Why not Juffa?

By PNG Echo

The warlord's son - with his weapon of choice
The warlord’s son – with his weapon of choice

Don Polye, the Engan warlord, whose election result has been set aside on more than one occasion for suspected and proven tampering (including the most recent one), who is implicated in many corruption scandals including (but not only) the unresolved Paraka case, who has been rejected and sidelined by every government he’s served under, not least of all for incompetence, has been named as the alternative Prime Minister.

Is this the best the Opposition can do?

I’ve maintained (and am unlikely to resile from the position) that the Opposition is not a fit outfit to run a country.   They are a motley crew of the disaffected, disgruntled and rejected – all with knives sharpened to do each other in at the earliest opportunity.

I think they’ve already done Ben Micah in.

According to a government press release, Micah, when denied what Minister Marape has labelled “unreasonable demands” to whit: to be given the Deputy Prime Minister’s Portfolio (the good Minister considering Micah ” …does not have the stature, experience and respect required to be Deputy Prime Minister.”) he gathered up all his toys, like a spoilt child, and left – disgruntled, disaffected and rejected.

Hallo Byron. Off to Alotau? Does ben know?
Hallo Byron. Off to Alotau?

Only he left a few behind, like the Chans – the most useful toys in his stash.

How would he perform as DPM when he can’t even maintain the following of a small political party? I do, though, wonder how Micah found himself in oppositional no man’s land – no nomination as alternative Prime Minister – not even Deputy (they’ve got Basil, who’s made that role his own.)

The only reasonable explanation is that he did more than just sulked away – likely left with a whip behind him.  Ah, you never know how humble you can be – until being humble is all the choice you have.
(Apologies to the unknown sage whose words of wisdom I’ve bastardized)

Mind you, the Opposition are so few that, at this stage, promising Ministerial portfolios would not be a problem.

However, once they’re all gone – what do they have left that’s in the least attractive for the other MPs and for the country? Not a lot.

Yet we are being regaled, in the social media, with all the likely defections – to the Opposition – when in fact the faction that is the most wobbly is the Opposition.

ben-micah (1)Micah, for instance, he’s got nothing for his defection (and he’s not known for doing things out of the goodness of his heart) and what’s more they quite likely tricked him out of the leadership or deputy role and he wouldn’t be pleased about that. I’d say Micah is for sale to the highest bidder – except no one seems to be bidding.

20130910_Tue_HeadlinesAnd then, there’s Namah… who has been ‘making eyes’ at O’Neill for some time now. But the famous cuckold has been, so far, unsuccessful. However, O’Neill would only have to wink at him and he’d come running. He’s no stable member of this wraggle-taggle mob – a bit of a floozy really.

…and Kua – he’s been a bully in the past – See: http://www.pngecho.com/2016/05/05/so-you-want-kerenga-kua-as-the-next-pm-oh-please/ – and it seems he’s still at it.

5160696-3x2-940x627Wasn’t it humiliating to see Speaker, Theo Zurenuoc go to water when Kua reminded him, ominously, that he could be charged with contempt of court – a veiled threat, I thought. You could have carried the Speaker around in a bucket. I’m wondering what motivates this feisty little gnome-like creature other than enriching the Somares.

Then, lurking in the background, not really with them, not really against them, is the Governor of Oro, Gary Juffa.

Here’s your solution.

 I’m now going to suspend all disbelief in order to give you all what you say you want: that is the Opposition, the social media and the silent majority.

It is the Opposition’s position that this VONC was necessary because Peter O’Neill is ruining the country and needs to be removed to save PNG.   Their motivation is to save PNG from corruption and bad fiscal management.

Pay attention to this, because it’s vital.

How can that be the case when they’ve nominated someone like Don Polye to be alternative Prime Minister – just more of the same things they accuse O’Neill of and worse?

I have also demonstrated, here and at other times, that the main contenders for alternative Prime Minister in the Opposition are all tainted by the broad brush of corruption.

The Opposition would tell you that they were acting on behalf of the ‘silent majority’; that they’ve heard their plaintive cries (although I don’t know how when they’re silent) and are responding – a voice for the voiceless.

