Beside that fireplace
Looks like there will be a future for the NRL in PNG

O’Neill again lining up for 2017. Any chance of a change?

Wii_Paul WauglaPAUL WII

SOMEONE said recently that prime minister Peter O’Neill is a cunning and conniving schemer.

He’s hell bent on achieving lofty ambitions and constantly throws his weight around when dealing with mega- buck affairs in the resources development sector.

But what do Peter O’Neill’s own Pangia–Ialibu people think about their man?

Do they see him as a “cunning and conniving schemer’’ who is running PNG into debts amounting to millions of kina?

A national election is coming around next year and some people in the media have commented that 2017 just might be the year we rise above the myriad socio-economic challenges to chart a definitive course for our nation.

Others are more pessimistic and believe our country is sinking deeper into the abyss of corruption and political malevolence.

The pessimists say Papua New Guineans are too ignorant to collectively usher in positive change for the country.  Not surprisingly, Peter O’Neill is not among them. He’s an optimist. But some people believe he’s is optimistic for all the wrong reasons. He is a romantic masquerading behind the façade of civility.

One things Mr O’Neill is optimistic about is that he will be returned to the national parliament after the 2017elections.  He made a public assertion to that effect last year.

So how could Mr he know with such certainty that he is going to retain his Ialibu-Pangia seat? I believe he was making that assertion to give his ego a boost.  On the other hand, he could wanted to dull the hopes of any Pangia-Ialibu rivals.

Does will Peter O’Neill really feature at the top of his Ialibu-Pangia people’s choice of leader? Most people he will. They say something like: Why, Pirra O’Neill is the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, a first for Pangia- Ialibu. The people want to vote for him. Tell them otherwise and they will look at you with scepticism.

The eight million people of PNG do have the power to influence and shape policy decisions by the government. They do need to understand that they can change the destiny of this country by the choices they make in electing their national leaders.

But, with the next election just 17 months away, will they?

The politics of PNG can be enigmatic and unnerving.

Comments

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Mathias Kin

Phil, this is indeed a good one by my tribesman. All he has said is so true and its getting worse now.

O'Neill will return because he is Ialibu-Pangia god but he will not be prime minister beyond 2017.

There is another twist; he might be kalabused in the next few months if all goes well.

Michael Dom

I don't know about optimistic as much as opportunistic, but I think O'Neill is more the latter.

Ialibu-Pangia can vote him back to lead their electorate, but the position of Prime Minister is determined by party numbers after the polls, and 'political' bribery after that.

Phil Fitzpatrick

Dr Kristoffa Ninkama wrote an article that was published in The National back in 2009. Nothing much has changed?

"Sir Michael Somare led PNG to self-government in 1973 and independence in 1975. Since then, he has served continuously in various capacities either as Prime Minister or Opposition leader for 40 years.
The question I would like to pose is: “Is PNG better off now than it was 40 years ago?” The simple answer is: “No.”
In the 40 years that Sir Michael has been in politics in PNG, the following occurred:
1. The people of PNG continued to rely on the infrastructure left behind by the Australian administration. Roads, bridges, administrative headquarters, schools and aid posts have fallen into disrepair. Successive governments failed to carry out infrastructure development projects. It is the Government’s fiduciary responsibility to maintain and continue infrastructure development. So for 40 years, roads, bridges, schools, health services, administrative buildings, transport and communications have fallen into ruins. Is this something to be proud of?
2. The general health and well-being of the people have steadily declined. Many Papua New Guineans are dying of preventable and treatable diseases and HIV/AIDS is threatening to decimate a generation. Malaria, TB and sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise as all the health centres and aid posts built in the colonial days are no longer functioning. The provincial and referral hospitals are grossly underfunded, understaffed, poorly equipped and lacking basic medicines. The health services are so primitive that PNG politicians have been flying to Australia with their families to seek medical treatment. So for 40 years, the people of PNG had been deprived of their very basic right to decent health services.
3. The education system in PNG has been on the downward spiral. Schools lack basic essentials like decent classrooms, chairs, desks, library books, audio-visual aids, books, pencils and other essential learning aids to give a child an opportunity and a fighting chance to attain a decent start to attaining knowledge and literacy. The majority of school-aged children are not attending schools and the literacy levels of the average Papua New Guinean is on the decline.
4. The citizens of PNG are resorting to cargo cultism, sorcery, sanguma, etc, because the level of ignorance in our societies is on the increase. An ignorant society spells disaster for a nation.
5, Law and order problems are escalating. Port Moresby is a virtual prison. The citizens of PNG’s major towns live in constant fear of something awful happening to them. Can you imagine living in fear in your own house in your own country every day of your life?
6. For 40 years, successive politicians and their families have done very well for themselves at the expense of the people they represent. Our politicians can afford to own expensive vehicles, buy properties in Australia, educate their kids in private schools and overseas, seek private hospital treatment overseas, etc. Are all these possible from a mere politician’s salary?
7. More than 85% of the people are struggling on a daily basis with malnutrition; hook worm infestation, rotting teeth, swollen tummies, chronic malaria infestation, unclean water sources, no access to decent health services, roads, bridges, communications, electricity, etc. These basic services had been denied to our own people.
8. Government institutions are failing at an alarming rate and millions of dollars have been swindled from the Finance Department under Sir Michael’s watch. Yet, he has remained quiet.
9. I am sick and tired of hearing our politicians say PNG is a rich country. I have not seen one toea of these proclaimed riches filtering to my people in the villages. Is this something to be proud of?
Oh, the poor Engans. All those cassowaries and pigs ready to be slaughtered to celebrate 40 years of what?
Forty years of being in the dark ages?"
Source: PNG National, 10 March 2009

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