AN OPEN LETTER TO PAUL PARAKA

by GARY YAMKA KIAP

Dear Mr. Paraka:
The April 7, 2017 issue of the Post Courier reported how you announced with much fanfare before thousands of Papua New Guineans your intention to contest for member of Parliament as the leader of GRUF (Grass Roots United Front).  You were rather gruff in the assertions you made.

You stated that if elected you would pass legislation to the effect that “all open members and governors will never come to the city of Port Moresby”, with the only exception being during sessions of Parliament.
You also said that you would “monitor the movements” of Members of Parliament to ensure that they are spending time in their districts.

It is a waste of tax payer resources to have numerous government spies shadowing the movements of MPs 24/7.  Or was it you plan to have electronic devices attached to the ankles of each MP to trace their every step?  It sounds like a high level of government surveillance as promoted in George Orwell’s book 1984.

You have failed to consider that about 30-35 Members of Parliament also serve as Ministers of various departments, such as Education, Health, Tourism, Mining, Forestry, etc.  These MPs in their role as ministers need to spend a significant amount of time managing their respective departments to plan how to wisely spend the funds allotted to them as well as how to most effectively utilise their human resources in Waigani.

It is clear that you have not thought about all the implications of your proposed legislation.  If this is the best of “the one hundred” laws you intend to present, be assured that we have no interest in listening to any of your other ideas.
One of the chapters in Jason Sharman’s new book describes the corruption in Papua New Guinea.  Sharman quotes a senior Australian official working in Port Moresby who states, “K500M of corrupt funds flow from PNG to Australia every year.”  The Education department, the Health department, the transportation department, all of who were short-changed, desperately needs that K500M, nearly all of which is tax payer money.

Sharman also states that “40% of the total PNG budget is stolen by politicians and bureaucrats in the government.”  The annual budget of PNG is K12-15B each year, which means that between K4.8B (that’s a B as in billion!) and K6.0B is stolen each year.  What about coming up with some legislation that would address the growing and out-of-control problem of corruption? You are barking up the wrong tree.

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