Thursday, September 20, 2012

Payback culture in the PNG political and bureaucratic system


By CHRISTOPHER PAPIALI

In the name of the political game in Papua New Guinea, what we see is the crucifixion of rival candidates, business opponents, and MPs on opposing sides. It has been a norm and it is becoming a norm despite major political transitions in the life of the national parliament and continuous constitutional amendments.

So we ask: Would this form of payback system stop forever or continue?

After 37 years of uninterrupted lowering of Australian flag, the country has changed a lot and one cannot disrepute this major observation because a lot of our people can affirm this major transition.

What has not changed is the tendency of the payback culture within our political and bureaucratic system.

This week the current government has nailed the former Gaming Board chief, Mr. Simon Sanagke, who was a major rival candidate to Hon. William Duma. The government has extended its muscle and tussled Former Speaker, Hon. Jeffrey Nape, who was a major rival to Hon. Kerenga Kua, whom the latter is the key minister in the current government.

Last week, the new Agriculture Minister, Hon. Tommy Tomscoll, through some lead information attempted to crucify the Board Chairman of National Development Bank, Mr. William Lamur.

The war of words, the sinister moves and motives are deemed to occur without any form of remorse because PNG cultures in various distinct areas are not the same when it comes to tolerance and understanding. There is this hypothesis that if one professed leader or a potential leader is seen as more powerful, then what more would the other rival leader get if he or she remains the same, doing the same thing, and suppressed unceremoniously for the benefit of the other.

Even Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has ill feelings against those handfuls of candidates who challenged him in the 2012 National Elections. Can the Prime Minister destroy Raphael Noipo and Eke Lama, the two prominent businessmen in his electorate?

The crucifixion of one another continues. This trend, in retrospect, we have lost some of the prominent leaders who crossed over the line to speak the truth, voicing the concerns and aspirations of the people. There are many names and to jot down one would be unfair for the other. Could it be that the fear factor is preventing people to come out?

For so long NGOs and civil societies have spoken vehemently about Whistle blowers act to be enforced through enforcement agencies and the legislature. And to our dismay, the parliament has not safeguarded citizens who remain truthful and speak impartial on burning issues.

The welfare of the state and the state being deemed as sovereign is ignored but the race for one leader attacking the other reigns supreme and the country is in shambles.

We forgot to learn the lessons of most African states because their statehood and sovereignty was fought hard with bloodshed; guerrilla warfare continues at the demise of corruptible government systems.

On this note, the Task Force Sweep team, funded and guided by the Prime Minister to a certain degree has to think otherwise when considering the manner in which such investigations and operations are conducted. This is because the Task Force Sweep team follows the priority list designed by the current government in power.
To bring some respect, fairness and as an epic of morality, could it be that current MPs in the government be crucified too. Could it be that the Task Force Sweep team cross over cold waters and veto the high tide of corruptible activities rampant within the government rank and file?