Tuesday, 28 May 2019
For over a month, I've been closely following one of Papua New Guinea's vibrant and young political leader in James Marape.
After 7 years of serving as a minister under Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's cabinet, Marape calls it quit on April 11th 2019.
His resignation as PNG's Finance Minister came as a surprise for many of his supporters. He fragmented the ruling Peoples National Congress (PNC) party and lured a good number of government MP's and ministers to the Opposition.
Papua New Guineans were anticipating a Vote of No Confidence in PM O'Neill and Marape's defection gave hope for a new government comprising young and vibrant leaders.
He was nominated as the Opposition's choice for alternate Prime Minister and later joined the oldest political party in PNG - PANGU Pati.
After a week, he resigned as the alternate PM nominee and invited MPs and political party leaders from the government to join opposition.
He was selfless in his decisions and made sure a change in the country's political leadership is imminent.
Marape was charismatic and his humility attracted more MPs to cross over.
His words following today's parliament session speaks alot about a young vibrant leader who has alot to offer for this great nation.
"Today was eventful, may I thank the original 24 at Laguna plus 4 others who joined later to have cast your trust on me, in a democratic process I requested at Laguna for the alternate PM , I collected 28 of the 67 leaders vote on offer.
I may not gain the nomination for PM now but I gain 28 great PNG leader men as my compatriots for the cause of truly making PNG the “richest black Christian nation” on earth. Together we will work our share for PNG into the future.
I will loose no sleep if I ever don’t be PM in my life but I want a government that put’s national interest ahead of personal and corporate interest, a government that respects landowners, all 89 districts, all 22provinces and builds our local business women and men and collect greater wealth from our resources and distributes to all corners of PNG.
To my supporters and both virtual and actual friends, my family and people of Hela , we owe it to the supporters and families of 28 other leaders who stood with me. Thankyou all for your never ending faith in the cause you requested me to take for our country.
It has never been about me but us here in Laguna, I never stepped down as FM on 11/4/2019 to be PM and I am frankly happy that I am not the PM nominee.
May a better road for PNG be found in our deliberations hence forth and I look forward to freely contributing better policies for the country , especially in areas of resource laws I feel is relevant to prop up our economy!
To the younger generation, let no older men tell you, you can’t do any thing or fight for your rights, I just showed that it can be done, you can lose a battle in between but get up, so you don’t lose the war."
Sunday, 26 May 2019
Deputy Opposition Leader, and Shadow Inter-government and Bougainville
Relations Minister, the Member for South Bougainville Honourable Timothy Masiu says the people of Bougainville are closely watching developments relating to the purported appointment of Sir Julius Chan as Prime Minister by Peter O’Neill.
“With all due respect to Sir Julius as a founding father of this nation, the Sandline Affair, a defining moment in the history of Papua New Guinea, which resulted in his resignation as Prime Minister has not yet been forgotten by not just the people of Bougainville, but also the many Papua New Guineans that took the streets to protest against the involvement of foreign mercenaries in ending the Bougainville crisis.”
The team leading the country at the time also included the former
Deputy Prime Minister, and current Governor of Gulf Honourable Chris
“For those of you who may have forgotten the details, or who may have been too young to remember, or who may have a more watered down recollection, let me remind you on behalf of the people of Bougainville of the events of March 1997.”
After failed attempts to both negotiate a peace deal and also defeat the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, the Chan-Haivetta Government turned to Sandline International, a company led by a retired Scots Guards Lieutenant Colonel Tim Spicer, as both Australia and New Zealand had refused to assist.
Sandline specialised in providing arms,
equipment, and contractors to participate in conflicts. At the heart
of the conflict was control over CRA’s Panguna Mine.
When the Sandline Affair was leaked in the Australian media by the Australian Newspaper there was a public uproar. The news quickly broke in PNG.
PNGDF soldiers were approached by members of a local NGO called Melanesian Solidarity who wanted to consolidate a military and civil society protest against the Chan-Haivetta decision to engage Sandline.
