Zealots, diplomats and breakfast: Koim, Tonge and cornflakes

Sam Koim, former head of an Anti-corruption agency, Task Force Sweep, fraternising with British High Commissioner Simon Tong at Breakfast, Grand papua hotel this morning.
Sam Koim, former head of an Anti-corruption agency, Task Force Sweep, fraternising with British High Commissioner Simon Tonge at Breakfast, Grand Papua hotel this morning.

This picture of Sam Koim, the head of the now, in dispute, anti-corruption agency, Task Force Sweep, having a protracted breakfast meeting this morning at the Grand Papua Hotel with the British High Commissioner, has too many sinister connotations to ignore.

As things stand, with the issue of the legitimacy of Task Force Sweep still legally in dispute –Sam Koim is now answerable to no one. He is a loose cannon.

Is this disgruntled, former employee (?) keen to have his revenge on the system that rejected him – even if that involves sedition and/or treason?


One of the roles of the foreign diplomat is to foster friendly relations with the sovereign government by whose invitation they are in the country. Sam Koim is in a bitter court battle with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and other senior ministers and public servants – in fact the whole NEC – so, the question that this begs is why this senior diplomat, the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, would not recognise that this fraternisation could seriously affect cordial relations between the two governments?

That the British High Commissioner wouldn’t be aware of the perception of his actions is drawing too long a bow.  After all, it is his job to know.  But are the stakes higher than this – after all

A diplomat is someone who is appointed by a nation state to represent and protect that nation’s interests abroad.”

Nowhere is it stated, nor is it expected, that a diplomat has anything other his own country’s interests at heart – so what use is the petulant, former government employee (disputed) Sam Koim to him and British interests?

Coercive diplomacy

The Guardian newspaper in an editorial quoted the words of Charles Crawford, a former British ambassador to Sarajevo and Warsaw, who said:

Diplomats, spies and journalists are all basically nosy people. They all want to find out things that are not generally known. What distinguishes them in practice is the methods used. When it steps into impropriety and illegality you can just feel it.

The question is: would this meeting of Koim and the British High Commissioner foster such a feeling?

The Guardian goes on to say:

Approaching foreign nationals and asking them to work for your government is generally agreed to lie in the realm of espionage.

The possibility is ever-present in the diplomatic realm.  It was wikileaks and whistle-blowers such as Edward Snowden that alerted the wider public to what the cognoscenti already knew – that the diplomat walks a fine line that often descends into espionage – as in evidence by the number of diplomats, worldwide, who have been expelled and rendered as Persona Non Grata because of it.

For it is the job of the diplomat to gather intelligence to aid his country’s negotiations with his host nation, a line is crossed when intelligence gathering lapses into espionage: when information was gathered quasi-illegally in order for it to be used for hostile purposes.  Many have crossed that line and continue to do so.

As for Sam Koim, he has seriously breached national diplomatic protocol when he appeared, in Australia, on a national current affairs program, being in Australia ostensibly to obtain Australian governmental backing for his quest against the mandated government (a claim he denies – see http://www.pngecho.com/2014/06/24/koim-politically-incorrect/ )

And this is not the only overseas trip he has taken – always paid by the foreign entity itself, according to Koim. To my knowledge he has accepted paid trips to the US, Britain and Australia (are there any I’ve left out?)

So what was discussed at this long breakfast meeting (2 hours)?  Were secrets revealed either purposely or inadvertently? What schemes were hatched and to whose benefit?  Was the sovereignty of Papua New Guinea breached over the bacon and eggs (and who paid for breakfast?)


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10 thoughts on “Zealots, diplomats and breakfast: Koim, Tonge and cornflakes

  1. What does that matter to you as an Australian citizen?? What is it that concerns you??? What interest do you have in that meeting??
    If you are going to speculate from a mere photograph…..we can also speculate about your interest in that meeting….and I bet you, there will be thousands of reasons why you are so concerned about that photograph……

    • Well Benny, your incorrect assumption has just made an ass of you. I’ll let you work out how you are wrong – but, believe me, you are.

  2. Let us get one fundamental error in this article corrected .The system NEVER rejected Sam Koim, people in the system that we call the NEC did. People rejected Sam Koim because they were just too scared of their own existence.

  3. I personally think the majority of people in PNG have high regard for Sam Koim as he has led and investigated corruption without biase and personal or political affiliation. He had done what he was tasked to do by the Government of the day. The one thing that the government or leaders leading the government did not know was Sam Koim’s undivided and unwaivered stand of transparency and accountability irrespective of which political or personal spectrum one is on. You may recall that when Paul Tienstein was charged and inprisoned, the government of the congratulated and praised Sam Koim and his team, they were the pride of the O’Neill government. Leaders within government (very obvious) had personal and political rivalry and vendetta against Tienstein hence Sweep Team was setup to get Paul Teinstein charged and imprisoned.
    When the tide of change took its course, when Sam Koim and the Sweep Team adopted a non biased approach and started investigating members of the current government and in particular Prime Minister, it (govt) had to find a way and excuse to shut shop hence it was disbanded and Sam Koim charged and dismissed. If you are smart enough you would have seen that this is a tactical used to exonerate political opponents
    The disbanding of Sweep Team and dismissing of Sam Koim is clear indication of a government and or leaders covering up for their own mistakes and suppressing agents of transparency and accountability.
    Please donot may make insinuations to protect cronies and to disrepute good and honest PNGians.
    I would rather you keep your personal views and comments to yourself as it is not helpful to our country and the rot the country is in with all corruption that is abound in the country.

  4. That’s nothing. I saw Peter O’Neill having lunch with Geoffrey Vaki at Angs the day after Vaki was convicted and meant to be in jail. Now that would have been an interesting conversation 🙂 Care to write about that?

    • Have you got pictorial proof or corroborating evidence? I’m sorry, but I’m not able to trust a source with a name such as John Doe. If you can’t own your own utterings why should other people put any store in them?

  5. Good article. Never trust foreigners. They are here for their own interests. No foreigner is genuine. Hopefully, Sam Koim said nothing much in return for the egg and bacon. All white man too ol spy ya. Ol no kam helpim yumi. Ol wok lo interest blo ol yet.

  6. PNG Echo, Sam Koim is not perfect, he is only human, but atleast he displayed some good aspect of God given personality. What about those people that make up the head of the system as you claim, NEC? For me personally,, they are more corupt than Sam Koim

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