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17 March 2019

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Addressing the ‘House’ was a key lesson for newly elected Members of the TP&NG 1964 House of Assembly.

Readers can access salient aspects from no less than Les Johnson. See draft version at webpage:
https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/111462/1/b20360046-Johnson_L_W.pdf

“...purchase of clothing suitable to the new status of members. Some wore shoes for the first time and many had never previously owned a pair of long trousers.”

Les laments “The inauguration of the House of Assembly in 1964 could have provided a new departure point based on the knowledge and experience of the largely unlettered indigenous majority, rather than attempting to introduce them to the arcane procedures of Westminster.”

Les says “members were pleased and proud to be participating in these time-honoured customs and manipulating apparently complex procedures”.

Yet, it seems Members of Parliament now have been tardy in relaying the message, so teaching has stalled, and the people of PNG await (as if it were) a clearer vision of standard, of expectation, and of bounds of infringement, listed in a notice at the office of at least one MP.

Rolling on the floor laughing, may not infringe, but might soil the occasion.

Readers will see Les mention “...purchase of clothing suitable to the new status of members.” Just perhaps, the “new status of members” is a lesson not yet onboard some broad Members.

As Les states the Speaker "Guise...bedizened with wig, tapa cloth cloak and plumes..." which all seems a bit of kumul sense.

Hope is for resolution of not only 'a dressing' issue, more salient than sartorial.

Hope is for retracing and reviving servanthood in ideal and ministry outcomes.

The church has the moral obligation to fight for social justice and against corruption in this country. The government has to listen prudently to the advice given by the church especially the Catholic Bishops Conference which represents the bulk of the silent population.

In countries where corruption is everywhere, churches play important roles to bring back good governance. Countries like the Philippines or South American countries where liberation theology and social justice work is best are now back to normal.

The bringing together of East/West Germany, the end of the Cold War and the breakdown of Russian communism are all areas where the church played an important role for the good of humanity.

PNG is heading towards a failed state with massive misuse of government funds, political manipulation, nepotism and abuses of the wantok system and keeps implementing policies that do not work like the free education policy where half the money has been consumed by government bureaucrats and politicians.

Government tuition fees are not properly managed and do not come in time to run schools. Some schools are affected with massive cuts. Hospitals and health centres in remote areas are run down with no drugs and logistics and infrastructure support.

The church and government partnership is important and its serves a purpose but the government is not honouring its commitment and promises. We hope the next government will do something better.

Lindsay, I am living "clean and neatly and clients' day is Tuesday and Thursday" in Chimbu. So, as you mentioned, it must be the general rule of administration across PNG.

The bishops might gain an audience as they are likely to be (shall we assume?) following the local MP's instruction to “properly attire yourselves – clean and neatly dressed” but only if they visit on a Tuesday or a Thursday.

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