Maiden speech by leader of opposition, Belden Namah, MP
I rise to present my Maiden Speech to the 9th National Parliament of Papua New Guinea. In doing so, let me again congratulate you, Mr Speaker and all Honourable Members, for your successful elections to Parliament. In particular, I salute our three Honourable female Parliamentarians, for showing other women folk in PNG that when you demonstrate genuine passion for people and exceptional leadership abilities, you will get elected. I look forward to working together with these fine women and all honourable gentlemen, to bring about positive and meaningful changes to the lives of our people, through this Parliament. I also take this rare opportunity to thank most sincerely, my people of Vanimo - Green, for returning me to serve another term in this Parliament.
It is indeed a great privilege, to stand before you and all Honourable Members as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and the Alternative government, to present my maiden speech, as we commence business for this ninth (9th) Parliament.
I rise, in union with my 17 leaders on this side of the House, with a sense of duty and purpose to undertake the essential steps necessary to make sure that our parliamentary democracy works for the benefit of our people and the interests of our country.
It has been suggested that younger leaders need to take a page out of seasoned politicians’ book on the art of leadership. In this respect, this Parliament is privileged and honoured by the presence among us, of three great leaders of our country, who have contributed immensely by laying the foundations of our Nation, and who have one time or another, served as Opposition Leaders. Between the Rt. Honourable Grand Chief Sir Michael SOMARE and the Rt. Honourable Sir Julius CHAN, we are looking at the entire political life cycle of the independent state of Papua New Guinea. They collectively share 78 years of parliamentary experience. Include other colourful leaders, such as the charismatic Governor of the Western Highlands, the Honourable Paias WINGTI; from whom to relish the opportunity to glean insights and lessons of the art of leadership. That is why, Mr Speaker, the current Parliament offers the best opportunity for the younger generation of leaders, to rub off from them valuable experiences and to share the stage with these iconic leaders.
The Opposition is mindful of this unique opportunity and shall endeavour to make sure that we prepare ourselves to learn and absorb traits of astute leadership from these great men that have been refined by time in the game of hard-ball politics and to build on from where they left or if ever they are going to leave.
Let me talk a little about myself, as often, I am misunderstood. I am just a young Leader who is obsessed with a passion and desire to eradicate what I see as unwarranted misery, poverty and suffering among our people, in a country so abundantly wealthy of resources. I move around the fast evolving tiger economies of our Asian neighbours and I worry about Papua New Guinea’s stagnation. I just have this burning desire in me to provide a style of leadership that brings smiles to every PNG faces and happiness to their hearts through transformation of lives. So our people can feel a sense of rejuvenation. I simply care for and I worry about the present and the future of our people and our nation.
Yes, I have done a few things wrong and I have said some things I shouldn’t have. I regret that from the bottom of my heart. I will not be a dictator or a military ruler as some people like to think, but I believe in bold and firm elected leadership.
”SOME PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF CHANGE. I AM AFRAID OF THINGS STAYING THE SAME”
Mr Speaker, this is my motto. I often declare that ‘I STAND FOR CHANGE IN PNG’. I stand together with my brothers on this side of the House to FIX, CHANGE and REFORM Papua New Guinea and all for the betterment of our people and our country. I am not afraid, nor should any Papua NEW Guinean for that matter. My Party and Members on this side of the House want to FIX, CHANGE and REFORM Papua New Guinea for now and for our future. I really would like to see the country latch onto a path of transformation that opens up the doors to the full development potential of our nation. I believe in changes that are evolutionary or revolutionary in nature, and which serve as a spring board for unprecedented and unlimited opportunities for our people so they can realise their full potentials and talents as partners in the development of our nation.
