They are gone
Fred Hargesheimer’s legacy lives on in the Nakanai region

Embracing the future - we must believe in ourselves

PETER O’NEILL CMG MP | Prime Minister Plag

PORT MORESBY - We must prepare our communities to adapt to changes in the modern world.

This includes dealing with natural disasters brought about by climate change so we can protect our people.

We must better adapt to the evolving global economy, so that we not only insulate ourselves from economic shocks – but we must take advantage of economic opportunity for our people.

Our country has products that the world wants and needs to buy.

This is not just our oil and gas resources, but we have renewable resources that are in high demand.

Our agriculture sector should be the food bowl of the region.

We have vast expanses of land, with rich fertile soil that is purely organic.

We have some of the most amazing tourism sites that people from around the world want to visit.

But all of this potential is worth nothing if we do not believe in ourselves.

We must continue to invest in our nation and in our communities.

This means building the roads that we need to transport our goods to market, to build the airports for our people to travel and to construct the schools that will educate the next generation.

The only people who can deliver a stronger Papua New Guinea – are Papua New Guineans ourselves.

As a country we have many friends who are helping us to advance, and we value this support, but we must do things for ourselves and chart our own course.

We have to have confidence in our potential, we have to make firm decisions on our future and we have to stand by those decisions all the way.

I give you every commitment, on behalf of our government, that we will not let you down.

Each and every day, we will continue to do our best to advance the interests of Papua New Guinea, and continue to deliver real change for our nation.

Comments

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Chris Overland

Periodically, all political leaders feel the need to play the role of statesman. This is when they seek to rise above the noise, dysfunction and mundane squalor of ordinary politics and articulate a noble and worthy vision for the future of the nation.

These speeches usually are carefully crafted pieces of work, where the language chosen and the sentiments expressed are calculated to inspire the hearer to believe that the nation can and will, by harnessing the collective talents, energy and commitment of the people, become wealthier, greater and nobler.

This is often accompanied by reference to elements of national mythology, drawing upon shared ideas of nationhood, as well as notions that qualities like resilience, creativity and industry, supposedly at least, are possessed in abnormal abundance by the nation.

Such speeches are often carefully rehearsed, so that the tone, cadence and rhythm can be choreographed to achieve maximum impact upon the hearer and, especially, to appeal to their emotions.

These speeches are full of rhetorical flourishes intended to arouse feelings, not encourage the hearer to think critically about what is being said.

History has produced many political orators capable of giving this sort of speech. Some examples from the 20th century include Winston Churchill, Adolph Hitler, Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy and Barrack Obama.

Some politicians, knowing that they are not well suited to highly emotive declarative speech making, use other tactics to achieve the same effect.

President Franklin D Roosevelt used the device of a so-called “fireside chat” over the radio to establish a sense of connection and even intimacy with the American people, especially during the darkest days of World War 2. In this way Roosevelt contrived to convey and explain to people the intentions and decisions of the government in a very personal way.

All modern politicians know that they have to learn to be at least basically competent in the various forms of media they encounter. The techniques used for a radio interview will not work perfectly on television simply because one is an aural media and the other primarily visual.

Anyway, Peter O’Neill’s most recent speech published on PNG attitude appears to be an attempt to use the time honoured oratorical techniques I have mentioned to rally the people of PNG to meet the challenges of the future.

The problem with it is that it is essentially empty of meaningful content, notably anything that appeals to the emotions of the reader. There is nothing in it that might serve to engage peoples’ hearts.

In many respects it is simply a tick list of PNG’s many natural advantages and an empty promise to “not let you down” whilst studiously ignoring that this is exactly what his government has actually done in many respects.

I am reminded of the Monty Python skit in which a politician (played by John Cleese I think) gives a rousing speech, full of rhetorical flourishes, in which no sentence is ever completed, so rendering the overall speech devoid of meaning.

Consequently, Mr O’Neill’s statement can be safely dismissed as mere empty rhetoric, incapable of engaging Papua New Guineans on either an intellectual or emotional level.

In the case of his government, the proof of the pudding has been in the tasting and no grand speeches can disguise that fact.

Lindsay F Bond

So good to see newer building infrastructure of Tufi Health Centre, making for great photographs, until reading the notice that tells of deficiency of water infrastructure, such that the facility is operational only four hours per day.

Thus from 1pm to next day 9am, staff will not handle cases of accidents, burns, blood duties or deliveries. What is 'deliveries'?

Must we believe that treatment services from 9am to 1 pm is good for now and we must believe that PNG Government will bring improvement for the future? No question?

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