I must admit this is very sad news. Before reading the posting about Mr.Baing's activities at the Dept of Fisheries , I had a very high opinion of Mr.Baing's credibility, now I am not so sure. And 'if' the allegations are true, then who else(politicians) has this same selfish attitude? Or maybe a better question is, who doesn't?
As a concerned student overseas, I don't know much about the current happenings back home(in PNG) and how that will affect the economy, apart from what I read in the nius and postings on forums like this. And a great portion of what I am reading is not very encouraging.
What is happining to our beautiful country? I am sure that the country I left a year ago, is very different to the one I am reading about in the nius. To tell the truth, it really saddens me.
Please wantoks, don't get me wrong, I am not naive, I know that our 'wantok system' culture and a democratic style of government are not the best sociopolitical marraige partners. And that as a result, we have never yet, been able to utilise our resources to their full potential.
Coupled with skyscraping crime rates and unfortunate natural disasters relatively within a short time span. Is it 'realistically' possible for us(PNG) to bounce back anytime soon? The reason why I ask is that, do you think the people will patient enough to wait for a couple of years for the economy to gradually build up? And if we as a people are not able to be patient, what will be the most likely reaction?
Apart from praying, what can I do? I intend to come home upon completion of my studies and I really want to do something for my people. What can I expect...oops, sorry, I forgot, PNG is the land of the 'unexpected'.
I don't see myself as a pessimist, but like medecine, we have to know the 'ailment' before we can administer the 'treatment', that should 'hopefully' result in a 'cure'. Only then, can we work on methods of 'prevention' that will safegaurd us from 'getting sick' in the first place.
Based on what I am reading in the newspapers, PNG is still very much in a mess, I realise our new government is still settling in and it might take a while to see any measurable improvements. I only hope that, 'while', does not lead to years which turn into decades and before you we know it, our grandkids are reaping the harsh results of frivolous and selfish foreparents.
Brothers and Sisters, what can we do? What should we be doing? How can we break this cycle? The current forecast of PNG is very bleak, is this the PNG you we want to leave for our children?
PS - I am sorry for spouting such a gobful, but any replies and suggestions will be really appreciated.
First off, Right thinking. I think these forums are an excellent place for all PNGs to discuss development issues. Olsem yu tok, the first step should be the diagnosis. I am talking about taking a DEEP look into the whys of our current situation. For example the marriage of the wantok system and democracy that you mentioned.
I think we should try and make a list of maybe 5 of the major problems that our country currently faces. Then we can look at the roots of these problems, for example the high crime rate. Instead of just saying it is caused by certain tribal groups, we should look at the history of the rise of crime in the cities, how we handled crime in our traditional societies. We could also go deeper and then try to understand whether part of the problem is caused by the shift from a communalistic form of ownership to the current capitalist system and see whether this is also a contributing factor. In short we should look at the problem from all possible angles.
Once we have identified say 5 of the major problems and then exhausted what we believe are the possible causes for these problems ( with much debate of course ) then we should look at the how other similar countries dealt with these issues and see if their method could work in PNG.
Finally the difficult part; the implementation. WE may not be the ones to implement the changes but we can foward our concerns to our leaders and make positive suggestions. Heck even some of you reading these boards may be leaders incognito.
This will surely be a heady undertaking and I look foward to the contribution of the rest of my brethren as we seek to make PNG a better place.
I agree with you bro, let us begin by identifying the five major causes of problems in PNG. I am not a drawing on any statistical evidence but these are my top five suggested causes:
1.Divisive regionalism and nepotism
2.Encouraging a handout mentality
2.Lack of respect for figures of authority
3.Little to hope for
4.Tall poppy syndrome
What do you think? If there are more important ones that I have not considered please list them and let us try to work on something. We cant change the country overnight but identifying and suggesting ways of overcoming our difficulties is better than sitting around doing nothing. Like you said, maybe those that are in a position to implement maybe frequent visitors and contributors in this forum.
After you make your suggestions, why dont we try to bounce a few ideas off each other on suggestions how we can overcome our problem areas? What do you think?
Bro I agree that those things you listed are some major problems. I don't have statistical information either, I doubt the National Statistics office keeps this type of data. I was thinking that perhaps a group of likeminded individuals could do a survey. Perhaps we could get a group of Economists, Statisticians, Historians and Sociologists ( all students) and then draw up a survey and get the opinions of ol grassroots lain. We could then compile the survey and present it to the proper authorities.
I know that sounds farfetched and I doubt very much that we would get those people together, but if there is a chance, I would be keen to do something like that. Based on what the people say then we could see what Papua New Guineans consider to be the major problems that they are facing. For the mean time however, my list of the five major problems are ...
