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23 September 2015


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Lived and worked in Madang Province from 1972 to 1986. Married to an Asaro girl in 1977 and celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on 29th January 2017 back at Lutheran church in Madang.

The only thing that remains the same is the Lutheran Church. It still looks the same as in our wedding photos.

Absolutely appalled at how this once lovely town has deteriorated to a similar standard of some 3rd world town in outback Sudan.

Shame on the self seeking politicians who have allowed the Asian business people to grease their road to establishing the multi storied concrete Chinese trade stores that are filled up with the cheap rubbish spewed out in their own slave factories in their own homelands and now selling off at tremendous profit to the sad and sorry locals in Madang.

Why is it allowed for Asians to build their nasty and ugly concrete stores in amongst the residential area. The house I once rented on Modilon road near where the musmus theatre used to be has this awful copper plated front supermarket being built with houses to the left, right and behind. Who was the government official who signed off on that particular scam! How much did the Asian business man pay for that?

Looks like the second biggest business after the Asian "trade stores" is security. The place I remember didn't require guards at every single business door, guards following you around inside the stores, guards walking around the carparks watching out for muggers and thieves, guards at security gates at certain residences.

This place is more like some South African towns where residents live behind barbwire and full time security.

Why have the local council allowed the influx of highlanders down along the North coast to set up squatter settlements?

I expect before a couple of years go by, the local people of Madang will have been driven back into their own little villages and outsiders, Asians and highlanders will run the town and all businesses.

We are old friends of Sir Peter Barter and after talking with him about the decline of this once beautiful town, makes me cry.

I suspect it may be too late to do anything because the rot has already set in and the money and energy is being concentrated on Port Moresby so that regional Centers like Goroka, Madang etc are left to fend for themselves.

What happened to all the village aid posts, schools and agriculture projects that flourished under the days where Kiaps and Didimen got off their arses and patrolled, yes, that is they walked!

Truly the old days were good days for the poor folk in their remote villages, now they seem to be left to rot.

Obed,thank you for your comment on the "town rat" situation in Madang. Firstly though, sorry for the incident that you got caught up in.

This 'town rat' situation is an inevitable developmental issue for every urban setting. I am from Madang, living within the town precincts, but have yet to experience the kind of a situation you experienced.

But this is not to say that I do not have this experience - during my 15 years' of living in Moresby, I have encountered a lot of this. Also in Lae, I have had the experience of armed holdup, theft and stoning of car. I believe it is the same in every town in PNG, if not anywhere in the world.

The newspaper extract by silent observer entitled "Madang no longer the beautiful town" I believe is archaic relative to the currency of your posting. You posted in September 2015 when Buka Malai (as stated on the extract) was ousted as MP over three years earlier.

The 'town rat' situation can be managed, but with proper, systematic and orderly planning and doing.

I urge you to come back to Madang, if you're not now living in the town, sometime later and see how the situation has evolved.

The PNG government has sold its people's resources to the big corporations. Shame on those politicians...selling their children's wealth.

RD Tuna are Asian fishermen who are not only fishing out the once plentiful waters of Mandang but, are also polluting the coastal waters just like what they the Asians have done in their own countries.

Stand tall the people of Madang and indeed PNG. Get rid of your corrupt leaders as they have only their self interest in mind. Do it before those Asian corporations destroy your country.

What has happened in Madang is the same as has happened in PNG's other coastal cities - people have migrated there from elsewhere, attracted by what I'm not sure, maybe the possibility of work. Madang has the same problems as Lae, but on a smaller scale.

A lot of the people coming in are following the buai trade too.

It would be interesting to work out who the trouble-makers are and where they come from.

A burgeoning population in PNG doesn't help either.

Boost law and order. Follow Powes Parkop's lead and tidy the place up.

No matter what, we are taking the 2016 Crocodile Prize presentations to Madang - Divine World University. Madang was once beautiful, it still is. The only problem is that the few 'town rats' are not held at bay. Get rid of them and Madang will bounce back.