Chan was forced to resign as Prime Minister after operation “Rausim
Kwick” which was planned by the then Commander of the PNG Defence Force Jerry Singirok and commanded by Major Walter Enuma, and began
on the evening of the 16th of March 1997.
In twenty-four hours they
had arrested and disarmed the mercenaries.
On the 17th of March Singirok gave Chan, Haivetta and Defence Minister Mathias Ijape 48 hours to resign. Chan responded by refusing to resign and instead sacked Singirok.
The NGO’s began nation wide strikes in support of General Singirok. Singirok accepted his termination and urged the
rank and file to support his replacement. He denied that he had sought to take power in any sort of Coup.
During this period the Governor General, Sir Wiwa Korowi took out a
full page ad accusing the Government of widespread corruption.
Protests continued to grow, and despite the potential for Defence /
Police clashes, the army observed great discipline under the watchful
eye of Major Enuma.
Chan was forced to cancel the Sandline deal and announce an inquiry –
Singirok and Enuma had achieved their most important goal, however
they continued to demand Chan, Haivetta, and Ijapes resignations.
On the 21st of March all Sandline personnel were withdrawn from PNG. Only Tim Spicer remained to give evidence.
After immense public pressure Chan sacked both Haivetta and Ijape and resigned himself on the 26th
The following year a peace deal was negotiated in Bougainville.
“Too often here in PNG we suffer from a short memory in relation to issues of national significance such as this.
I urge those members of Parliament who continue to support the O’Neill regime camped at the Crown Hotel to think carefully and follow your conscience before any vote takes place on the floor of Parliament.
Only on the floor of Parliament can a Prime Minister be selected.
In a race to secure access to a commodity, copper, during the Sandline Affair the leaders of the day, Chan and Haivetta were willing to sacrifice the safety and security of the innocent men, women and children of Bougainville and the integrity of processes of government and state institutions.
This is not the type of leadership Papua New Guinea needs today as our
natural resources have grown ten fold.
We must think of our people in
Hela, Southern Highlands, Western Province, Gulf, Central, Enga, Madang, Morobe, New Ireland and now Sepik.
Our people need leadership
that will protect their interests with a collective approach towards managing national assets in the national interest.”
HON TIMOTHY MASIU MP
Deputy Opposition Leader & Member for South Bougainville
Monday, 20 May 2019
I write this with much respect for a good friend and political leader whom I have looked upon and believed in to be the saviour for modern day politics in Papua New Guinea.
I have known Sam Basil as a very hardworking and down to earth politician who walked the lenght and breadth of Bulolo and its neighbouring districts.
Mr Basil was a no nonsense leader, he was widely adored and respected by his people. He was a champion and was PNG's favorite son fighting corruption from the Opposition for more than 9 years.
I got convictions and inspirations from Mr Basil to declare 'friends to all and enemy to one corrupted Peter O'Neill' up till now.
Basil has sacrificed Bulolo and his people from the Opposition for 9years to fight against PMPO.
Regardless of where he stands, Basil was wholeheartedly returned to parliament by a massive 20,000 votes margin to his next rival. He will make it again in 2022, but his party members will be facing a stiff challenge.
In the last two months, my once trusted corruption fighter and political hero has put on a new skin. He has been imseperable from the person he campaigned against during the 2017 National General Elections.
He was shifted from the Communications ministry to Finance prior to the May 7th parliament session and now being moved to National Planning in light of a possible Vote of No Confidence (VONC) against PM O'Neill.
Basil when he was the Communications minister decided for the registration of SIM cards to be carried out leading up the 2018 APEC Summit for security reasons. The SIM registration process failed miserably and the deadline was extended until now they are still registering.
Fake people are still operating on social media, scams and cybercrimes are still ongoing and people still have access to multipla SIM cards.
Theres is no control of Facebook and other social media sites. Fake news have taken over social media platforms by storm.
So basically, Mr Basil and his team's effort to end cyberbullying and cybercrime and to control the use of social media by urging users to register their SIM cards did not work out.
In light of the VONC, Basil was appointed as Finance Minister by O'Neill in a bid to keep Basil and his former PANGU Pati team. He only held that ministry for two weeks.
