Tuesday, 24 July 2018

A GLANCE AT SINGAPORE, A LESSON FOR PNG



I hope you are reading this with ease and a positive mindset to help change the course of this beautiful country of ours – Papua New Guinea. My first time experiences here have made me to raise questions about how our economy has been mismanaged over the last 40years.

I’ve come to know this place from reading books, magazines, watching videos, documentaries and even looking it up on the internet.

From the countless travel magazines in secondhand shops in Lae in the 1990s to the LCD screens of the most sophisticated smartphones accessed by almost all school aged kids in PNG today – Singapore has literally changed in front of our eyes.

I read with much interest about how Singapore has transformed itself from a small island nation to become one of the most developed countries in the world.

SINGAPORE’S RISE TO POWER

Singapore has a rich history of civilization. It was once colonized by the British empire from 1946. During the second World War it was invaded by the Japanese, and later taken over the British after the war when Japanese surrendered to the Allies.

The failure of British to defend Singapore during the war forced the people to cry for merdeka or self governance. It 1963, Singapore became part of Malaysia ending a 144years of British rule on the island.

Since gaining independence from Malaysia on August 9th 1965, Singapore has since progressed on to be the host of the biggest and busiest air and sea ports in the world.

WHAT PNG CAN LEARN FROM SINGAPORE

Papua New Guinea has some of the world’s largest natural resource deposits in gold, copper, timber and now the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or the PNG LNG Project which is worth US$19billion.
Papua New Guinea's GDP Per Capita in 2017 was US$2401.6. The highest so far was in 2015 when our GDP Per Capita was US$2402.5

Singapore's GDP Per Capita continues to grow annually and it is now at US$55235.51

Singapore has been able to made it's way up to become a developed country in just under 53years of Independence. Its government subsidizes housing, medical bills, education, transportation etc. and increases economic opportunities for middle to low income earners.

It is an island country without any Gold, Copper, Nickel mines, LNG project, organic coffee, timber or any other natural resources. It is a very strategic port of transition where all goods and raw materials are brought here first then transported elsewhere across the world.

We also have the Lae Port in PNG, which is the most most strategic port in the Southern Hemisphere. It is where all the cargoes from across the world transits into the Australia and even the Pacific.

The Lae Port and the production line of businesses operating in Lae generates well over K111million for the National Government coffers annually as internal revenue. The Lae Port serves as the only seaport that controls import of raw materials and exports of organic coffee, cocoa and other organic products for international markets.

We could have better roads being built, good schools, hospitals and life improving facilities for every tax payer in the city. Our SME sector should have fully flourished by now if we have the government putting its paper policy to work.

Squatter settlements and law and order won’t be major impediments for growth and development. People’s mindset would have changed and people’s movement in search for better service delivery would have been narrowed down. 

Everyone in here respects each other despite their color, ethnicity and religion. There is no littering, loitering or even people sleeping on the streets. You will get caned by the police if you don’t dispose your rubbish in the rightful place.

The Singaporean government has made it it’s responsibility to ensure every citizen learn to appreciate and look after the environment. There are separate rubbish bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable. No smoking in public or even spitting as you will be fined and dealt with accordingly.

All these boils down to change on attitude. If we change our attitude and start respecting each other and the environment we live in, we will create a good future for our children. Since we don’t change ourselves, we kept on voting self-centered individuals to represent our interest in parliament for the last 40years.

A politician once told me, he has plans and dreams to reclaim the beauty of the city he grew up in the early 70s. But he further said, that dream would only be achievable if the people change their mindset. Also one member of parliament wont make the change happen, it needs the majority of them to stand up for the people’s needs.

I represent the last generation of kids who have used a kerosene lamp, a payphone, drank from a Coke bottle and listened to music on cassette players while growing up. We have anticipated so much to change for the better, but we are seeing the other way around. Life is getting tougher.

Our politicians should stop coming to Singapore for medical treatment alone, they should start focusing on making PNG become the next Singapore.

A wise man once said, if we continue to tell lies, it will surely become the truth. If the government can fool us for forty years, they might continue to sell PNG's resources for their own interest.


Monday, 23 July 2018

PNG’s STRUGGLE BATTLING FAKE NEWS AND MISINFORMATION IS ALSO A REGIONAL CHALLENGE FOR ASIA-PACIFIC MEDIA OUTLETS




Over the last three weeks, the Papua New Guinean Opposition has led a boycott to stop buying the two daily newspapers in the country over allegations that their (newspaper) reports were biased and have been promoting government agendas.

