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
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
I grew up in the 90's listening to NBC Radio which was informative and always reaching out to the mass population of Papua New Guinea who can afford a transmitter radio.
From entertaining stringband tunes, toksave segments and nationwide news coverage to the ever popular school broadcasts in classrooms, NBC has been the real voice of the nation.
It contributed immensely to the nation's independence, growth and development and stood steadfastly to promote good governance and transperancy in development issues the country faces.
For more than forty-years it has been the most effective communication medium for most ordinary citizens who benefited from its nationwide coverage.
I was a young kid back then and grew up inspired to take up a job in radio broadcasting particularly with NBC.
Radio Morobe was the ultimate choice for listeners all over the province. It brodcasted in medium, shortwave and FM frequencies and reached even the rural and isolated regions in Morobe and neigbouring provinces.
Radio Morobe studio building was constructed and opened in October 1971 and since then its pioneer broadcasters have all aged with time into the 21st century.
The Morobe Provincial Government had neglected its upgrading and funding in the last 10years or more and since then it has crumbled and condemned in October 2018.
I joined NBC in 2015 and worked among a new crop of officers and a few oldies up till now.
These are some of the notable areas the MPG has failed to assist NBC Morobe, despite provincial governments being given the task to upkeep NBC radio services to be operational.
- little or no funding annually for the station operations
- a tranmission tower built for NBC Morobe being taken back and managed by MPA. It is making millions for the MPA with nothing from its revenue given to NBC Morobe
- general maintenance and or replacement of studio utilities
- NBC reception towers not functioning, thus transmission is NOT reaching the wider population in rural remote areas
- district authorities NOT realising the power of communication to their people and funding its reach in their electorates
- politicians and aspiring politicians making empty promises and using the radio to promote their agendas and gone into hiding when elected
- now the radio station structure has been condemned by authorities as unsafe NBC Morobe is no longer broadcasting
- last but not the least, NBC Morobe management and staff are now being locked out of their temporary studio over non-payment of bills. The landlord is the MPG through its business arm Morobe Sustainable Development Ltd.
It has been almost 6 months since the NBC Morobe building was condemned by PNG Power as unsafe, nothing concrete has been done to rebuilt it despite political promises.
NBC Morobe has been off-air for about 3 months now and staff are still on payroll without being physically at work. The same problem is being faced by majority of NBC Radio stations nationwide.
Our people have been denied their freedom to be informed on their government's performance. Health, Education and disaster awarenesses are not reaching the people.
Land and resource owners are being denied their freedom of expression. The people can longer send toksaves to their loved ones, but are forced to pay for and use expensive yet poor telecommunication methods to send messages.
The high cost of risky sea travel and road trips on deteoriorating roads have cost so many lives, yet our government keeps promising the people that they will fix NBC services.
NBC Radio services in Morobe have been going on and off. One cannot pick up its signal out of Lae City.
Multi-Million kina resource extracting projects are sprouting all over Morobe and yet our people are NOT informed on the positive and negative impacts to their land, sea and rivers.
I hope our new Communication Minister Koni Iguan can fix this from the ministerial level. Minister Iguan's Markham electorate cannot even receive NBC signal and its worser than you think Markham valley itself is an important econonic hub of this country.
Photo Source: Post Courier Online
Monday, 8 April 2019
In April 2018 PNG Institute of Engineers President Brian Alois who is the Regional Works Manager - Momase was suspended by the Works Department.
This month marks a year after Mr Alois' revelations at a summit in Lae in 2018.
His suspension by DoW Secretary David Wereh and Minister Michael Nali was deemed suspicious as the reason being his outburst on the National Government's spending on lucrative contracts.
Papua New Guinea National Research Institute Director Paul Barker described Brian Alois as one of PNG's professionals of integrity, of whom the country should be proud. Speaking as President of the Engineers' professional body, he was addressing the recent National Planning Consultative Summit and highlighting how the PNG Government is paying well in excess of what it should for road construction and maintenance projects.
"This is consistent with other independent reports that highlight that PNG invariably pays on the basis of precedent (and deficient tendering processes) from previous inflating contracts prices, rather than the genuine cost plus a reasonable markup."
Brian Alois mentioned the recent 1/3 km road in NCD which cost some K80 million ( a pretty extraordinary blow out in costs from, say a K40 million EU contract in 1996 to Downers for upgrading and sealing almost the entire length of the Madang Highway to Waterais!)
"So, for helping PNG raise its standards, save its population tens of millions and better ensuring a sustainable infrastructure, not just in downtown NCD, and exposing wrongdoing/malpractice, for which he should be a national hero, it seems the Works Dept has, instead, chosen to suspend him. This sends a pretty strange message," says Barker.
PNG's first female engineer Finkewe Zurenuoc says;
"Brian Alois has done more audits on road infrastructures in PNG than anyone else in DOW, he knows what he is talking about. Let the truth be told. The truth does hurt."
"The IEPNG is supporting our President Brian Alois. He spoke on our behalf."
SO WHOSE INTEREST IS DOW SERVING BY SUSPENDING BRIAN ALOIS
Brian Alois spoke the truth during his presentation in-front of Works Secretary David Wereh and other Government Ministers and Departmental Heads. His presentation was straight forward and was clear enough for anyone to understand.
I remember Brian also did a presentation in 2014 during an engineers conference in Lae. He did a cost analysis on the Lae roads. His explanation was pretty simple and was directed as challenges to engineers.
One year on and Brian Alois still remains suspended.