uruguay&fr=yfp-t-501&ei=UTF-8

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