By PNG Echo
From the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I comes a song that goes like this:
Whenever I feel afraid,
I hold my head erect,
And whistle a happy tune
So no one will suspect
The result of this deception is very strange to tell,
For when I fool the people I fear
I fool myself as well.
The latest press release from the Office of the Prime Minister puts me in mind of this song. It’s all about perceptions, confidence and the positive effects that flow from the display of confidence.
Accentuate the positive…
In his recent press release the Prime Minister writes:
Our medium to long term economic future will be secured by a mix of responsible fiscal management …strong investor and business confidence and high standing among international and regional organisations and nations we trade with.
O’Neill goes on to give an assurance that his government will be working around the clock to maximise the benefits that a strong regional and international standing will secure.
The key ingredient to the success of this strategy is confidence.
It is a strong display of confidence that will cement Papua New Guinea as a global force that other countries will want to trade with, invest in and support, and O’Neill has created many opportunities for PNG through the hosting of International events such as the recent ACP meeting in Port Moresby,
Through such events, Papua New Guinea has had the opportunity to show the world what it wants the world to see – but this is not the time for PNG to hang out the dirty laundry for all to see and I fail to understand why some factions, active in the social media, would want that their Prime Minister so shame them.
…eliminate the negative
In reality, the international community is not that interested in PNGs domestic issues – except as a warning not to touch the country with a barge pole – so the displaying of them in a plaintive cry for help is counter productive and indicative of a prevailing colonial mindset. The Prime Minister does not do this – he presents a PNG to the world that every citizen can be proud of, and rightly so.
For, perceptions matter and they almost always come from the source.
Consider the episode on the Kokoda Track that saw tourists making false allegations of gang rape and more. While it has clearly been revealed as a publicity stunt the question is why did this publicity-seeking couple choose to stage their farce in Papua New Guinea and not, say, in the Forest of Dean in England?
Patently, it would have been totally unbelievable if they’d claimed it occurred in the latter whereas, staging it in Papua New Guinea gave it a real chance of being believed – that’s the power of perception.
The Prime Minister has been presenting a confident and vibrant nation to the international community – the people whose co-operation, friendship and alliance could determine the future of Papua New Guinea.
This he does as an equal partner, bereft of the colonial mentality of those who go, cap in hand, expecting a foreign government to step in and solve PNGs problems by seriously impinging on its sovereignty (Sam Koim)
O’Neill is not lying, he is whistling a happy tune – about time the rest of you did or you’re doomed to be thought of as gang-raping cannibals – and who wants to do business with those?