There were allegations also that journalists were bribed to run biased reports for politicians and ministers in the government including Prime Minister Peter O’Neil.

However, prior to that a PNG Government Minister was reported by a local newspaper that he wants to ban Facebook in PNG following reports of fake news by unknown individuals on social media.

This led to several debates and arguments by politicians and the general public on why Facebook should not be banned, which was an unofficial statement made by the minister and used by the media.

PNG journalists were criticized following the attacks with reporters alleged to have been bribed to write propagandas for politicians.

Papua New Guinea media shares a lot of struggles with our Asian neighbors when it comes to battling freedom of press and the spread of fake and misleading news.

Misinformation on mainstream and social media is a major concern in the Asia Pacific Region.

The International Fact Checkers Network (IFCN) highlighted several methods towards fighting misinformation during the 2018 APAC Trusted Media Summit in Singapore this week.

Masito Kajimoto from the Journalism and Media studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong says fact-checking and verification initiatives exists and should be effectively researched through collaborations from journalists.


In some countries, misinformation can be deadly serious. Certain vulnerable topics differ in each country. There should be tougher laws and legislation to crackdown and or censor fake information to be published.

The summit also highlights that the integrity of the Legal System is questionable in some countries where people have little or no trust in the system. Social justice is a bigger part of journalism in peoples’ mind.

Facebook Product Manager Jason Rudin told regional journalists that gathered that technology is helping fake news to spread quickly and become more credible. However, Facebook has built new tools help fight misinformation through it’s applications.


BBC’s Digital Launch Editor with the Indian News Service Trushar Barot is working on a project on Beyond Fake news in India. The scope of work includes five key elements on Research, Digital Literacy, Editorial Session, Conferences and Hackathon.

In the next coming days, this summit organized by the Google Singapore, Storyful and IFCN will deliberate on more ways to combat misinformation and fake news in the region.

#TrustedMediaSummit

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

ONE YEAR ON, STILL NO CANCER SPECIALIST AT ANGAU






My reporting career hasn't been tough over the last five years until me and a group of dedicated journalist in Lae started reporting about the plight of cancer patients in Morobe and Papua New Guinea.

I committed my time reporting on cancer treatment, after losing my dad to this deadly disease in 2014. He couldn't have died if there was adequate morphine drugs, equipment and cancer treatment specialists available at the ANGAU Memorial Hospital in Lae.

When you walk into the cancer ward at ANGAU, you will notice the despair in the eyes of the patients, there are inadequate supplies of drugs and most importantly a specialist doctor to conduct chemotherapy treatment on patients.

Dr John Stokes Niblett served as the only cancer oncologist at ANGAU for 20years before the National Department of Health breached his contract and sidelined him. During his tenure, Dr Niblett has served hundreds of cancer patients from all over PNG and he has been vocal on my issues affecting the operation of the cancer unit at ANGAU.

Lae National Court ordered in June 2016: "Dr Niblett to recieve full entitlements while case is in Court" .

Health Secretary Pascoe Kase and the NDOH boldly ignored that court order.

On 7th April 2017 Kase appeared at Lae National Court for Contempt of Court Order.He pleaded not guilty.

While waiting for judgement Dr Niblett was evicted from Lae International Hotel because NDOH didnt pay rent. Housing is part of Dr Niblett's entitlements.

Twice Dr Niblkett was asked to leave the country within 7days. The last one was 1st June 2017. That was the day Dr Niblett started getting sick.

Question: Why is NDOH Paying 15 Radiation Therapists when there is no work because there is no Radiation Oncologist since Dr Deepak left Dec 2016?

ANGAU HOSPITAL is so understaff, why can't these 15 getting paid RT's be deployed in other department to provide services or temporarily retrench until a Radiation Oncologists comes?

Why waste money on 15 RT's who were trained, want to work, but has no work? And we are saying NDOH has no money to pay Dr Niblett's entitlements?

Cancer patients are quietly dying one by one. And Kase & forner Health Minister Michael Malabag has repeatedly said on newspapers & TV that 3 Radiation Oncologists are coming to replace Dr Niblett?? Where are they??