Now Basil is being moved to National Planning and Monitoring Ministry. Why cant the government give him a steady ministry to take charge of? Isn't PMPO not trusting him?
I haven't seen another political leader and government minister being widely criticised apart from the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. Sam Basil has truly withstand all criticisms and has grown thick skin through and through over the last two years.
Today, I know Basil is reading this post and he himself knows the struggle we've been through from the Opposition side to oust Peter O'Neill.
Sam, you know your conscience is right. You cannot continue to sit next to O'Neill and get criticised. You have to stand up and keep your word.
Sunday, 19 May 2019
CENTRAL Province Governor Robert Agarobe says his people have been cheated and lied upon by the government with no tangible benefits towards improving the livelihood of people in rural communities.
“We (Central) completely lost the right to have an identity as a province,” says Governor Agarobe when speaking at a rally hosted by Koiari leaders at Lake Sirinumu on Sunday.
“We lost our ancient fishing and hunting grounds for white men to alter the flow of Laloki River to generate electricity and water supply for Port Moresby city. We have lost almost 90 per cent of land through urbanisation in Port Moresby for national interest as well as interests for corrupt individuals.”
Governor Agarobe also pointed out that Central’s land boundaries with the National Capital District have been constantly changed to facilitate further encroachment in the likes of the Motukea Port and the Konebada Petroleum Park.
“The first LNG pipeline and plant on our land is another big time loss. And yet we are not a party to the terms and conditions of the second and third LNG Projects in the pipeline. We have lost a lot and we will continue to lose if nothing drastic is done to change this trend”
He says the fanfare of the Bautama Central City and the Provincial Hospital are political lies and it’s all about dangling a carrot to master political convenience for other people.
“Since I was elected into Parliament, I used the mandate of you my people of Central province to restore the identity and destiny of the province. I am looking at what kind of change we will bring to the province in twenty to fifty years from now.”
In June 2018 Governor Agarobe presented a petition to Parliament for Port Moresby city to come under Central province so that a fair amount of revenue is given back to the host province.
However, he says the game of sabotaging, denying and suppressing the constitutional mandate of elected leaders is a direct attack on the people that voted them and democracy.
The Opposition MP says Central province has a strategic direction captured in a white paper policy document and alignments and restructures are progressing at this stage.
He further stated that sustainability of the policies and plans in government depends entirely on Political Will.
“For us in Central Province, I find that we will not go anywhere with our grand vision and plans under the current O’Neill government.”
Governor Agarobe also reaffirms his stance with the Alternate Government for the upcoming Vote of No Confidence.
“I moved from Government to the Opposition without fear or favour in the best interest of the people of Central province. I will exercise in full the power of you my people of Central to change the O'Neill Government in the coming VONC.”
Monday, 13 May 2019
The term "fake news" was made famous by US President Donald Trump given the manner in which American Media and political establishment ran stories to undermine his political progress in lead up to his election as President.
The fact is you can't control platforms were information is circulated, attempts to do such undermines the role of democracy and freedom that is enshrined under the constitution of our country.
PM is quoted on "The National page 3 May 14, 2019" saying "we're lived in peace and harmony for thousands of years without social media"
Fact is social media platform like Facebook is recent development around 2004. Our tribal history is very clear, we were warring cannibals preying on our enemy tribes as means to have dominance.
A young person killed in Boroko was a result of undertrained and underresourced police force that continually discharged firearm without any accountability.
He further apologises for delay in tabling the Independent Commission Against Corruption Bill. Be a leader table it Mr. Prime Minister. You had 8 years to listen to the people, why now you feel is the right time to listen to the People Mr. Prime Minister.
If you really wanna listen to people of Papua New Guinea than you will start by having faith in our people. Stop relying on foreign advisors who control your cabinet to court house and in public space.
We know who you are, you are a real neo colonialist preying on our people. It's time for change, we are taking back PNG from your Chinese and Australian friends.
Our democracy is such that allows for checks and balance when needed to correct the flaws found within our system of governance and the manner in which elected officials conduct and carry out their responsibilities.