Let’s look around ourselves what do we see? There is a paradox: on the one hand, there is abundant opportunities in a land of plentiful; and on the other, there is poverty at an alarming level. How do we reconcile these two extremes? I believe we need bold and smart leadership to address our national interests and destiny. I see that we have chained ourselves through laws and systems that wholly or partially deny and starve us of our resources and opportunities, and our potential to speedy progress. This begs the question as to why we should be afraid of change! Is it because we lack the boldness and foresight, or is it because we have run out of ideas? Let me remind ourselves, that we are not elected to benefit unfairly from our positions.
We are elected because, from all corners of our country: from the highest tip of Mount William and mountain ranges of Obura-Wonenara, Tari and Bewani to the open plains of the Arona and Markham vallies; from the river deltas of Kikori and the mighty Sepik to the remote plateaus of Oksapmin and Lassul-Baining; from the sandy beaches of Vuvulu and the Trobriand islands to the ‘last posts’ of Buin, Daru and Wutung – the simple voters believe in us to effect positive and transformational change. I challenge the Government and this Parliament that the time is now for a head start to big and smart decisions that enable us as a nation to realize our full growth potential.
THE EVENTS OF AUGUST O2ND 2011 TO JUNE 2012
Perhaps it is needless for me to say that it has been a treacherous and perilous journey for our young democracy over the last 12 months. This period manifested two landmark events in our history: (a) the political impasse that most would like to believe started when we, and that includes my friend Peter O’ Neill, orchestrated a change of government on 2nd August 2011; and (b) the subsequent stand-off between the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary. Added to that was a difficult election process, that was founded on poor logistical preparations and faulty electoral rolls, right across the country. I would like to briefly touch on these issues.
THE POLITICAL IMPASSE
Firstly, the political impasse, the political history of Papua New Guinea did not start on 2nd August 2011. The events which followed that day were predicated on issues and concerns that go back two decades or so. An undeniable fact is that any society goes through an inevitable process of change. Therefore, periodical adjustments to laws and institutions of state must always be treated as matters of priority. A fine example was set by my mentor and Party’s founder, Sir Mekere MORAUTA, when he introduced a set of sweeping changes through political, economic and financial reforms when he served as prime minister from 1999 to 2002. Among them were the change to the electoral system (from first-past-the-post to limited preferential voting), the enactment of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates, the privatization of certain state-owned enterprises, the restructure of Super Funds, the separation of fiscal policy from monetary policy and the list goes on. The reforms epitomized the need for change not necessarily because my party founder was an economist in the classical tradition, but rather because he realized that the country was sliding further into an abyss of despair. The varying challenges that confronted our nation obviously did not end upon these reforms, thus warranted the incoming National Alliance lead government to continue with additional reform measures. Unfortunately, they decided not to and got themselves obsessed with reckless spending of the record wind fall revenues, derived through high mineral and commodity prices and revenue flows triggered by the Morauta reforms.
On hindsight, longevity in office and nuances of parliamentary stability do not automatically translate to quality governance and effective management, unless there is a constant crusade for review and reform. What I am saying in essence, is that the nine years of wasted opportunity and neglect came to the fore on August 2nd 2011, when Members of Parliament emphatically made the statement through their action on this floor, that enough was enough and forced a change of government!
THE STAND-OFF BETWEEN THE LEGISLATURE, EXECUTIVE AND JUDCIARY.
Much has been said also about the stand-off between the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary. I am mindful of the fact, that I have been constantly blamed, as one of the leaders in the last government that was at the forefront of this stand-off. I cannot deny that and I say humbly, that I acted without malice and in the spirit of obligation and duty to my Prime Minister and our then government. Mr Speaker, you will recall that I apologized to His Honour the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia for my part in this situation in the first session of Parliament. On this occasion, I also extend my apologies to other Judges of the National Court and the Supreme Court and to the National and Supreme Court Registrar Mr. Ian Augeria. I apologise likewise, to the staff of the Court and all others who have suffered one way or another. I am now extending my hand in regret and humility to His Honour the Chief Justice, if he may please, to a hand shake our way, the MELANESIAN WAY, at any time. In the same vein, I also extend an apology to the Grand Chief, Rt. Honourable Sir Michael Somare for my part in the events that followed. We must leave the rights and wrongs of those events to be judged by political and legal historians. We need to move on, and I endorse fully the gesture of reconciliation extended to the Judiciary, by withdrawing sedition charges against members of the Judiciary by Prime Minister O’Neill. It is the right thing to do, and I hope that the reconciliatory gesture is reciprocated by the Judiciary, by withdrawing contempt charges against some of us.
