There is a very old PNG game that our MPs have played for many years. It involves one corrupt pollie calling another corrupt pollie corrupt without thinking. Then the pollie being accused shoots back and proclaims that the pollie who accused them is the corrupt one. They are also telling the truth. Suddenly both of them realise that the same shoe fits them both and if either one of them spills any more information about the bad things the other fellow did, the whole house of deception is likely to collapse and all the stories might come out. Then they both suffer.
Suddenly all goes silent and the people of PNG remain in the dark. Just like the pollies want.
We're wondering whether the same game has been played in the PNG sewers of power over the past few months. When Somare and Chan so strongly left the O'Neill government, the Prime Minister had some cutting words to give in reply. We've always heard that the PM is not above getting payback against those who cross him, but using exceptionally sneaky tricks.
Somare comes out against O'Neill before the Vote of No Confidence and went to the side of the opposition.
Then a couple months later, when it was reported in the Singapore newspapers about the secret Michael Somare account holding illegal kickback money from a PNG government contract given to a Chinese telecommunications company, it was none other than Peter O'Neill who made sure that PNG online media got the story, complete with Peter O'Neill's comments about Michael Somare's corruption.
Michael Somare was destroyed. He limped back briefly with an apology to the people, but without actually addressing the black and white facts of around a million kina of kickback money being in a Michael Somare Singapore bank account. We have not heard from him since.
Julius Chan comes out against O'Neill before the Vote of No Confidence and comes out on the side of the government. Then he comes out with a declaration of autonomy.
Guess what intriguing information came out today that smacks the always corrupt Sir Julius Chan right across the face. It comes from the Auditor General. Understand that these days the Auditor General is given so little annual budget money by the O'Neill government that it has no ability anymore to audit the accounts of most government departments. In fact, the Auditor General hasn't had that ability ever since Peter O'Neill came to office. The Auditor General has no resources to audit more than a tiny handful of DSIP accounts to uncover what is going on behind our backs.
Yet, the Auditor General has somehow managed to find the resources to audit the New Ireland government's accounts. Not the accounts for 2015 but for 2014. What they found was K2.7 million in what they say is blatent theft. When once considers that Peter O'Neill personally signed off a letter of authorisation to pay Paul Paraka over K70 million, K2.7 million sounds like peanuts. Of course, even K2 kina of public funds stolen by those put in trust of those funds should result in expulsion or prison. We believe that sincerely.
The news came out today even though Sir Julius Chan was alerted to the findings on July 8, 2016. Everyone kept quiet about it, on all sides. Isn't that interesting, being that we are talking about the handling of public funds by public officials. It should be the citiizens of PNG right to know about these kinds of things immediately. Why keep it secret
By keeping things like this secret, it allows the information to be used to play little power games behind the scenes. For example, someone could have told Sir J that the information would not become public so long as he didn't say anything more to embarrass the O'Neill government.
Of course, the declaration of New Ireland autonomy is not exactly something that would have brought a smile to Pete O'Neill's face.
Did Sir J's attempts to stir up trouble cause the other shoe to drop with the revealing of the corruption of the New Ireland government's accounts? Or was it his recent autobiography that falsely paints this long known scumbag always out to serve his personal interests over that of the public as a hero of PNG?
We fully expect Sir Julius to be humiliated and silenced the same way Sir Michael has been. Thus does the members of the Opposition find themselves destroyed, one by one. Coincidence or a concerted effort by a government that can manipulate the flow of government information however it wants to achieve payback against political enemies.