While the nation mourns the passing of this great man one year ago, I am greatly ashamed on why my government has done that to Dr Niblett and leaving cancer patients to die while waiting for specialists to treat them.

We live in a country where the corrupt gets knighted and the patriots die in silence.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

UNNECESSARY BASHING OF THE PAPUA NEW GUINEA MEDIA



BY RODERICK KANAMA
I am not privy to what transpired between the National Reporter in Madang and Hon. Bryan Krammer. What I know is what I’ve read from Hon. Bryan Krammer’s post on FB, and this is not much, except to say that I find the whole thing misguided.
Many of you on FB know I am quite vocal on issues of corruption and that I stand with Hon. Gary Juffa, MP, as Governor of Oro Province and as Leader of Peoples Movement for Change Party. What many of you don’t know is that I am also the Executive Officer for PNG Media Workers Association. This is a non-paid position which I have held since 2010. Thus I am placed in a somewhat privileged position to offer commentary on this issue. The mandate of PNGMWA is to serve the interest of those employed in media and media related vocations and the Association will release a press statement in this regard. However, this commentary I make is from a personal perspective.
I have, for a long time, well before Hon. Bryan Krammer became an MP, argued that media must be free of corruption. My view has never changed. You see, media is first and foremost, a public service performed, for reasons of efficiency, by the private sector. Now I can argue efficiency in many different perspectives including propaganda. Is propaganda corruption? In my opinion, it is if inducements are accepted which prompts proper reporting protocols to be deliberately ignored. This is part of the reason the Media Code of Ethics exists and is administered by the Media Council of PNG. Unfortunately, neither MCPNG nor PNGMWA have legislated powers to hold media personnel and entities to be accountable in this regard. Instead we rely on media personnel and entities to hold themselves out to high standards of integrity as may be demanded by their customers and clients.
Should privately owned commercial media entities promote propaganda? It is not proper and neither PNGMWA nor MCPNG condone it. But it is not against the law unless it encroaches on or invades privacy in which case it is a violation of a private right. That being the case, is it proper to make a public call for boycott on purchasing the daily newspapers? It may seem as not being illegal but my gut feeling is that if the matter goes to Court, the Court will rule in favour of the media entities and purely because as I said, there has been nothing to suggest that there was impropriety by the reporter or the newspaper, at least none that I’m aware of from the post by Hon. Bryan Krammer. If there is, then the Court will rely on that.
Having said that, I’m mindful of the manner in which DSIP/PSIP funds are applied. Although there is a guideline for the application of this grant, there is more or less a roving commission which allows application of funds on activities that are incidental to the core activity or project. this is a very important qualification when it comes to the attack on media as a whole. The feature article that the National Newspaper Reporter is said to have written comes to the fore here. Is there anything that was captured in that article factually incorrect? If there is, did she know it to be factually incorrect at the time the article went to paper? Did that piece of information afflict any stakeholder or party or even the provision of basic service in any way, shape or form? The burden of proof rests in this instance with Hon. Bryan Krammer and I have to say nothing I have read warrants a public call for a ban on purchasing the dailies.
My personal position is that if there is clear-cut evidence of misdemeanor, report the matter and have that person prosecuted. Merely grandstanding on social media and throwing mud on someone is sad because that person has commitments that are taken care of through their job with with the media, in this case with the daily newspapers.
My read of this whole situation is whether public funds should have been used to pay for a feature article on the newspaper. The Reporter did write the feature article and paid accordingly. But should she have been paid from public funds? If you zone in on the real issue, the persons to be questioning would be the former MP for Madang and his administration. If it is however a case of misreporting than of course the Reporter should be made to retract.
We cannot have everything our way. Now we are attacking the dailies for misreporting stories that affect us. We are forgetting that they own the paper and can decide what to report and what not to report. We alienate the media and when what we want reported is not reported, what do we do then? Do we attack the media again? Our fight must be for the right thing to be done.
I don’t see how the sale of papers would be seriously affected from this public call. Papers make bulk of their revenue from advertising. Besides, people buy papers for various reasons so they will continue to buy the papers. But based on what I have stated above, I do not think there is anything that warrants the bashing of the daily papers.
Just my thoughts

Monday, 25 June 2018

LAWLESSNESS THREATENS PEACEFUL MADANG



In just within 48 hours, Madang town would have witnessed another outbreak of violence among settlers and residents of the Newtown suburb. 