It is clear, that the events of the 12 months, was attributed to forces of change that have come to affect the three arms of government, and in turn has affected their own performance. The winds of change have created vacuums and inadequacies in our constitutional system, rendering many of our laws incompatible with the socio-political realities of today.
The parliamentary committee system, with 40-odd committees, has failed to provide any meaningful support to the Parliament, to effectively perform its legislative function. The Parliament’s fundamental role of supervision and control of the Executive arm is seriously eroded and compromised. The Parliament has been reduced to being a rubber stamp to formalise Government business, without the Parliament accorded its fundamental role of independently scrutinizing Government policy and actions. Honourable Members, I encourage you today to be weary of policy and legislation presented in this Parliament that, may be designed to further personal or political interests. We must hold the National Executive Council to account to the people through us, the elected representatives, of this House. We must debate and vote without fear or favour, for the sake of the people and our country. This Parliament is our peoples’ last line of defence.
The Parliament has not only succumbed to institutional decay, but raises the question of whether the single chamber Parliament has resulted in a compromise of the principle of separation of powers between the Legislature and the Executive. The relationships among the three arms of government must be reviewed over the next five years. Better still, the Constitution and its norms must be reviewed, to ensure that it not only remains relevant, but is serving its purpose in this time and age. This brings me to what is a burning issue for me and that is the issue of leadership or the lack of it, in this country.
Leadership in my view is to take a bold stand on any issue. Leaders are bold, firm and decisive, whereas cowards avoid situations that challenge them. Cowards seek approval more than respect. A person’s life is not measured by who he is but what he is. Leaders who do not to take a stand and choose to play safe are the greatest risk to any nation.
We in this Parliament need to urgently look at our roles, in the context of our country’s stagnation from development and transformation.
We as leaders need to look beyond the box and search for creative ideas on how to make our systems work better or to replace and reform with alternative systems. We must now get out of our stagnation. We must go out to the fast developing economies of the world and learn lessons. Mr Speaker, Singapore gained independence in 1965, only 10 years more than us. Look at where we are and where Singapore is today. Singapore has nothing, compared to our abundant natural resource wealth, yet it is highly developed and foreign investment is ever booming. It is the oasis of Asia.
Something is seriously wrong here, Mr Speaker and Honourable Members! Are we prepared and ready for the challenge to change the status quo? Are you ready for the hard yards? What are we, the so-called young vibrant leadership, going to offer to this country? Are we going to continue with what our predecessors have been doing over and over, which hasn’t gotten us far enough, or are we going to make a difference? My friends, the time is now and I am ready for it.
THE GENERAL ELECTIONS
No one in this Parliament should deny that the 2012 election was a complete disaster. I forewarned the Prime Minister and the country, that the Electoral Commission was ill prepared. I was hated for it but I was right. Thousands of people were denied their constitutional right to vote, because the Electoral Commission failed in its duty to register all eligible voters, in time for the election.
Election officials were ill prepared, resulting in numerous errors and omissions. Poor security preparations resulted in many illegal activities, including hijacking and illegal polling, particularly in the highlands areas by election officials. The record number of election disputes, 108 in total that have been filed, will no doubt provide real incites, into all the despicable things that happened during the election period.
