Death of Chris Owen – esteemed maker of films about PNG
First PNG journalism PhD says 'government not present in Hela'

A modern society should care for its citizens. Is that us?

Michael Dom


PORT MORESBY -  Our poor situation will stay the way it is, leaders will never change and democracy will never flourish because, no matter how 'tough and resilient' people are, as citizens in the modern Independent State of Papua New Guinea, we have relinquished power over our political class.

We don't keep the bastards honest: instead we worship and adore them.

We don't hold Peter O'Neill personally responsible for this mess; instead we argue that others shouldn't blame him.

We don't understand that no matter what grand pursuits leaders take, if the very basic needs are not met at the village level, those grand pursuits are in vain.

We inadvertently agree that mothers can die in childbirth, children receive poor education and workers be screwed with low wages and high taxes, so long as our political leaders keep up a reasonable show, she'll be right mate.

We think that in the village we'll still survive even if modern politics is a balls up.

Look again bro, the politics is already rotten.

Ask how 'tough and resilient' Hela villagers feel right now.

They can survive on their own, sure, they have before.

But that is not what's supposed to happen in a modern society that pays for a public service mechanism to take care of its citizens.

Leaders don't need to change when their society doesn't even know what the change means for them.

We're still mostly ignorant sods trying to show our colonial superiors that we know what we're doing, when clearly we don't.


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Robert Forster

Good government begins at grassroots, by looking after village people, not by pushing through high status prestige projects or demonstrating other window dressing skills aimed only at the frothy top.

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