Is PNG ready for the influx of Asians and Indians? Can O'Neill close the loophole?
By CHRISTOPHER PAPIALI
The World War I began as a result of imperial powers wanting to claim new territories all over the world. Colonization brought civilization into many countries around the world and even now we are tempted to argue that colonization in most countries are gone. This statement is not true because we are living in the period of neo-colonization.
Neo-colonization began when we accepted foreign countries’ systems of political administration, commerce and trade. PNG is in the period of this political revolution and international propaganda.
PNG imports goods and equipment and conducts international treaties and by doing that PNG absorbs foreign ideologies and personnel. Therefore, where there are foreign goods entering PNG, there are foreigners accompanying them.
And PNG faces the daunting challenges of dealing with foreigners because our political history, our economy and national intelligence is new and we cannot exactly tell or identify the prospects of solving these evolving cycles of people movement as is also the same in other countries.
Should PNG remain naïve and turn away from the foreign dominance into our economy and politics? Should PNG remain faithful to its big brothers and embark on maintaining its loyalty culture so much embedded on ‘I do that for you, you do that for me too’.
In a nation filled with ever increasing lawlessness, crime and deteriorating basic services, our big brothers are taking advantage of our complacency, our inability to put fence around our garden.
Our big brothers include Australia, New Zealand, China, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, India, Sri Langa, Taiwan, South Korea and USA.
To our dismay, Mongoloid race (Asians and Indians) are forever scrambling for colonial wealth which they perceive PNG as a signpost on the crossroads. Our natural resources are our national treasure, our agriculture is our backbone that separates us from the others, and our cultural and linguistic diversity truly puts us right on top.
Papua New Guineans, seemingly do not read as often like other people in the Western world do and to this regard only few travel outside of the country. Therefore, for the majority, how could we understand transnational crime - deeply rooted people smuggling network? These are very serious issues for other countries like Australia and United States too.
Some years ago, PNG signed economic treaties with China, India and other Asian countries under the Look North Policy banner, a policy that has gained wide public criticism inside and outside PNG.
Successive governments unconsciously put signatures on those treaties hoping to develop PNG but economic agreements come with stringent conditions and our bureaucrats and political leaders failed to understand the repercussions. We are reaping the harvest from what we sow.
One very important concept we have forgotten is the mafia elements or the syndicates originated in the gambling and bootleg liquor dens. They control gambling clubs and drug cartels. One particular country known for this is India. India is a major transit point for heroin coming from the Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent to Europe.
Meanwhile, China is known for triads. Triad refers to the many branches of Chinese criminal organizations based in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Macau, Taiwan and also in countries with significant Chinese populations, such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, United States, Canada, Australia, UK and New Zealand.
Triads engage in a variety of crimes from extortion and money laundering to trafficking and prostitution. They also involve in smuggling and counterfeiting goods such as video, software and tangible goods like clothes, watches and money.
The development trend in PNG is none other than the imposition of Asian triads as we can witness in major night clubs and fast food outlets in Port Moresby.
Our peoples’ choice on clothes, food and other consumables are influenced by Asians as shopping centres like Vision City, Tango, Waterfront Food world, etc.., become the regular places visited by Papua New Guineas every day and night.
What are the hard choices that this government can make? These choices cannot be manipulated by other big brother Australia because certain Australians are now beginning to see our weak spots and some of them come under the pretext of working for another company but in no time establish network with those in authorities and tighten up where their fall back will be.
When we unselfishly talk about controlling the influx of foreigners, are not we mean what we are saying? Political decisions made based on had-hoc basis ferociously precipitates attainable results beneficial for all Papua New Guineans.
The O’Neill government and even the future governments need to be fully aware that national interest become the primary focus and continue to safeguard the sovereignty and in doing so will weaken foreign intrusion, produce a profile of very prolific writers, thinkers, visionaries who will reshape and create a good lovable country.
As we prepare for the Independence celebrations, the O’Neill government should avoid talking too much on LNG and economic prospects. A word of advice would be to revisit our founding father’s dream of what they thought about this great country. They thought about safety and protection of the population. What we need is to do one job at a time and align our aspirations into one direction that indicated glory and prosperity. And from this standpoint the birthrights which have been stolen by foreigners will suddenly be returned.