Some very serious issues with respect to the manner in which the national general election was conducted are surfacing. And one of it is, the illegal printing of generic ballot papers as it is illegal to do so in accordance with the Organic Law on National General Elections. I ask, who authorized the printing of these generic ballots and, where were they used and why? I have factual evidence to proof my claim. I have copies of letters from the Chief Electoral Commissioner directing the Government Printer to print generic ballot papers and I also have copies of these generic ballot papers. I demand an answer from the Prime Minister or his Chief Electoral Commissioner.
We just can’t ignore what is a very serious blunder in our election history. A Commission of Inquiry must be established to inquire into the conduct of the 2012 General Election, which was by all measure, a failed election.
As I speak, one more innocent life is being lost in addition to hundreds more that have already perished through election related violence. Tribal fights rage on in some parts of our country, while in other areas, people are quietly suffering from post-election conflicts and biases. The economic and social cost to the country is any body’s guess. I believe it runs into millions.
On this note I wish to pledge the Opposition’s support, for the early introduction of the bio metric or electronic registration and voting system, as well as sweeping reforms to the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government elections, with particular emphasis on creating offences and punishment for public servants and election officials, who engage in election scams and who deliberately commit errors and omissions, to influence the outcome of elections.
OFFICE OF THE OPPOSITION
As Opposition Leader, I do sense high expectations from the public for this Opposition to make a difference. People are looking to me to strengthen the Opposition, and offer the best alternate government. While such expectations come naturally, I must say I am disappointed with the level of resourcing of the Opposition Office.
In that regard, I wish to remind the Prime Minister, that there is a genuine need to adequately staff and fund the Office of the Opposition, so it may effectively perform its functions.
However, I must pledge to the people of this great country, that my team will deliver an opposition that is active and diligent. I have in place, a vibrant shadow cabinet that is determined to keep the government in check. The Opposition under my watch, shall leave no stone unturned to make sure that the executive government is kept accountable for its actions, and the public is kept well informed and abreast, of all government business from within and outside Parliament.
Despite our numerical deficit, we will do our utmost best, to ensure that Government policies and activities are given the best possible scrutiny. We will oppose where we must, we will expose what must be exposed, and I dare say, that we will depose, with the help of like-minded leaders, if the government fails to perform. But by the same token, our door is always open for anyone on the government side, to join us at any time.
THE O’NEILL-DION POLICY PLATFORM AND OUTLINE
This brings me now to offer some remarks on the government’s policy outline presented by His Excellency the Governor General, and the policy outline presented by the Prime Minister on the 8th of September.
The policy platform and policy outline of the O’Neill-Dion Government is a miss-mash and a piece meal approach. It offers no holistic direction and precise policy program for the next five years.
The whole policy package is too costly, yet urban biased and not people focused. It does not address agriculture and rural development where the majority of our people, or our voters, live. The policy completely turns its back on the 90 percent of our rural population, who in recent times, have seen and enjoyed services through the DSIP and other rural intervention programmes. All Honourable Members fought hard to enter Parliament to make a difference for their people, through programs such as the DSIP which is completely omitted from the policy outline.
The O’ Neill- Dion Government’s solution to the country’s problems is to spend, spend and spend. Of course sometimes you must spend to get results, but you must spend in areas where you obtain not only a significant return on the investment, but where you achieve a variety of positives. Activities and Industries that create the most jobs should be where our focus is. Job creation alone addresses and resolves many other social and economic problems of our country. We should create more jobs, improve inflows of foreign direct investments, and address the lousy wages our people are currently earning, improve people’s skills so they are employable, design specific programs that will assist our young people who are unemployed and those dropping out of schools.
The Prime Minister has failed to announce his economic policy framework, and how he intends to manage the economic affairs of the country, over the next five years. What the Prime Minister presented was simply a State of the Economy address, which traditionally, is expected from the Minister for Treasury.
Where is the O’ Neill- Dion Government’s economic and fiscal policy frame work that it intends to pursue in the next five years? Why was this not spelled out? Are we intending to spend, spend and spend under an unsustainable expansionary fiscal policy framework to fund an unaffordable development agenda that is supported, not by growing revenue, but by more and more borrowing? Where is the fiscal rescue package to fix the big messy hole in the 2012 budget of a negative 513.1 million kina deficit?
