Anti-corruption? I don’t think so

By PNG Echo

Not in PNG where they're just anti-government
Not in PNG where they’re just anti-government

While corruption is a problem in PNG, the anti-corruption movements it has spawned are proving to be an even greater one.

The recent launching of a Facebook site, PNG Anti-Corruption Movement for Change (PNGACMC) gave its founders pause for thought (at least it should have) as they provided a forum for black hatred expressed in the form of threats of extreme sexual violence and torture by one contributor against another.

The threats were so horrific and disgustingly graphic that one person wrote it was

…the worse thing she had ever read on Facebook.

The founders and leaders of the group were ill-equipped to deal with this and their response was inadequate and brings into question how efficacious and controllable this movement is …and whether it should be disbanded before it causes any serious harm.

The leaders have clearly not thought through the ramifications of what they are doing. That makes them just dangerous vigilantes and zealots – one of its leaders, Lucas Kiap, has already expressed the opinion that the end justifies the means.  It doesn’t – it never has, and it never will.

The threats are now the subject of a police investigation in Australia – but, of course, as they emanate from an anonymous and cowardly source, the chances of a successful prosecution are limited.

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

Lucas Kiap, in his favour, did publish a disclaimer that sought to distance the movement from that sort of behaviour.  In that disclaimer he named this writer and lawyer Tiffany Twivey Nonggorr as not being the enemy.  However, I can’t recall an apology.

Yet still, the declaration started a war of words with that other ‘anti-corruption’ fighter and biographer of the infamous logger and casino habitué, Belden Namah, one Sonja Barry Ramoi.

They aren’t fighting corruption any more, but fighting each other – over Twivey Nonggorr and this writer and whether we should be recognized as public enemy numbers one and two.

Iambakey Okuk - Father of the nation and father to Tangil and Dilu - would he be proud?
Iambakey Okuk – Father of the nation and father to Tangil and Dilu.

Ramoi, stroking the obsession that seems to surpass all others, (even in a clearly obsessive personality) insists that we should.  Poor thing – that’s one very distracted corruption fighter.

Dilu Okuk, a founder of the PNGACMC, continued the long argument (10 pages worth) on their Facebook site.

Dilu is the brother (?) of Tangil Okuk. At the time of writing NCDC MP Justin Tkatchenko was asking questions about Tangil Okuk’s land dealings in Ela Beach. Has that been sorted yet? Ah the irony!

But wait, it doesn’t stop there:

Clearly in the sights of these supposed ‘anti-corruption’ fighters is lawyer, Greg Sheppard who has become another target – a windmill, if you like, for these Don Quixotes to tilt against.

Lawyer Greg Sheppard to defend Namah at the Leadership Tribunal
Lawyer Greg Sheppard to defend Namah at the Leadership Tribunal

Lawyers don’t choose their clients; clients choose them. And, in direct contrast to Greg Sheppard (a bête noire of these movements) the darling, the aforementioned Belden Namah, has chosen Sheppard to defend him in his case before the Leadership Tribunal. I wonder what the Kiap’s, the Okuk’s and the Ramoi’s of the world will make of that? (Not to mention the Kramer’s, the Anjo’s, the Moses, the Reinbara’s – which I haven’t)

Coming to Namah’s defence (as she usually does) Ramoi has given Namah’s excuse for the storming of the Supreme Court (well, her excuse for him): the fact that he wasn’t alone.  How ridiculous – he was clearly the ringleader.  Ramoi, does not think too clearly through the fog of her many obsessions.

Yet still she tries: Ramoi is at pains to point out that Namah apologized to the Chief Justice. The implication is that all then should be forgiven.

Good luck with that because I’ve heard tell, by a myriad of sources, some from the highest echelons of PNG’s legal fraternity, that the CJ does not have a particularly forgiving nature.  What’s more, the Leadership Tribunal has at least one justice sitting in judgment to determine what injury (if any) was caused to his/her formidable ‘boss’.

But really, how can one be deemed ‘anti corruption’ and also support Namah – someone who has so many serious corruption allegations dogging him?

And that’s the point: these people are not anti-corruption but merely anti-government. They are just playing power politics trying desperately to attain the moral high ground while grovelling in the gutter.

Gutter politics, gutter journalism.

For example: what possible anti-corruption purpose is served by the Fred Konga incident?

Border Development Authority Chairman - Fred Konga
Border Development Authority Chairman – Fred Konga

Many of the anti-corruption/news Facebook sites took a private photograph, never intended for publication and published it extensively.