Leadership and community action can drive those culprits out of Madang.

But good people are doing nothing and good leadership is absent.

That's why Madang is going to hell in a hand-basket.

And come 2017...same shit different pile?

For a society to be truly "civil" in the sense that citizens feel safe in going about their daily affairs, it is necessary for there to be an effective state mechanism to enforce the rule of law.

Consequently, the most critical role of those responsible for the governance of a society is to ensure that the law is upheld.

This requires, at a bare minimum, effective policing backed by an equally effective judiciary.

Also, it requires that citizens be largely self disciplining in terms of their adherence to the law and, in a broader sense, in their commitment to creating and maintaining an orderly and safe society.

When the governance system of a society fails, it very soon falls into anarchy, with the ever present non-law abiding minority eager to exploit the situation.

Right now, it seems that Madang is enduring a failed governance system, with ineffective and inefficient policing being one of its manifestations.

PNG simply cannot be or even aspire to be a truly modern, "civil" society when it cannot even get the basics right.

Understanding this is not rocket science: the average citizen usually gets it pretty well straight away.

So, why is it that far too many of PNG's governing elite simply don't get it or, if they do, seem either unwilling or unable to do anything about it?

For all it faults, the former Australian colonial regime managed to enforce the rule of law with less resources than the PNG government has available to it.

PNG citizens need to ask their politicians why they cannot at least equal the efforts of a relative handful of kiaps and police, most of whom were scattered across the country in small, isolated patrol posts.

Law enforcement is not rocket science either, just a question of having an honest, reliable and committed police presence where it is needed.

A youth problem indeed in most urban areas in the country.

To be accosted by the so called town rats can be a scary experience especially at night time at a location far from home. Had a similar experience in 2006 up at Goroka.

Four friends and I were heading to the famous Nokondi Club on foot after a few drinks when we were held up by a Genoka youth with a home-made "pop" gun.

His friends removed whatever little possession and valuables we had but then they realised that we had nothing of value and we were just like them trying to scrape out a living while studying at college.

They decided that it was not fair so they returned everything back and strangely enough invited us to partake with them in their little scheme of things on other unsuspecting people who might take the same route we had taken.

We politely declined and bade them farewell and continued on our way.

Since I am a Madang Resident I'll just add my humble opinion; I believe all social problems like this one have solutions its just that persons or authorities in responsibility have failed in identifying the problem and coming up with a solution.

The Problem with all Provincial Governments in PNG is that they do not have a competent research unit to conduct researches into indentifying problems. I believe Obed being a PNG Studies student appreciates the importance of research as a tool in identifying problems and coming up with solutions.

Researches defines an issue and gives you the statistic, scope and the scenerio to come up with most realistic policies to address the issue.

Currently it seems that the Authorities in Madang know that we have a problem but they do not know how to approach it in a holistic manner simply because they do not have any form of data to help guide them in coming up with effective solutions. Thus all they are doing now is coming up with reactive decissions and polices that instead of solving the issues will create more problems and to an extent infringe on other peoples human rights!

Obed like that you escaped from the edge of the blade.
How sad is to hear the small or container rats eating away the sweet juice of beauty Madang, when the big governor riding high and over looking the container rats scaping for bits and pieces around the streets of Madang to make a living.
May be the Police are also doing less when huge amount of money are adding into their department to curb law and order issues in the country.
I wish you print this article and paste it at the Notices boards he should read this before he goes hiding like a flying fox.
Good one hitting the nail on the head.

True indeed Obed.
Madang was once beautiful but now the home to illegal settlers who are currently causing many law and order problems in the communities within the town.
It's about time people speak up for the silent majority.
I pray for the good Lord's protection and guidance over the Madang residents.

So true Obed. more needs to be said about Madang's situation. it is sad the way Madang is falling apart. I fear for my children's lives especially after hearing news of children being abducted and raped happening all over Madang. Every day something terrible happens to innocent lives, its scary walking around town and the market places.

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