The Government reckons that the Budget Deficit of negative K513.1 million is a result of the “usual budget cycle”. This is not entirely correct. The appreciation of the Kina sustained over the last three years, is the result of injection of liquidity by Government fiscal operations and capital inflows from the construction of the LNG Project. From completion of the construction phase to first flow of revenue which is around 2022, the economy will slow down. The Kina will remain appreciated over the life of the LNG Project, which is 40- 60 years. Therefore, Mr Prime Minister, we do not buy the story of the “usual budget cycle” angle. We see a permanent shift in the structure of the PNG economy; we see inflation soaring and decline of agriculture and industry sectors over the medium to long term and the unsustainable fiscal policy of the O’Neill-Dion Government will put the final nail in sealing the ruin of the PNG economy. On this note, I must warn, that the six billion kina loan from China which I would like to term it as ‘the Nii factor loan’, further exposes the country to potential economic and financial ruin, if the government is not prudent and diligent in the management and expenditure of the funds. The opposition welcomes the opportunity to transform our public infrastructure, transformation is what we on this side preach, but as we have been saying consistently over the last few weeks, the massive loan is being negotiated without a proper infrastructure development plan of the specific infrastructure programmes to be funded and the costing associated with each such project. We are concerned that funds pooled in without a decisive and costed plan can easily be misused or wasted, resulting in the government failing to achieve much, yet exposing the country to serious financial and economic problems . We will watch every move of the government on the management and expenditure of this massive unprecedented loan.
THE LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
The government’s legislative program, whether it be alterations to existing laws or enactment of new laws, must have one objective only, and that is the protection and promotion of public interest and no other. Laws must never be made to suit short term personal or political interests.
I ask why extend, the grace period from 18 months to 24 months, and how dual citizenship will assist in boosting investment in PNG? We in the Opposition welcome the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Strategy Task Force.
As you know, I have always warned that corruption is the greatest set- back to development and progress for our country. I must say, that all anti-corruption instruments that are established, must be given wide powers and freedom to fully perform their functions. I must also warn, that these instruments must not be used, to perpetrate politically motivated witch hunts and malicious prosecutions.
Let me a talk a little more on corruption, as this is the greatest evil we will have to deal with, as a nation.
My Party (PNG PARTY) went into the elections with promise to declare war against corruption. Over the years, the fight against corruption has been compromised by a lack of commitment. Corruption is like a leaking bucket where the government losses millions of much needed kina. Papua New Guinea’s growing poverty level and stagnation from development is self- inflicted through greed, weak leadership and poor policy choices.
I urge the Prime Minister with all sincerity, that this Parliament takes a bi-partisan stand on the fight against corruption. We must be honest with ourselves as stewards of our nation, that we are truly committed to stamp out this malady that is eating into the core of the fabric of society, resulting in greed, unfair distribution of resources, poverty and stagnation from development.
The government must establish the Independent Commission against Corruption without delay. In the mean-time, government must adequately resource the Ombudsman Commission to effectively carry on its functions. The police fraud and anti-corruption squad need to be fully equipped with resources and high-tech training to be effective against modern day crimes. Investigative and prosecutorial weaknesses need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. The Department of Attorney General needs to be well staffed with qualified lawyers, who should be enticed by better working conditions.
SOCIAL SECTOR POLICIES
The government’s promise of education infrastructure must not end up as a political rhetoric. Adequate infrastructure not only enables many more kids to receive basic education, but enables better quality education. For the fee free education to have its desired outcome, there must be sufficient infrastructure; in classrooms, libraries, science labs, teacher and student accommodation and so on. The promise of teacher housing and education infrastructure, if funded, must not end up like the failed public service housing scam. The promise of improvement to teachers’ training and conditions of employment must not be just talk but actioned. The opposition promises a policy of philosophical and structural reform to the delivery of education in Papua New Guinea. For instance, we see that the current system produces a 90 percent failure rate of students completing secondary education. This means that government is spending one billion kina in fee free education at the bottom end of education which results in only 10 percent of successful students continuing into tertiary training. This is a very serious imbalance which must be addressed.