“Vote of No Confidence” it is a vital tool for above mentioned; Papua New Guinea over years has experienced a significant political stability, almost 8 years in making.
However, translation of political stability into economic, social stability and progress is totally lacking.
The level of public debt has increased; you would think increasing level of investment into impact projects would push growth and translate into revenue flow, it’s not the case local SME’s are dying because of increasing level of foreign business venturing into SME’s.
One cannot differentiate between business structures ownership; so how do we correct these flaws within our system of governance.
The use of GDP growth to measure progress in Papua New Guinea by current regime is flawed in many fronts, firstly growth is not translating to lifting stand of living among our people, and it’s not translating into basics governance benefits reaching our people.
We start by changing the political regime; O’Neill/Able Government has increased foreign loans, increased cost of living, disintegrated law and order into volatile society. Example can be found with disgruntled Police Personnel storming National Parliament over APEC Allowance.
The Executive Arm of our Government, The elected Politician have now turned into Project Managers totally frustrating and dimension levels of administrative governance making it impossible for Governance Benefits to reach the masses.
So what is the future for Papua New Guinea? It’s not Amazing Port Moresby where foreign nationals are contracted to carry out PR stunts when knowing very well the very basics of infrastructure and society is fractured and broken and does not require propaganda mechanism to change the country.
The current regime as done quite well employing neo-colonial consultants to develop PR tools with support of their national spin doctors to continuously capitalize on our illiterate populace.
Stunts like “PNC for PNG” or in other words Prime Minister’s own words “We will look into it” We are working on it” or ongoing blaming the Somare Regime whereby He as part of the regime for almost 10 years. After 8 years the stunts and PR exercise not working.
Papua New Guinean’s must arise to the opportunity presented by our own very system of governance through the vote of no confidence to call for your members to act in the best interest of our future.
We cannot allow continues subjection of our future to decisions made in Canberra, Dubai and Beijing. Our future’s decisions must be made in Waigani Parliament.
It’s time to “Drain Waigani Swamp” Take Back PNG
Thursday, 25 April 2019
It wasn't a surprise that the Issue of Writs for the 2019 Local Level Government was stayed by the Supreme Court. This now means the Issue of Writs will be will be delayed for an indefinite period.
I concur with the reasons stated by the East Sepik Provincial Government on inadequate funding for outstanding councillor allowances. The LLG Elections has been defered since 2018 on reasons of inadequate funding and sitting councillors and Presidents' terms were extended for another six months or so till April 2019.
Do you think most LLG Presidents will retain their seats in the 2019 LLG Elections? The simple answer is NO.
Why? Most councillors, LLG Presidents and Mayors are not happy with the lobbying system. Many of them do not reside in their villages among their people. For example many Morobe PEC members have been seen in and around Lae City for the past five years or more. Most of their commitments have not been fullfilled and their return in 2019 depends entirely on that.
If they go back to contest the ward councilor elections, obviously they wont make it.
So whose interest are they serving by taking a court injunction to stop the Issue of Writs? It is their democratic rights as political leaders and citizens to take legal actions against what they feel is unconstiutional. However, delaying the elections wont do any better for our rural folks back home.
Both the National Government and the PNG Electoral Commission are to be jointly blamed for postponing the LLG Elections. It is unconstitutional for a politician to hold office after his/her time expires and for elections conducted outside of the gazetted election dates is a diagrace for those incharge of conducting the elections.
The 2018 APEC Meeting in Port Moresby was used as an excuse for defering the LLG Elections. The National Government obviously did 'paper funding' allocations for the elections with non of the required funding being disbursed to the PNGEC.
The Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs was burdened with the task of sorting out outstanding allowances for councillors. Most councillors and LLG Presidents contesting this election will have to dig deep to win the council seat and lobby for the LLG seat.
While the Supreme Court decision now puts an indefinite delay to the LLG Elections, its high time that the PNGEC and National Government act swiftly to ensure our democratic rights to elections are executed fairly and peacefully.
Picture courtesy of https://garamut.wordpress.com