It was a nude ‘selfie’.  It was not pornography, just nudity, and it was not meant for public consumption.

What a totally outrageous invasion of this man’s privacy.

Ramoi invited both scorn and ridicule to be visited on this senior public servant and he got it in spades.  How dare she?

I believe that Konga is suing Ramoi – another defamation case for her to add to the one of the Prime Minister.

It’s the noisy minority

Then again, what has the Finance Minister’s missing front tooth got to do with corruption fighting?  PNG Blogs must know something that right-thinking individuals don’t.

But PNG has right-thinkers in abundance and there is evidence that they are just not buying all this personal slander dressed up as ‘anti-corruption’.

MPs James Marape and Nixon Duban
PNG ‘liked’ this photo of MPs James Marape and Nixon Duban a lot

On Minister Marape’s Facebook page he published a smiling photograph of himself and Nixon Duban (tooth replaced, looking good). The photograph got 1070 ‘likes’ (at last count) and 108 comments, all in support of the Minister.

In contrast, the posting on PNG Blogs Facebook page – ridiculing the Minister for his missing tooth, got just eight ‘likes’ and 15 comments, most condemning the tone and subject of the post.  One commenter asked:

Don’t you have better things to do?

Defamation and abandonment

Well, Ramoi certainly does, she has two defamation cases to defend.

For this, Ramoi has turned to crowd funding.  She’s hoping to galvanize her rabid supporters and vocal sycophants in a bid to raise $AU50,000 by donation to fund her defense.

But it seems that, in this, she’s on her own.  They’ve gone quiet.

So far, in more than five days she has managed one donation of $30.  This is despite the fact that the posting requesting the money has been ‘shared’ on 275 supporters Facebook pages and sites.
[The amount was recently lowered, of necessity, to a less ambitious $10,000]

"Look - I don't know the woman!"
“Look – I don’t know the woman!”

Neither has her hero, Belden Namah, come charging on his white steed with bags full of cash to rescue her.

In fact, all through Ramoi’s considerable and prolonged support of Namah, not once has he recognised her publicly. Clearly the support is not mutual – nor does he seem very grateful.  But then neither does her many supposed ‘supporters’ who have, so far, left her high and dry.

They talk the talk – and do so loudly, stridently and often viciously but can’t, and won’t, walk the walk.

It seems to be an established paradigm – I mean, how many supporters did the PNGACMC attract to its barbeque a couple of weekends ago?  From the published photos it looked to be about a dozen.

Hypocrisy is despicable – and there is malignant thread that runs through the anti-corruption movements– and it is becoming apparent to anyone with even a modicum of nous.

These people are not anti-corruption but merely anti this government – and that’s just politics.

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15 thoughts on “Anti-corruption? I don’t think so

  1. I really enjoy reading your posts Susan, it’s where I’m sure to make sense of certain issues without all the “BS”. Thanks and Keep up the good work. You are appreciated.

  2. Susan you association to Tiffany Twivey, ironic as it is and hilarious at the same time, has raised questions on your biased tone to all real people of PNG. The scraps from Tiffanys table have caused you to self combust again Dr Susan.
    I hope the 12 people that read your post recognise your motive as a broken hearted, lonely drunk who has evolved into a loser with a PHD.

    Tarnish all you want the facts are here for public and in time truth will indicate your nature. Hope you are not too old to miss that.

    • Ah Dilu, Pastor Dilu, we all recognise the milk of human kindness that courses through your veins.The only thing missing from that diatribe is the picture that you keep publishing – you know the one – of the wrestlers, one of which has his underwear pulled down to his knees. You exhibit extremely bad taste, in all things – you are not a leader and display none of the leadership characteristics of your father.
      Normally, I would not publish such a comment as you’ve left, Pastor Okuk, – but it serves to illustrate my point beautifully – especially in that which concerns the PNG Anti-Corruption Movement for Change (PNGACMC). Thank you.

  3. Those named above have been at the forefront of the anti-corruption movement – true. However your mention of Tangil Okuk and his business dealings has raised some questions here. For example Tangil mentioned that the land was publicly tendered and the Lands Minister has come out publicly supporting that statement. Indeed there were three years for good minister JT to voice his concerns while the matter was before the courts and the NCDC board of which he is a member. Why he chose to remain silent until now is a mystery. Perhaps you should question Minister JT on his business dealing and connections and why he is now jumping up and down after the court has made a ruling in Tangil’s favor? I wonder if he would have made as much fuss if the ruling had not been in Tangil’s favor?