Our health care system is among the worst by any measure. We welcome the government’s commitment to invest in health infrastructure and equipment and improve workers conditions. This commitment is however too generalised and we must warn the government against ad-hoc and piece-meal approach, if we are to see meaningful change to the health of our people. We would add four state of the art regional referral hospitals as part of an opposition strategy on health care. For PNG to be the wealthy, healthy and happy country and a middle income country by 2050 as per our vision 2050, we must invest well in an appropriate education system, an effective health care system, and in public infrastructure, including public utilities such as electricity, communications and water supply.
THE STATE SERVICES
As a former member of a state service, I must say I feel for all members of the state services, or should I say our national security services. The men and women of the three disciplined forces are responsible for our national security, yet are working and living far below acceptable levels. Our security, both internal and external is compromised and we must act quickly to arrest the plight of the men and women of the security services. As the Alternative Government will make it our duty to ensure that the priority is given to improve employment conditions, re-building of ageing infrastructure and capacity building is acted upon without delay. The government must deliver without delay its commitment to improve employment and working conditions of our security services.
We believe that when you feed, clothe and shelter your men and women well and ask them to jump, they will reply in question and say ‘how high, Sir’.
This principle must apply to every state service.
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP
The Opposition is sceptical about the private/public partnership program, not only in terms of viability of the concept but the process of implementation. If B Mobile is any indication of how effective the concept is, we might as well forget it. Private investors who wish to invest in our public enterprises must be selected through a stringent and transparent process. We in the opposition would rather continue with the privatization program that the Morauta government undertook some years back. It is not the job of Government to be in business. All that is required is for government to retain sufficient shares in these public entities and offload to private buyers to run. Privatization of the formerly PNG Banking Corporation to the Bank of South Pacific is an example in point. Community obligation concerns can be addressed through policy and regulatory measures.
THE OPPOSITION PERSPECTIVE
Finally, like all political parties that contested the recent election, PNG Party offered policies that were designed for swift and adequate service delivery and for the creation of an environment that is conducive for ordinary people to relish opportunities to do business and related activities for self-empowerment. The Opposition plans to blend the PNG Party Policies with those of our Coalition Partners to offer the people of Papua New Guinea alternative policy choices which bring hope and prosperity. In general, our policies will focus on reclaiming and relishing the five (5) National Goals and Directive Principles enshrined in our National Constitution. These are;
1. INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT,
2. EQUALITY AND PARTICIPATION,
3. NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY AND SELF RELIANCE,
4. ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION and
5. PNG WAYS.
We see and believe that despite the changing times, our National Goals remain our Bible, for now and for many more decades to come. We believe in a transformation in the way education is delivered for our children and a transformation in the way health services are delivered to our people. We believe in major shifts and reforms in the entire social services sector. We believe in reclaiming our national wealth and opportunities and spreading it to our people. We believe in a serious prognosis of ourselves as a country to correctly place ourselves and understand our position in the international political and economic power play. We believe in the conservation of our flora and fauna and environmentally responsible harvest or exploitation of our natural resources. We believe in our right to a fair share of the proceeds of all harvest of our natural resources. We believe in reinvesting in the agriculture sector and we believe in our-selves as Papua New Guineans and our GOD given culture and identity.
Here is our Promise – As the alternative government, we on this side of the House make the following commitment to our people of Papua New Guinea.
We will take the fight against corruption as our foremost priority. This disease has eroded the fabrics of our society and widened the gap between the rich and the poor.
