Growing unhappiness in Madang against the proposed Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) is beginning to make the scam promoters nervous. The PMIZ is nothing more than a sophisticated land grab to transfer the rights of a valuable piece of real estate into Chinese hands. If the PMIZ project goes through, a beautiful pristine piece of Madang Province near Alexishafen will be converted into a stinky collection of tuna canneries just like what you see today in the Philippines and Thailand. These are the kinds of projects that end up mostly exploiting local people instead of bringing 'development' to them.


The main character in the PMIZ scam is Gabriel Kapris, former Somare government minister who long ago established his reputation as a whirlwind of corrupt activity.

With respect to the PMIZ, Kapris was instrumental in pushing through a K202 million Chinese Exxim Bank Loan to the PNG government while he was still Minister in the Somare government. After losing the 2012 election in Maprik to the competitively corrupt John Simon, Kapris became Managing Director of the shady "Aces Ventures" group. Aces Ventures then managed to illegally gain control of certain land areas to be used for PMIZ.

The only difference between the corrupt Gabriel Kapris and the late criminal William Kapris is that William Kapris stole from the rich and threw the money to the poor, whereas Gabriel Kapris steals from the poor and gives to the rich. Neither of them are to be admired, but at least William showed some compassion. Compassion isn't a word in the vocabulary of Gabriel Kapris, Certified PNG Konman.

The moment Gabriel smelled money at PMIZ, he forgot all about his people back in Maprik and started making Madang his home. He smelled the money and that's how the Chinese came to smell him.

At first, things proceeded okay for Gabriel Kapris and his scam, despite some temporary setbacks due to the fact that some Madang landowners smelled a rat from the beginning. There were a series of protests and complaints by the landowners over the last few years as they've figured out the realities of the tuna cannery project that promises to bring nothing other than stinky air, polluted subsistence fisheries water, and poor paying jobs. Still, project planning proceeded.

But things clearly got worse for Kapris after last week's impressive recent demonstration. For the first time, Kapris and PMIZ on the ground local tea boy Sali Tagau acted visibly nervous in public but it was at a particular recent PMIZ protest at the Madang Provincial Government office that Kapris, never known for his intelligence, made one of his stupidest moves.

To "convince" the Madang landowners of the winning nature of the PMIZ project, Kapris brought a group of highlands people who displayed the winning "conman" combination of large bellies and stupid looking Australian outback hats. A parade of goofy hat/big bel money grubbers it was, and naturally they had been drinking. How can a Sepik con man, accompanied by drunk Highlanders, possibly 'convince' Madang's papa graun how badly they 'need' PMIZ unless they were all carrying weapons? Well, they weren't armed and the PMIZ Madaun protesters didn’t take long to confront one of the big bel stupid hat wearers, with one man strongly poking his finger into the chest of one of the Kapris clowns and calling him and Kapris out. The result was a PR disaster for Gabriel Kapris, which begs the question, WHERE IS THIS GUY'S PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMON SENSE???! 


A week after that protest, Madang Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather appeared on FM Talk Back Show with Roger Hau’ofa to strongly support the Bel people in their fight against both the national conmen and the international aggressors in the background. Fairweather laid out all the lies of the PMIZ scam and explained why the proposed project would NOT bring more benefits than costs to the majority of people in the long run. What was particularly refreshing is that Fairweather didn't offer any scam of his own as an alternative to the Kapris scam. He simply laid out the facts.

Fairweather also addressed the potential environmental problems that PMIZ will bring to the Madang area. These are issues that the PNG government has conspicuously avoided talking about (PNG apparently has no Dept of Environment and Conservation??) . He questioned again where the missing K30 Million in government funds for this project is and what is the role of Aces Venture in the scam. Fair questions to which the 'developers' refuse to give answers.

During the programme, listeners rang MP Fairweather voicing strong support for his stand or confirming what he was saying about the idiocy of the whole project from the standpoint of PNG long-term interests. That evidence of strong support is probably what kickstarted the next event.


Peter O'Neill's government couldn't help but notice the growing support for stopping PMIZ both on the ground in Madang (through petitions circulated and the public demonstration), combined with the support on social media for the Bel landowners, and topped off by MP Ken Fairweather's support of the Bel people that went across the nation on Talk Back radio.

O'Neill publicist Chris Hawkins quickly swung into action on Peter O'Neill's behalf. 

Who is Chris Hawkins, anyway? We're not talking about another Chris Hawkins who works for APEC but lives in Brissie. We're talking about the Aussie good ol boy Chris Hawkins who came to PNG armed with a not very impressive education but was successful anyway and whose own money making 'deals' have remained covered up very well over the years. What is not so hidden is his willing association with the top spivs of PNG. For example, he was former PM Bill Skate's government spokesman in the days when Skate was mucking up the economy, then making secret deals with the government of Taiwan in exchange for cash, all of which Chris Hawkins was tasked with making bad news somehow look good.