Equally, there is a certain demographic that uses the social media who claim to also be speaking for the ‘silent majority’. (The students’ did too – but let’s leave them out – this social grouping seems to be becoming over-represented).

We can therefore conclude that the Opposition and the social media, anti-government forces are speaking for this same voiceless demographic.

With me? Excellent.

The deputy (of most things)
The deputy (of most things)

If we scrutinize the rhetoric of this social media grouping and take heed of the many surveys they have carried out, the consensus is that this silent majority, want Gary Juffa as alternative Prime Minister. Unequivocally! (Oh and Basil as the Deputy – who else?)

Juffa, though, hasn’t got the numbers and the Governor understands this only too well – yes, but only because these supposed representatives of the ‘silent majority’ have given their vote to Polye when their supporters want Juffa.

Oh come on Don, why don’t you listen to the plaintive cries of your constituents? It’s easy stuff, step down, instruct the Opposition (which you claim to lead) to back Juffa.

This will reveal, if your aim is really as stated or whether this VONC is a cynical exercise to raid the state’s coffers. As for the social media and the anti-government forces, I’ve given you a tangible way to get what you want – go lobby – but be prepared to run when the sheepskins are shrugged off to reveal the hungry wolves.

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Nation building and the necessity of historical national symbols

By PNG Echo.

Speaker of the Papua new Guinean Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc
Speaker of the Papua new Guinean Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc

Who gave Speaker of the Papua New Guinean Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc, the right to shape Papua New Guinea after an image that he chooses?

Who gave him the right to arbitrarily reinterpret the constitution and what the founding father’s meant – and to decide where they’d erred?

I’m speaking, specifically, of the tearing down of traditional artefacts originally commissioned for the Haus Tambaran to be replaced by others that the Speaker finds more to his taste, sensibilities and his personal interpretation of the Christian doctrine.

Continue reading Nation building and the necessity of historical national symbols

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Koim: Politically incorrect

By PNG Echo

Beleaguered Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.
Beleaguered Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

As I put pen to paper, some Papua New Guineans, this morning, will march on the PNG Parliament in protest against the Prime Minister’s refusal to step aside from his post and submit to the arrest warrant taken out last week.

It is their right to do so and I hope the protest goes well.

As far as timing goes, the march coincides with a sitting of parliament – meaning that the police have more powers under laws that protect MPs to ensure that parliament is not interfered with.

It makes the situation more potentially volatile than it would have been had it been organized for another time.

Dirty deeds…done dirt cheap

Some leaders of PNG 'ant corruption movement in the embrace of the Opposition leader
Some leaders of PNG’s ‘anti corruption’ movement in the embrace of the Opposition Leader

Unfortunately, in PNG, the ‘anti-corruption’ movement has a strong taint of political influence and the timing of this crisis is a testament to that.

Neither has the Prime Minister been slow to use some deft political moves to prevent his downfall, including the sacking of dissenting ministers and public servants and the disbanding of Independent Task Force Sweep (ITFS) – the leading agency in the investigation of the Paraka matter for which the Prime Minister is implicated.

What’s more, the head of ITFS, Sam Koim, has been accused, by the Prime Minister, of improper political manoeuvrings and an inquiry has been ordered. Continue reading Koim: Politically incorrect

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Solwara 1: a done deal?

deep-sea-mining-protest-595x334Will the decision on whether this project will go ahead be for the greater good of the majority (those that have a real stake in the outcome) or will it only serve to enrich a disinterested and privileged minority far removed from the project’s impact and consequences?

By Tony Stone

Minister For Mining - Hon Byron Chan
Minister for Mining

Minister for Mining, Hon Byron Chan, recently declared in Parliament that the “government is still deliberating” on Solwara 1.

Confusingly, his words contradict his actions.

For, despite the negative public reaction to Nautilus Minerals’ Solwara 1 project, the Minister and his father, Sir Julius Chan, Governor of New Ireland, are conducting themselves in ways that compromise their respective offices – ways that call into question their judgement as regulators and State leaders.


It’s all about perception.

Continue reading Solwara 1: a done deal?

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