    Similarly Minister JT awarded a contract for K40 million to Ni Cragnolinni and her company to stage the 40th Independence Anniversary Celebrations. Don’t think this money could not have been better spent on more pressing issues like cancer treatment machines for Lae’s Angau Memorial Hospital and desks for schools and the victims of the El Nino drought in our highlands provinces? Where is the national benefit? Should this not be categorised as a form of corruption?

    And Susan, when are you going to do an expose on the corrupt dealing of this government? Or are you of the opinion that there is no corruption in this government? Don’t you think your efforts would be better spent assisting the anti-corruption movements to “get it right” instead of trying to shoot them down in flames?

    • Paul Amatio, I would not be seen dead in cahoots with these ‘anti-corruption’ movements – for all the reasons I outlined in the article. I vehemently disapprove of the ‘end justifies the means’ mentality – and if the head of these movements had more imagination and intelligence they would see for themselves why. By the way, 40 Million was not awarded to Ni Cragnolini to stage the 40th independence celebrations. This is what I have against this movement – the presentation of propaganda as facts.
      As for Tangil Okuk’s land dealings, I merely said that Tkatchenko was querying them. I also asked it it had yet been sorted. I presented it as smoke – not as fire. However, you, Paul have stated categorically that there is a fire – and my friend, it is all bullshit. The anti-corruption movement in PNG is simply anti government propaganda. Therer are people within this movement who are just interested in wresting power. I’m not sure that I want to help tear down a government to have these people step into the breach. It scares me witless – and it should you too. Look at their methods – hatred, death threats, threats of sexual violence, personal ridicule, invasion of privacy and the latest – censorship. Oh, yes, they’d make a fine government (That was sarcasm – in case you missed it)

      • I suspect that those on the opposite side of most social movements would have had much the same complaints about the propagandising, etc that those ultimately successful movements that brought change for the better also engaged in.

    • In answer to my own question: it seems the matter of the Ela Beach land has been sorted with the title granted to Tangil Okuk’s company extinguished.

  4. Susan you have picked on those who are outspoken against corruption; their flaws coloured conveniently in your spin. Yet you have not provided any solution to a perfect fight against corruption. You have the knack to point out problems but do not have solutions do you? 😁

    • I do actually. I believe the focus is skewed. The focus should be improving not tearing down to replace by something worse. You see, I believe these people are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They’re just playing politics. They are quite possibly the front for corrupt, anti-government elements who are pissed off because their noses are not in the corruption trough.

    • But anyway, answer me this: what part of anti-corruption is being fought by posting naked private pictures or mocking someone’s teeth? Or indeed by the focus of the groups being a journalist and a couple of lawyers? If either Twivey or Sheppard stopped representing the clients you lot have decided are corrupt – what do you think would happen? I’ll tell you: there would be a stampede of other PNG lawyers clutching their CVs and yelling “pick me, pick me,” to replace them.

  5. When i began reading this particular blog, It was quite hilarious to me,no disrespect to you Dr Merrell.. Anyway from reading this blog i can tell you this Dr Merrell, that there are two persons that i despise very much in this blog,the first person is Mr Shepperd, I can say that most PNGeans all know Mr Shepperd as a prominent businessman and an excellent lawyer,a lawyer who delivers on what he is tasked to do,by his was only until up to the point were he acted and played the leading role in that movie,titled SBS dateline,it was at that point i came to the conclusion that this person is a dirty player (corrupted)…Please Mr Shepperd you are a lawyer not an actor!! anyway i think Mr Shepperd should be put into legal oblivion..The next person is Mr Kramer, well this Mr Kramer has definitely got a secret agenda but when??? and if he does get into the political sphere (the beast)
    that he so much as desires, then only will we ever know.. Now the other persons mentioned in this blog,this one is sensitive, Mrs Ramoi ( a mother), i have respect for this lady only for fact that she is a woman,but on the issue of her so called campaign against corruption,this must stop,she is just putting more stress and strain on herself and her family..From her point of view this is just natural instinct, (SBR- sepik and Mr Namah – sepik) it’s just pukpuk (crocodile) loyalty,so Mrs Ramoi for the sake of your family just stop it… The other eminent cookies you mentioned are, Mr Kiap,Mr Okuk (Dilu) and,was it Mr Anjo as well…i’ll just have to live it there for now.. (mi les lo wastim toktok lo ol displa kain lain…gutpla lain yupla inap nau,lusim…)

    • No offence taken. Only too happy to give you a platform to explain your likes and dislikes and to offer up your gratuitous advice. If I’ve made you smile, then my work is done today.

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