Thursday, August 30, 2012

PAIAS WINGTI: CAN HE BE SEEN AS A POWER BROKER OR THE OPPOSITE?

By CHRISTOPHER PAPIALI

In the early 1980s and late 1990s, Hon. Paias Wingti was revered as the best and adorable leader in the Highlands region. His face resembled hope and his voice gave comfort to pounding hearts. He has now entered parliament again. He has not made any straight shooting messages for the people of the Highlands region and his WHP.

What inspired me most was his sitting arrangement, this time sitting side by side with Sir J, Sir Michale Somare and Hon. Peter O'Neill during the preliminary formation of the current government.

He was seeing courting Hon. Peter Ipatas on the floor of parliament when they signed and declared oath as MPs of the 9th PNG Parliament Opening. Both of these highlands leaders did not make any joint statements and neither of them wanted to speak one for the other.

If Paias Wingti is very quiet and continues to do things without much publicity then his aim to become a remarkable and strong character in the Highlands could be seen as introvert and therefore can not command authoritative figure in this futile, harsh and competitive environment.

Many people seem to shy away and those who have lived during his political life view this adorable leader as platinum multimillionaire. Whatever the story may be, Paias does not want to declare himself as some of our arrogant and toffy nosed leaders do.

The message is clear. He has not openly declared himself of his fortunes and investments like others do. He is resilient and seldom does he boasts of his standing as an rich iconic leader in Asia Pacific.

The people of WHP have voted him and Tom Olga is seen to be accepting his defeat because I have not heard lately of any complaint filed at the Court of Disputed Returns.

One thing is clear and that is the people of WHP, the province that boasts the robust economic nerve centre of the highlands region, seem to see politics as means to muscling the lineal and family business ventures and for this reason the Western Highlanders are sometimes described as another Chinese of Papua New Guinea.

With the spirit of wealth accumulation and lineal supremacy, the people of WHP can not be left at the backyard when it comes to making political decisions of PNG. The people together with their Governor have something in common. This very peculiar resounding unity seem to have surfaced in this term of parliament.

What has surfaced now after years of remaining as a watchdog is the remaking of the image of Hon. Paias Wingti. The image of this leader has to be the making of the people of Western Highlands Province themselves. They safeguard their Governor, (as it seems) and none of them openly discuss anything on Paias Wingti. As it turns out to be the stories surrounding Paias Wingti seem to come from others and not from his inner circle of friends.

With Paias, the people of Western Highlands Province see great prosperity in their province. Sharing WHP, is SHP, Enga, and Simbu. The Enga Governor seem to have moved away from the notion on wealth creation including two of his counter parts from SHP and Simbu. For SHP, the new inexperienced governor can not wear the shoe of Paias and Ipatas. Hon. William Powi has to sort out the political in-differences crippling the growth and development of SHP. And same can be said of the new Simbu Governor.

Having said this, what is important for us to learn from the people of WHP is the belief they have in prosperity. They endure hardships to maximize their returns.

We are then beginning to formulate all kinds of ideologies surrounding the return of Hon. Paias Wingti. One can go on expounding on those ideologies but for sure we do not want to be confused by those ideologies that can be self imposed, accepted at face value, or from any hearsay.

The most intriguing nature of Paias, remaining quiet and avoiding all those media hype goes back to himself and no body else. He has now chosen to remain so calm, so quiet and only he, himself can liberate his self-consciousness. He owes his leadership to the people of WHP.

The life and duration of the O'Neill government can not be visibly stated as being controlled from the engine room, which can be falsely stated as Paias sitting side by side with Hon. Peter O'Neill, Sir Michael Somare and Sir Julius Chan in that engine room.