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AN END TO A REMARKABLE JOURNEY 2011-2017 - THE PETER O'NEILL SCORECARD

by GABRIEL RAMOI LLB


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?

Conclusion.
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.