Today’s politics: Foolish optimism not experienced by the citizens
Misuse & abuse: The great treason of our politicians

Dear Mister Speaker, I am very concerned….


DEAR Mister Speaker - With due respect, I am speaking my mind about the removal, destruction and burning of Papua New Guinean cultural items and objects, action which you have instituted as Speaker of the National Parliament.

Mister Speaker, are you not from Papua New Guinea? Does it not hurt you inside as a Papua New Guinean to be the mainstay and advocate of this unwarranted attack and obliteration of our cultural items and objects?

Does it not occur to you that some of these cultural items and objects are uniquely Papua New Guinean and are representations of our people and country’s contribution to world art and culture?

Mister Speaker, amongst other objects, you have replaced the totem carving in the National Parliament and now I read that you are leading the burning of all representations of what you term traditional “idolatry and witchcraft” in the Parliament grounds.

Is Parliament the new seat of worship for our country now?

Mister Speaker, you are occupying a neutral chair but you are dictating to the people of Papua New Guinea that ancestral, cultural and ritual institutions of our people in the form of carvings, masks, chants and dance should be done away with.

You are suggesting that Papua New Guineans should not express themselves artistically or spiritually in any form other than the one you envision and prescribe.

Mister Speaker, are you telling me that the Sepik carvers have sinned in their creation of the carving you removed from Parliament?

Are you telling me that the Tolai people have sinned in performing the Tumbuan and Dukduk ritual dances?

Or that the Baining people have sinned in their masked fire dance?

Where will we get our sense of identity as a country built on diversity within a world that, by your instruction, gets smaller and smaller?

Mister Speaker, don’t you know that I, as a Papua New Guinean, admire the creativity of our country.

When I see an Asaro mudman he signifies to me the Eastern Highlands. The Malangan mask is distinctly from New Ireland. The Maira traditional designs are unique to the Maprik people of East Sepik. The Tumbuan and Dukduk remind me of East New Britain and the Duke of York Islands.

Mister Speaker, this is the diversity upon which we have built our country and you are trying to take it away from the people by imposing your fanatical religious views on us while occupying your Chair in the National Parliament.

A neutral seat in all respects which should never be used to impose and dictate personal religious views as you are doing now.

Should you be unchecked, our country in the future will not be “Papua New Guinea, a land of diverse people and cultures” but “Papua New Guinea, a land of fundamentalist religious people with no culture of our own.”


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Ronald Wolters

Although on a smaller scale it is similar to ISIS blowing up temples in Palmyra. This type of cultural destruction shows disrespect for our ancestors, current and future generations.

Phil Fitzpatrick

Check out his website Johnny - he sounds stoned there too.

Johnny Blades

That's a weird photo of The Speaker there. Anyone else think he looks stoned?

Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

The Speaker is just acting like Idi Amin, Nero (fiddling at the burning of Rome) or one of these clowns that we know of around the world.

Someone has to give this shrunken brain a lecture on the importance of our cultural heritage.

I kindly implore the National Cultural Commission and its stakeholders to organise a protest march in Port Moresby as soon as possible.

Raymond Sigimet

Thank you Felix, you are right. We, including the Speaker, need to remove, burn and destroy all the spiritual carvings, object and items in our hearts which are manifested in worldly desires and affairs like corruption, love of money, greed, stealing, irresponsibility and such that take us away from the worship of God.

We are not suppose to destroy the physical carvings, objects or items as is done recently.

The Speaker claims that he is destroying images representing "demonic" forces. He should realise that demons are spiritual beings. How can he and his supporters kill off these spirit beings by burning traditional objects and items in a bonfire?

What if the "demons" manifest in a human? Should the person burn like during the witch hunt in the dark ages Europe

I am confused now. It's always the case when fanaticism and conspiracy mingle.

Raymond Sigimet

Thank you Jack for your comment. The actions of the Speaker speak louder than words and I personally believe there is a hidden agenda somewhere.

The problem is that I can not really understand why the political leadership of the country is not doing anything to admonish the Speaker because I believe he has overstepped his boundary. It seems like the government is condoning the action of the Speaker.

The same goes to the people as well, we are not protesting enough. We have always been accepting and indifferent to things that we know are destroying the country, especially things pushed down to us from leaders.

From the way I see things, the stand, action and views of the Speaker is a reflection of his own life. I wonder what it was like for him growing up and what it is like in his home when there is no Parliament sitting.

Felix Baraka

The speaker of PNG parliament with the organizers of Repentance Day on 26 August have demonstrated the fundamentalist Christian action in burning carvings, saying these carvings symbolise the idol worship that breeds corruption.

I for one disagree with the Speaker of Parliament and the organisers of Repentance Day as they look beyond the true meaning of idol worship.

Firstly, I would like to say that idolatry is not the term that is common in the Melanesian vocabulary. Every nations has its unique cultural attributes, which include religious faith.

For example, if Zurenuoc proclaimed that these carvings portrayed idol worship, then all the sculpture in the Christian churches, as in Romanic Catholic Church, should be destroyed.

I would suggest that Zurenuoc has inherited the same misconception that world regions have practiced for years, and that is battling against each other over which religion is better than the other. For example, the battle between Islam and Christianity.

The questions are what is idol worship and how can we define such worship?
Firstly, idol worship is the act of putting too much attention on things that they controlled the life of the person that he/she started to forget God. In simple terms, idol worship is putting other things first into your life instead of God.

Therefore, we can define idolatry in the PNG context as PNG politicians and bureaucrats loving money so that they begin to engage in corrupt practices, money laundering, and misappropriation of public funds so they begin to forget their mandated responsibility to serve the common interest

They put carving ahead of serving national interest. They put money ahead of serving the national interest.

Jack Klomes

Spot on! When he is done we will be a people without history and with no roots to bind us back to our history we will become a people lost in our own land.

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