We will rebuild our state institutions like Police, Defence and Correctional Services so they become envy of every young Papua New Guinean to serve their country without fear or favour.
We will increase number of Police personnel from 12000 to 24000 strong policemen and women to combat the ever increasing law and order problems in our communities.
Defence Force personnel will be increased to 7000, lean but mean and highly trained and readily available for domestic and international call for duties.
Correctional Services Institution will be built into a major rehabilitation institution rather than just been known as an institution to keep prisoners. (I have been there and I know exactly what to do).
We believe in offering a ‘golden handshake’ to our ex-servicemen and women who have served their people and country with loyalty and distinction. They need to be given a royal farewell so they can go and resettle back in their communities and villages. This we believe is the honourable thing to do.
We will invest heavily in transport infrastructure programmes but with clear infrastructure development plan. We will link up mainland Papua New Guinea with super highways and by-ways. We will invest in state of the art wharfs and jetties for all our islands and mainland ports as well as our airports. We will build a public transportation system which will include railways.
Health and Education will undergo major reforms. We will build a healthy educated society so everyone can meaningfully participate in the development of their country with healthy educated mindset.
We will build four (4) regional state of art hospitals and improve health centres and sub-health centres throughout the Provinces and Rural Districts to achieve our dream of a healthy Papua New Guinea. We will train more doctors, nurses and health workers to meet the growing health needs of our fast growing population.
We believe in a well educated society. Firstly, the current Outcome Based Education System MUST go. This system is a total failure. Australians themselves have tried it amongst the Aboriginal communities and it was a total disaster. Why are we been used as ‘guinea pigs’ time and time again? What was wrong with the education system that most of us went through? We will convert our four (4) first National High Schools into four (4) regional Schools of Excellence. These schools will enrol top 5% of grade 10s graduating from every high school throughout the country. We will introduce National Service or Cadetship in the country. We will make it compulsory for every young Papua New Guinean to go through this programme. We believe that through this programme we will build a more disciplined and responsible society. We must rid this don’t care attitude mentality and build a sense of self respect and pride We will promote student exchange programmes so future generation can embark on new creative knowledge and innovations globally. Scholarship will also be given to students who excel in their level of education.
To achieve our desired outcome of a healthy educated society we will undertake a major review of the employment conditions of our doctors, nurses and health workers and our teachers with the aim of improving them.
We will make public housing one of our main priorities. We need to provide affordable housing for our citizens. A man is not a human being without a roof over his or her head. This we believe will help remove the problem of government and private company employees living in settlements and will also help remove the settlement problems we face in our society today.
We will provide increased funding to Small and Medium Enterprises in-line with our Local Content Initiatives. This we believe will create more job opportunities and employment for our people and give our people opportunity excel to the next level.
We will introduce a bio metric national identification and registration system. This system we believe alleviate many problems we face today.
We will transform the public utilities sector, which include our electricity, communications and water supply services. We will introduce sweeping reforms to the State Services and the public service.
We will encourage customary land mobilization and registration to enable more private enterprise and growth of our economy. We will remove all impediments to private investment.
We will also among those reforms upgrade training for skilled and non-skilled Papua New Guineans in order to give them opportunity to excel to the next level.
Through these investments and reforms we will transform this country to a land of promise and opportunity.
I hope I have shed some light on the path The Alternate Government will take as well as highlight areas where we feel need urgent action from the Government.
Critical changes may never have been undertaken in our short history as a nation but we believe this is the time and this is the Generation that must stand united as patriots, as nationalists to undertake much needed revolutionary and evolutionary changes and reforms for the betterment of our people, our future generation and our beautiful country.
This has prompted me to making this sovereign national call. “That regardless of where we come from, our ethnic groupings, races and or religion, we must stand united as ‘ONE PEOPLE, ONE NATION AND ONE COUNTRY for the future and betterment of our people and our country”.
GOD BLESS PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
BELDEN NAMAH MP,