The son of a policeman who was alleged to have burnt houses of settlers at Balasiko junction was hospitalized with knife wounds after he assaulted an elderly woman from the settlement.

Police were called in on Sunday afternoon and quelled the situation from escalating. Early Monday morning the settlers were organizing a protest to the Jomba police station when Lae based Mobile Squad 13 were called in again to stop them.

At around the same time, another group of protesters who were allegedly threatened by the son of a Madang politician were also getting ready to show their frustration.

Lae based MS13 police later apprehended the suspect who was in possession of an unlicensed firearm and charged him with three counts under the Firearms Act and five counts of Summary Offences. 

The suspect assaulted and threatened the Madang Public Safety Police officers on the eve of Monday.

Sources on ground says Madang residents have lost respect and trust on their local police police officers and have depended heavily on MS13 to attend to their problems.

Madang's law and order problem has been escalating over the last five years. Petty crimes and home-brew production and consumption have been the main causes of violence.

While Papua New Guinea's security forces have been deployed only to the Highlands region, police manpower and presence is lacking in other centres in the country.

Madang needs a permanent mobile squad base and proper housing and police station facilities with additional manpower to counter the growing number of lawlessness in the township.

The threatening of police officers by civilians with unlicensed factory made guns leaves a lot to be questioned about the safety of the residents and the business community in Madang. Police manpower from Lae have been frequently called in to assist when violence strikes the township.

It's high time now the Police Minister and the Commissioner of police look at proactive measures to prevent lawlessness other than reacting to situations.

Political heads of Madang have to come together and counter-fund police operations in the township to ensure safety of the people of Madang is paramount in-order to attract good investment and growth of the province.

Lae Based MS13 members speaking to disgruntled members of the public stopping them from marching into town after they were threatened by the son of a Madang politician

Female Journalist to Sue MP For Defamation As PNG Opposition Declares War on Print Media





A female journalist in Papua New Guinea’s Madang Province wants to sue local MP Bryan Kramer for alleged defamation that she was paid by a former Member of Parliament using district funds.
On June 2nd 2018, Mr Kramer told a media conference that he discovered that District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) funds for Madang District were used to pay a certain female journalist in Madang.
Mr Kramer claimed that stories written by the female journalist were extremely biased and was questioned by the MP but she refused to respond.
“I have her on record previously saying that she never did but now since occupying office I’ve gone through the accounts and found out that payments were made to journalists”, says Kramer.

Communications Minister Sam Basil in response defended journalists.

“No one should be critical of journalists and their news media organisations for use of taxpayers’ money to bring out news on events and the plights of Papua New Guinea in remote rural areas of our country,” says Minister Basil.

“We all also need to understand those journalists are themselves taxpayers and so are their employers – news media organisations. They are also reporting on and for PNG citizens and constituents for the public and leaders to be aware.”

Kramer then responded in an article accusing journalists of writing misleading and biased reports.

“Wait so Basil is of the view that due to the limited funds available to paid journalists and profit driven news companies, it is acceptable to take the limited funds for the people (causing shortage of medical supplies, shortage of TFF funds) and give it to journalists who can write up misleading and bias reports about Members of Parliament and Ministers who paid them?

The National newspaper’s Madang correspondent Dorothy Mark wrote on her Facebook wall clarifying the attack by Kramer on her saying Kramer was infuriated by a story she wrote on septic issues at the Madang District office.

“My good friends and fellow journos, the past few weeks I have been heavily criticised by my Open MP, Bryan Kramer simply for doing a story of the Madang district office eviction of officers because of a septic problem.
After reading that story Kramer personally texted me and along that he accused me for getting paid by former MP Nixon Duban for doing his media.
Instead of addressing the district office septic problem he attacked me for getting paid by Duban.
I would say that is a very cheap revenge for a national MP like Kramer and huge damage done to tarnish my profession and made me look bad.
He wants to sue me for benefiting from DSIP. I AM NOT SCARED ONE BIT!!! I am looking forward to it.
INFACT I AM WELL PREPARED TO SUE KRAMER FOR DEFAMATION IN A HUMAN RIGHTS COURT.
I am in the process of seeking legal advice before doing that.
I sincerely apologise to my fellow journalists for tarnishing our career as claimed by Kramer. In time you will see the truth.
May I also remind you all that you can publish stories against your fellow colleagues but remember no one is a saint on earth. Check your reporters' hands if there are no dirts before you scribe.
Likewise confirm allegations and understand the nature around the allegations before publishing or else you'll get your news organisations into trouble.”

