AN END TO A REMARKABLE JOURNEY 2011-2017 - THE PETER O'NEILL SCORECARD
My Dear Prime Minister,
As this parliament comes to a close ,I take this opportunity to thank you and to review your score card on a scale of O – 10 on a remarkable journey that began when you usurp power in 2011 and in the way you have taken the nation for a ride over the last 6 years . While you did not take all of us to the moon it was still a remarkable ride.
1. On legitimacy of Government- I give you a score of 3/10.
Firstly you did not defer the 2012 Elections although with the majority you had in Parliament at the time you could have easily delayed the conduct of the 2012 Elections. I also congratulate you in allowing for the process of a vote of Confidence against you to take place on the 22nd of July 2016 as ordered by the Supreme Court and to congratulate you in successfully defeating the motion with an overwhelming majority. The score is balanced against your removal of Task Force sweep and the Failure of the Justice system to pursue Paul Paraka in the Paragate Scandal. As I reminded you in Parliament prior to the vote, while you continue to have the overwhelming confidence of Parliament you have lost a Nation. Two contrasting voice was heard on the 22nd of July 2016 representing the growing polarization of our society under your leadership. You heard the rational voice of Kelly Naru with “all in its time and place according to law “ doctrine and the emotional voice of Comrade Micah on the arrogance and insensitivity of Government under your leadership in working with other coalition Partners in the allocation of resources and in & Decision making . The reason for this growing polarization is attributed largely to the growing cynicism among our younger Face Book Generation over concerns about legitimacy of Governments following the conduct of parliamentary elections . In 2012 for instance your seat of Ialibu Pangia was the first to be called ahead of all other seats in the country and thereby influencing the final out come in the 2012 Elections when voting was still in Progress in many other parts of the country and in particular of the growing concern about the lack of transparency in the conduct of the National Elections and in the growing perception that those in Parliament today have bought their passage into parliament by manipulating the electoral rolls and in compromising electoral officers and security personnel in the voting and counting processes . Prime Minister while you had the opportunity to bring major reforms to our Election processes with the majority you held in Parliament through the introduction of available technology such as electronic voting and counting to conduct elections in one day right through out the country as is the case in Indonesia and to improve transparency and reduce cost of elections you have chosen an anti people option by trying to increase the cost of nomination fees and Bond security on Election petitions. There is grave concern about the lack of reform in National Election and our hope is that a new Government will address this issue . While it is acknowledged that the conduct of National Elections is vested in the independent constitutional office of the Electoral Commissioner it is the funding level that is control by you as the Minister responsible in the way Elections are conducted . You have failed by People of our Country by not giving us a more transparent election process in your term as Prime Minister.
The case for the Future
A] That the request by the Commissioner of Elections for a Budget of K620 million to run the 2017 National Election cannot be used to carry out an election that he and the electoral commission is used to and have been conducting since independence as the process is wasteful, opaque, and prone to manipulation by voters and candidates and that the time has come for PNG to have a electronic Election in one day.
B] That the Technology developed by Microsoft for the conduct and administration of Election known a Windows Azure is available since 2012 and for K620 million this system or similar system can be rolled out to register voters who have tuned 18 since the last election and at the same time for you to take direct ownership of the K100million + Citizen Identification project and to ensure that I,D’s are issued electronically against the names appearing in the voter common roll including dates of births and that that information as appearing on the voter common roll forms the back bone of our National Identification project. It would be criminal to think that the Government will be spending or has spent over K1.Billion on Citizen Identification over the last 5 years and that none of this information will be used for the purpose of national Elections. This is inexcusable and I urge you to take ownership of the processes to ensure the immediate update of a electronic common roll for use in the 2022 Elections
2. POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT -5/10
Since the note issued by the Rand Corporation on behalf of the American Deputy Secretary of Defence on the Political Situation in PNG issued in 1989 the county has not made significant progress in addressing Law & Order, Political Instability, economic deficiencies and the real threat of Bougainville succeeding from PNG. In fact all literature on PNG,s prospect for the future point to our country sliding into being declared a failed State. Recent looting of Shops in Boroko and previous looting incidents point to the volatile situation which has seen our major commercial and Business Centers being encroached by squatter settlements packed with unemployed youths and Adults both male and female. This situation needs to be arrested through a Major Intervention Program. The introduction of the District Development Act and the introduction of DSIP &PSIP in Rural PNG however is a successful intervention program and Members of Parliament who have used their DSIP and PSIP wisely will be returned to parliament. Prime Minister as the architect of the program building on the earlier prototype of this program expounded by Sir Peter Lus you need to be congratulated. The need for additional oversight on expenditure and audit cannot be stressed enough to put an end to abuse and to ensure integrity and continuity of the program.
Case for the future: Removal and Repatriation of Squatters and Squatter settlements must form part of APEC 2018 with Policy of Zero Tolerance on squatter settlements in our cities and urban centers and More support for Bougainville to contain Bougainville within PNG.
3. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. 5/10
ANZ and its insight into the PNG Economy indicates that PNG Economy needs an injection of US$130 Billion by 2030 in Investments either Direct or Local to generate an annual Budget of US$23 Billion annually by 2023 to support our growing population or suffocate under the weight of our population growth. While the NA Government delivered the LNG Project at the cost of US$19 Billion no investment of similar magnitude occurred under your watch as PM however your role in Nationalizing the OK TEDI mine has earned y respect of the Nation.
Case for the Future
While the Opening of Panguna Mine looks positive the Nation awaits the verdict on how the Frieda Mine and future Resource Development Project will be negotiated. PNG will require 6 more LNG type project by 2030 to be in front of our Population growth.
4. AGRICULTURE- 0/10
Prime Minister you will be judged as the PM that built infrastructure in our urban centers at inflated prices with incomplete work [ Hubert Murry Stadium and Poor workmanship] and that you did nothing for Agriculture in your term as Prime Minister. K100 million allocated for Agriculture was squandered during your term as PM . Your announcement for the establishment of NPMA [ National Plantation Management Agency to revive the Agriculture Plantation sector on the eve of Elections is too little too late. In terms of SME’s in Agriculture no program such as the Stret Pasin Store Scheme existed for our SME;s in Agriculture also rendering the program useless.
Case for the Future.
Districts should be directed to start allocating funding for Agriculture projects using their DSIP .
5. Education- 9/10
Prime Minister your program in Education through the TFF [ Tuition Free Education] is a success having put over 1million girls into our Education system in your term as PM and the country acknowledges your contribution in this Area and salutes you.
Case for the Future:
PM may I ask you if you and your Ministers and top Bureaucrats have confidence in the quality of our National Education system to send your own children through our Education system ?
6. Health 10/10
PM your strategy on Health in supplying free health care is also acknowledged although the appointment by Cabinet of Borneo Pharmacy as the Major supplier and distributer of Drugs for our Health system has proved erroneous and costly .
Case for the future
PM may I again ask you and your Ministers and top Bureaucrats whether you have confidence in our Doctors and health facilities and whether you do use our National Health care facilities?
7. Investment in major Infrastructure and Assets for the future 0/10
Prime Minister Let me remind you that while you did successfully host the Pacific Games and invested in Sports Stadiums in your term as PM you did not give the Nation the equivalent of the Yumi Yet Bridge program introduced by Mekere Mourata that impacted on our roads systems and inspired a Nation. Apart from maintaining the highlands high way the country must consider either building [ or planning for the building] of future National assets that have been identified as game changers for our Nation. The ANZ Bank in its 2015 assessment of the PNG Economy have pointed out that PNG needs to provide Electricity to all its citizens bring the Nation up another notch which begs the question why your Government is building a small hydro power plant in south Chimbu and has not considered planning for the construction of the Prurari Hydro project during your term as PM. In terms of Roads , why have you not considered planning for the future with the introduction of Rail Roads for movement of Freight.
In terms of an international Airport , why are you doing cosmetic changes to Jacksons Airport when you should be building a new International Airport between Brown River & Vanapa in Central Province. In terms of Telecommunications why haven’t we put a Communications Satellite into Orbit to help reduce cost of Internet accessibility and distribution?
8. CONDUCT OF FOREIN POLICY 6/10
Prime Minister in the conduct of our Foreign Policy we note your successful meeting with the President of Indonesia in 2015 and your handing of the West Papuan issue which can only lead to more positively integration of our two economies through the free movement of our two people . Under your term also as PM we concluded US$6 billion loan from China although details of this borrowing remain opaque accept for the high costing associated with the building of the Lae City roads , Lae to Nazab, and Port Moresby City Roads. Your term as PM also saw the establishment and the subsequent closure of the Manus Detention center and that its closure represents a real loss to the Manus Economy. With regards to our relationship with Australia it is with interest that we now hear that your Government is asking for Australian Aid to be tied to the National Budget and wonder what will happen to all the consultants and consultancy contracts offered by AusAid. Will the consultants be seconded to our Line Departments? Will current Aus Aid funded project be integrated to our PIP programs?
Prime Minister, when you came to Power in 2011 your own province of Southern Highlands and Hela was unmanageable with warlords taking control of the Government Machinery and its pay roll . Under your leadership Government presence and the rule of law was re-established in the two Provinces although Government control remains fragile in Hela. As the country goes to the Election it will be guide by your performances and the performances of the sitting members of your Party in the way they have handled their DSIP . If they have management their DSIP and PSIP wisely you will be again invited by the Governor General to form the next Government.
In the unlikely event that the Governor General Fails to invite you to form the Next Government I hope you will preserve the positive gains of your Government in the last 6 years particularly in OK Tedi by forming a new working Coalition arrangement with your Comrade Ben Micah of PPP and Your Treasurer Mr.Pruaitch of NA to continue to provide the critical leadership the country deserves with a supporting role by you.