Because of his proven ability to quickly spew government propaganda into empty heads throughout PNG, Hawkins was appointed as the head of Peter O’Neill’s Public Relations “department”. Much of the government propaganda currently being blamed on the corrupt Isaac Lupari, O'Steal's right hand man, is in fact written up by Hawkins.

Chris Hawkin's main job is to monitor “PNG communication” and sense which way the wind is blowing. He then tries to change the wind's direction by putting out lots of propaganda to promote whatever O’Steal wants. The Post Courier and National, neither of which have reporters who ask probing questions any more, usually print the Hawkins news releases with little change, which is exactly what the government wants.

O'Steal observed Hawkins back in the Bill Skate days and developed such strong confidence that Hawkins can nicely cover O'Steal's butt when necessary that usually when Hawkins releases a news statement under the PM's name, seldom does O'Steal bother to read and approve it beforehand. O'Steal was actually attending a conference in Japan when he was supposedly dictating his support of PMIZ. Even though the PM didn't write the release, we can assume he supports PMIZ. After all, it means more money going into the pockets of his cronies.

Immediately after Ken Fairweather made his impressive showing on Talk Back, Hawkins put together a news release on behalf of the PM that “reassured resource STAKEHOLDERS" that PMIZ will proceed anyway. That non-sense word "stakeholders" actually originates from early land grabs in the USA from the customary redskin American Indians and is a favourite phrase of O'Steal and his fellow thief Hawkins.

In other words, it doesn't matter what local people want or don't want. PMIZ will proceed anyway. It doesn't matter if we proudly proclaim PNG to be a democracy or not. PMIZ will proceed anyway, proceed anyway, proceed anyway. Does that not smell of dictatorship?

Talking about bad smells. Mr Chris, just like the rest of O'Steal's inner circle, has never smelled big money without becoming infatuated with getting his share. The Aussie good ol boy has the unstated job of protecting all the money this regime can get into its own hands, and has permission to join the chase for floating cash whenever he sees opportunities.

When MP Fairweather appeared on Talk Back, Hawkins was not only listening in but one insider reports that Hawkins felt that the PMIZ issue was getting out of hand and could ultimately be damaging to the PM's interests. That's why Hawkins completed and was distributing his press release less than two hours after the radio interview!

The news release made an attempt to rebut everything that was discussed in the Fairweather interview. In typical Hawkins style he made an effort to argue point by point a number of issues that Fairweather and call-in supporters were revealing about PMIZ. The problem is that he stuck to vague arguments some of which are obviously misleading. For example;

“The PMIZ will generate more than 20,000 jobs for local communities through direct employment and the generation of small business.”

The same promise was made about the RD tuna cannery nearly 20 years ago. Not even close to that many jobs have been created and the "generation of small business" promise is always a scam.
“The communities of Kananam, Rampi, Baiteta, Riwo and Malmal will be amongst those that will received direct benefits from the project, particularly during the construction phase.”

Well, we all know this promise. ExxonMobil also promised it for its landowners. It is the "particularly during the construction phase" statement that says it all. What it means is that most of the jobs are very short term, menial work at low pay and as soon as construction is finished, the jobs are finished and the pay cheques stop.

Hawkins has his job cut out for him in trying to mislead the public on who's really going to be the big beneficiaries of the PMIZ (the Philippino RD Tuna, the Chinese groups and Papua New Guinean conmen organised by Gabriel Kapris). However, as the opposition to PMIZ grows, Hawkins is also learning to his frustration that his own government is prone to issuing PR-stupid statements that then mess up the Hawkins feel good messages. The latest is by Minister Richard Maru, another Gold Star O'Steal Money Grubber, who made a strong official government statement that the land belongs to the government and there's nothing that local residents can now do to control their own destiny. That heavy handed tactic in PNG is nearly always guaranteed to turn smoking ashes into a spreading fire.

In PNG, such government misteps are usually what ends up infuriating and energising the people against whatever government is planning. So it goes for the PMIZ issue. Looming in the background is a landowners court case that had been dropped but apparently is about to come back into the pictures through a coalition of local and international lawyers united by the human right implication of this Chinese land grab. The Bel people, of course, continue to spread the word that this current Spiv Project could easily occur on other Madang people's land.

All told, it looks like exciting times in Madang with Gabriel Kapris frantically maneuvering to protect his stolen 'investments' and the Bel people of Madang making a noble effort to stand up to the most corrupt government in PNG's history for the sake of their children and grandchildren.

So stay tuned, Chris Hawkins. You always do.

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