The tale of two knights
by TAENG KA
The is the tale of PNG’s two newest Knights, or Sir’s as the Brits would have you say. It makes for a frighteningly intriguing tale of two MPs that hail from the same Province, Enga. One is the current governor for Enga, Sir Peter Ipatas, and the other is the current MP for Kompiam Ambum, in Enga Province. Both are long serving Members of Parliament. Both were knighted, same time, in 2022. Fascinating! This is probably where their similarity ends. So how did both become Knights? One is a true son of Enga, widely recognised in the country as the best Governor the country has ever seen. A truly remarkable and visionary leader who had the foresight to develop Enga’s intellectual capacity. He figured education held the key to the success of its people. His ideas are now being copied by other provinces, albeit a little too late. This is truly a tale of two contrasting people; one a leader that arguable deserves the knighthood more than any other person in PNG’s history, if service delivery and educating talent were the two yardsticks. He stands tall, far above any other.
The second Knight, in our story, is John Pundari/JP. If there is a person that does not deserve this title, then John Pundari has got to be that man. The nation’s only non- performing MP, absolutely nothing to show for in the 25 years he has been the district’s MP. So what has happened to all the money that is meant for the district in the 25 years? All goes back to him, widely acknowledged fact in the district.
So why hasn’t he been investigated and held accountable? Good question, maybe there is a reason, he never wants to lose the seat of KA. Can’t anyone have the balls to investigate the KA district books? Well, there is a reason why he wants to be always in government as a senior Minister. Now that he is a Sir, who can go after him? With the title of Sir, he is now above law. JP has figured it all out. The snake never sleeps. On this point of having held senior ministerial positions in the country. Does his name stand out for transforming and improving any of the state department under his ministerial charge? Nothing comes to mind. Has he been cited for pioneering any landmark legislation in Parliament? Not even close! So what was Sir JP knighted for? Idk, you have to ask the Queen of England.
We are now in 2022, the people of Kompiam Ambum have cast their votes or at least have tried to. JP has resorted to the same hijacking and rigging tactics since the first election he contested in 1992. This time more vehemently. Yes, and he wants the genuine Knight gone too. More freebies, vehicles, money, Kai2 for his goons, you name it. Maybe it’s because the stakes could not be higher. Toss Pogera gold in there too. Election rigging and hijacking are his expertise. One of this self-appointed ARO is alleged to have been shot dead for hijacking ballot boxes a few days ago. His other appointed ARO and RO have alleged to hijack about 6 ballot boxes. The people of Kompiam Ambum are utterly fed up with this half-cast, destroying and depriving the people of any kind of free and fair election for the last 25 years. Wtf! The Electoral Commission of this country has utterly failed the people of Kompiam Ambum in the last 25 years. People are taking the law into their own hands; can we blame them? On JP’s defence, one could argue that the AROs/RO need not accept his bribe offers. True, but these are desperate people, and desperation leads people to do stupid things, and JP understands this. Every 5 years he turns up for election and offers huge sums of bribe money to get election officials to rig the election for him. Year after year they do this, yes and lives are lost, but this is the price these ARO/RO are willing to pay.
In 2022, JP engineered the same strategy. One ARO is allegedly dead, and others have gone into hiding before counting even starts. The Knight has gone into hiding himself (alleging pulling strings from some undisclosed location in Wapenamanda). Why am I writing this? Have I something against the JP? Not at all, I am doing well without Politics. But I am writing this because of two reasons, (besides the utter injustice inflicted on the people of a KA for the past 25 years):
1. Love of my people and the great province that is Enga. We speak one language; we are a truly unique people in this country of 8 million. United we can be the shining light for the rest of this country.
2. I see great hope in the province, when I see someone like the first term MP for Wabag Open, Dr. Lino. Dr. Lino is the essence of what Enga is about, and what a true leader ought to be. I want to see more Dr. Lino type MPs for Enga (and PNG), so that the rest of the country can be shown what is possible when a province is united under servant leadership.
I write because on the cusp of stepping into the promised land we have an Amalekite (present day Germany according to the book of Ruth) in the way of Joshua leading his people to freedom. I find the analogy absolutely riveting. One could say, Sir Ipatas the elderly stateman wants to pass the baton to Dr. Lino, depicting Moses about to pass the leadership to Joshua to take the children of Israel to the promised land, but have to contend with and overcome the Amalekites, in JP and co (who is a literal descendent of a modern- day Amalekite/German). This time the true Knight, with his student (Dr Lino), hold the key. Will they be victories, after wondering the wilderness of Arabia for 40 years and finally make it to the promised land? Or are we the people of Enga/and PNG allowed to endure another 5 years of weed clinking onto and chocking the tare. Will we see the fake knight take charge of the mighty province of Enga and plunge it into darkness like he did Kompiam Ambum or shall the true son of Enga, the true Knight Sir Ipatas come to the rescue of Enga? Soon we will have our answer.
Let the counting begin!