THE phrase “Papua New Guinea has gone to the dogs” is no longer relevant in describing the extent of corruption in our country. It does not go nearly far enough.
We all stand astonished at the magnitude and pace at which corruption has accelerated in PNG in the last decade or so.
The state of service delivery in most parts of PNG is at a pitiful state even when we are in the middle of a “boom” - the boom was supposed to usher in a new era in our nation’s history where we could look forward to a more equitable and fairer society.
Yet in the 40 years of its nationhood, PNG has gone from a progressive nation to one of the most backward developing nations on earth.
The irony is that, all this time, we have been rated as one of the most resource rich nations. Thanks largely to PNG LNG we have witnessed unprecedented growth in our economy in the last decade yet I can’t help wondering what we were raving about when the reality is that this project was not as “transformational” as it was predicted to be.
The landowners of Hides and Moran are constantly threatening the government with closure of the project sites if their demands are not met while the State has not been honest in accounting for the revenue inflows that should be arriving as the shipment of gas takes effect.
In fact, one would assume that the revenue from LNG would rescue PNG’s economy from its dire situation. Yet this does not seem to be the case and questions are now being raised of the whereabouts of this money.
I have come to the conclusion that this nation is been fed to a pack of wolves who are indulging in devouring it in broad daylight.
Service delivery has been turned on its head to facilitate massive fraud with huge ‘variation costs’ and ‘off the book’ contract fees.
Let’s not kid ourselves, the ferocity associated with corruption in PNG has left this nation licking its wounds big time. While the wolves howl for more, the majority is forced to stop the bleeding that is the hallmark of the savagery against this country.
This nation is heading for a very bad place if we don’t stem the leakages that are allowing corruption to thrive under our noses. Somewhere, somehow, something has to give.
We can be sure the wolves are not contemplating an end to their grand scheme anytime soon. They constantly prowl the corridors of our public institutions hoping to identify loopholes and weaknesses they can pounce on.
They are cunning and menacing and ungrateful, giving no consideration to the consequences of their actions nor offering respect to our Constitution.
The very laws and public institutions that are supposed to work for the public good are being infiltrated and plundered for the gain of a few.
My belief is that this “steal from the majority and feed the minority” approach will not last long. They cannot suppress the truth and Melanesian culture is unlikely to enable the establishment of a “ruling class” which will exist in contradiction to the wishes of the people.
What we are witnessing is the creation of an environment for the emergence of “people power” as a legitimate means to end this chaos of theft and deceit. People will not be too long isolated from the benefits that they as a nation are supposed to be enjoying.
We have been our own worst enemy, deliberately turning a blind eye to corruption that is staring us in our faces.
We hope that it is just a bad dream and that all will be well when we awake from our bed. When something is wrong we tend to take a bystander approach. All of us are good at that. Hypocrisy is what we are good at.
The truth (and I hate to admit it) is that we are living in a country that is being designed to feed the wolves. When we become concerned and seek the truth, the wolves’ growl at Mother Corruption, the very mother that feeds them so well, as if they do not know her.
They duck for cover, jump in circles and bend the rules to preserve the power of their greed. They have done it so well so far, with no real opposition from citizens, that they are now chronic thieves living in a system of thievery.
Papua New Guinea belongs to the nearly eight million Papua New Guineans who are scattered from highlands to coast to islands but its riches are plundered to satisfy the greed of a minority few.
When they get caught in the act they scurry to preserve their “integrity” using for themselves the power that has been bestowed on them for the public good.
In a nation run by wolves, private interest is paramount to public interest. The wolves run the country for themselves.