In the recent weeks Kramer has raised serious allegations against journalists and media organisations in the country.

On Sunday June 24th 2018 Kramer published a statement containing the text conversations between him and the female reporter.

He also called on citizens to stop buying the two daily newspapers in PNG accusing them of promoting corruption by publishing fake Govt news and ignoring articles on high-level corruption.

Using the power and influence of the people we need to fight corruption by not buying both the National and Post Courier that in my view promote corruption by publishing fake Govt news and ignoring articles on high-level corruption. Fake news that is intended to mislead the public of the real state of the economy and failures of a corrupt O'Neill Government.

It is beyond a question of doubt the articles published in both National and Post Courier are clearly biased, written by reporters who have a close personal association to Members of Parliament or their staff.

I am tired of corruption and I'm tired of the media who have lost their journalist integrity. With exception to a few self-respecting journalists, it appears in PNG we have a free media, free to be compromised so no need to threaten them.

I'm tired of them not asking the questions that need to be asked or at least confirming the reports by the O'Neill Government are in fact false.

Newspapers rely on company advertising so until they clean up their act I'm asking for your help to hold them to account by not buying the paper for three weeks and encourage your family and friends to do the same.

Further still if the company you work for advertises in either paper then tell them to pull their advising or at the least put the paper on notice that their misleading reports will lose them business.

80% of our people living in remote and rural parts of PNG are feeling the pain of corruption - so let’s help the media organisations feel the same pain in their bottom line.
If you are a Pastor/Father or a member of a Church or fellowship group tell your members not to buy newspapers.

I intend to take this issue on the street - it's a war they won't win and can't afford to lose. My advice to the management of both papers is start cleaning up your act before the people clean up your business.”



Tuesday, 15 May 2018

FAILED NSL MANAGEMENT KILLING SOCCER IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA



At the start of this month, NSL released a statement clarifying the 12 washout games in season 2018. It was a very shallow reasoning which prompted me to further query their response and it is now the second week and no response yet.

The PNGFA Secretary General Dimirit Mileng has acknowledged these questions and forwarded to the NSL competition manager to respond.

The last response I got from NSL in season 2018, took them a month to respond. So where is the logic.

Our readers, the public and even franchise owners want to know the truth about the NSL and its management so if  NSL is not going to talk to us then why do we keep on running their game stories? It seems we are becoming  a laughing stock.

The NSL needs to respond to questions as below before we can go on running their stories.

- What stringent measures is taken by the NSL to avoid such a huge number of washout games in the future?

- What stringent measure are being taken by the NSL against the failed cubs?

- Is the 14 weekends of the 14 rounds competition not enough time for the  club managements to meet their obligations?

- How much in total payments does the clubs owe the NSL to date?

- How much per club is owed to the NSL?

- What specific financial obligations have the failed clubs not met. Is it registration fees..etc?

- Was there a due date for the failed clubs to meet their responsibilities?

- When was the due date to meet these administrative responsibilities regarding financial obligations?

- Can NSL confirm that yes despite the failed clubs not meeting their administrative responsibilities regarding financial obligations, the NSL continued to entertain them for the duration of the season?

- In other words, shouldn’t the NSL management as well be blamed for the piling washout games from failing to exercise its command in running the competition?

- The question that needs to be asked is why at the first place allow franchise that cannot sustain stability at the semi professional level?

- It is according to the status of the NSL that a club must be financially equipped enough and is backed by a strong financial backed sponsor to allow them into the semi professional competition. Why is that now that the franchises were allowed at the first place and the games being played. After seeing 12 major washout games, now the NSL board sees fit to call it all a forfeit matches?

- I believe in the history of football in either a semi or professional competition, there has never been a significant washout matches?

Something is not right here?

- Does that mean that NSL will not have any prizes for the end of the season awards? If so, how much prize money will be on offer? The golden boat award winner and so and so fort..people want to know about this.

- Is administrative failures by respective franchise managements regarding their financial obligations valid reasoning?

- Is the 12 games washouts a record for the NSL?

- Is it acceptable that the NSL which is the premier soccer league in PNG can entertain washout games of such magnitude?

Over to you NSL Management