Puppets and Puppeteers
When the NA govt amended certain Acts, it disgusted me, raised suspicion and further inflated my contempt for the NA govt...and the GC.
But I'm Melanesian who has to justify a lack of respect for my elders. Otherwise my reverence either way has no meaning. Respect for elders is natural and perpetual in our Melanesian culture. If we are to treat them like common thieves or "corrupt" leaders, our negative perception must be justified.
Then along came "Hammer and Nail" (forgot who gave Namah and ONEIL that nickname). If I had such low respect for the PM's seat with GC in it, these two men, and their saints who "shall not be moved", stretched my contempt for government to an all-time low. And it was worse for them as persons. (My confidence had in fact been restored briefly when Sam Abal carried himself professionally, humbly and with dignity.)
I watched the blatant abuse of the Constitution at both its spirit and its letter. I watched the sheer cravings to gain and hold on to power mar good politicians. One puppeteer had the strings snatched from him by another, while he was too sick to hold on to it. The puppets moved and voted accordingly; what strings were used on them we can only speculate.
More rushed Acts were enacted than ever before. Authoritarian laws were born way before the people even knew they were conceived. In the GC puppet show at least we debated and protested. But it was in vain because those acts were passed. In the PO govt we didn't even get the luxury to protest! Until after the fact! The Acts were mostly for POLITICAL EXPEDIENCE, but were gift-wrapped in the "NATIONAL INTEREST". Did I mention the same puppets who passed laws under the GC repealed them again under the ONamah regime?
We watched in horror as the man who helped found this nation was "removed" from Parliament by a speaker-for-hire who had no legal power to do so. And then that GC was called a "stranger in the house" by a man whom PNG had thought showed wisdom beyond his years. Now the GC's "Appointment Committee" have reinstated him with a record landslide victory. Time will tell if their choice is justified.
We watched in horror as our favourite delicacy rice was headed for a monopolized market. To accomplish that the govt assisted an international millionaire fugitive to enter PNG. To compound the People's outrage the outgoing foreign Minister handed that fugitive a PNG citizenship. The minister's people have voted him back. What, so he can sell more citizenships and develop their homes?!
Top lawyers went silent when our Constitution was abused. Some of them even tried to defend those actions by naive & biased interpretations of the law. They even tried to pick on little guys like me whose opinions don't go beyond the Internet and social media. Then they joined the Party and tried to get elected into the Haus.
PNG saw a new style of politics. One that saw the emergence of "straight-shooting". So much straight shooting Involved misfires and blank-shots, immature, emotionally-charged childishness, folly-filled words. Bordering on arrogance and vanity, and blatant hypocrisy. As money was obnoxiously and illegally thrown around to "fund" campaigns some of us feared that our government had become "purchasable". That fear lingers...
We didn't have the best of times under the GC. But ONamah gave us arguably one of the worst of times. My contempt for the GC was negated by my contempt for the new guys who only stopped short of bloodshed to obtain and retain power. They were contemptuous of the very Document that gave them a glimpse of such an opportunity.
To purchase the people's support and forgetfulness, they were smart enough to give the people two favourite Turkish delights that weren't well thought out. They were prefixed by "free" to appeal to the people's free handout mentality. They set up a special force to show people they'd get rid of corruption. (They just ensured its TORs were not wide enough to come back to haunt them.) These Turkish Delights succeeded big-time.
When it seemed likely that the Supreme Court would speak truthfully for the Constitution, the Chief Custodian of the law was dragged through mud to reduce his credibility. Again. The move succeeded big-time. It made a villain out of a hero who was, up to that point, PNG's only hope for justice: the "Dark Knight". And it made a hero out of a man who, with the illegal support of paid-off police and army officers, defecated on the institution to which he owes his freedom. The "Joker".
Anyway, elections came and the People have partially purged the Haus. They've removed some of the puppets. And some leaders, bound only by strings of timeless principles, have been appointed by the people. Some puppets remain. And puppeteers.
We the people argue back and forth on who's best candidate for puppeteer. But I sure hope we get a LEADER instead. One who attracts the following of men and women with dignity, who need not purchase, extort or blackmail their support.
I hope and pray that PNG's confidence in the Speaker, the PM, the NEC, the Courts, the Police, the army, the GG, the lawyers and most importantly the Constitution, is restored. I don't see puppeteers restoring it. That hope lies in a TRUE LEADER...not a puppeteer.
I find ultimate confidence in that the people's faith in God has not wavered..
God Bless Papua New Guinea.