1. High Crime rate
2. Regionalism and Nepotism
3. A loss of cultural values
4. Lopsided economic development ( Rural vs Urban )
5. Unsustainable development
The first issue of high crime is obvious, Port Moresby especially (and Lae), our capital is riddled with murders, robberies and rapes on a nearly weekly basis. This is made even worse by the fact that Moresby has a population of only 250, 000 or so (if I am not mistaken). The high crime rate not only makes it difficult for law abiding citizens to live their normal lives, it has an impact on our ability to develop economically. For example we are missing out on opportunities to develop our tourism industry because of the negative publicity that PNG receives abroad. Compare PNG to Fiji and Vanuatu, all three nations are melanesian and have similar traditions, customs etc... We have to work out why Moresby and PNG generally has a higher crime rate, is it because of economic problems, the clash of cultures, inadequate education ? or is it a mix of all of these.
Brats in order to answer these questions, we really have to dig deep, olsem na mi tok we need the input of sociologists, economists and all these other people I mentioned. If we were to do the survey, we could ask a representative group what they thought was the cause(s) of crime. We could ask former gang members and current ones what causes them to carry out the acts that they do. If I am not mistaken, there hasn't been a study like this carried out yet, or if there has, it is only available to the select few.
Personally I think it results from the disillusionment of the youth when they find that after gaining their formal education that there are no jobs available for them. You cannot really expect these educated young men and women to go back to their villages na planim kaukau. They feel letdown since they have spent 10 or 12 years studying things that will not be put into practice. I may be overstepping my bounds here, but perhaps we have to look at our educational system, is it teaching the appropriate skills to the youth ? (See Brooker T Washington for a similar idea presented to African-Americans). Perhaps those who are responsible for the education of the youth should make it so that the cirriculum teaches skills that are relevant for Papua New Guineans.
Not only disillusionment however, I think attitudes are another factor. It starts with the little things when the children are just growing up. If we are to accept a western view of development, then we have to start teaching the kids to respect property. The idea of property rights is central to any capitalist society, olsem na we have to question whether or not we are going to discard our traditional views of communal ownership. This is a thorny issue, but we have to discuss these things if we are truly to get to the bottom of our problem.
Brats, I have a tendency to be longwinded, but these short paragraphs do not cover the issue sufficiently, I wish that I could go on, but I will await your reply to see if you are serious about discussing these issues.
I hope this starts off the "bouncing" process you were talking about.
you are right....atitudes,morals must improve to have any hope for the future
October 30 2002, 4:32 AM
You are right, this subject should be in the development forum. It is in this forum because I responded reflexively to the article about Andrew Baing and the Fisheries debacle.
Mate thank you for your optimistic attitude, there are quite alot of our countrymen and women who do not see things like that right now, but humans are very capable of changing.
You highlighted some very big problem areas that is plagueing us. As you suggeted, it would be ideal to get responses from knowledgable social and economical (and maybe religious) persons out there. By knowledgable, I mean people that are specialising in the social and economic trends and patterns. But those type of contributions would not be immediatley forthcoming (somebody please prove me wrong) so I simply suggest we look at the issues purely from our own observations until our more 'knowledgable' brethren can shed more light on the issue.
Your observations about the possible causes of our problems are pretty much bang on. So, lets take them further. Attitudes have to change, the importance of good morals must be stressed, and people have to be given something to hope for.
I think that attitudes are important because, before anything can change, there has to be a demand to change, when people desire a change, they will think of ways to do it. Now thinking of change and the act of changing are two different things altogether. In order for change to be implemented, people must be convinced that this is the best way to go and that there are no better options. Now, in PNG, do our people know their options and the consequences? I doubt it. Instead of saying, the government will solve the problem, are there many who try to buck the trend and do something beneficial of their own accord? Once again, I don't think so. So, it is my opinion, that we as a nation must desire a change and be willing to change our attitudes to achieve that change. I am sure that every one in PNG wants a change, but are we willing to do what it takes to make that change a reality?
Secondly, the importance of morals and moral behaviour must be ingrained in our mentality. Kain pasin blong steal na makim nambaut nambaut ya maski. I am talking about the kind of 'pasin' that degrades a person. I realise that this is not a problem specific to PNG and even many 'developed' nations also face problems with morals. But I think that we have an advantage over these 'developed' nations because our family bonds are much stronger and larger, so why dont we utilise our bonds to promote good morals. I am not just talking about teaching our kids not to swear and to say please and thank you, I am talking about giving refresher lessons to immoral adults as well, sapos wantok blong yumi ino wokim gutpela pasin, tokim em stret. Tokim em olsem, "brat, em ino wanpla gutpela pasin yu bin wokim, what if sampla lain bai mekim olsem long yu tu?bai yu feel olsem wanem?". A good guideline for morals is the proverbial, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
And thirdly, people need hope. We all hope for something, it is an itegral part of being a human being. If a person has no hope, he/she may as well be dead already. Hope provides motivation. When we change our attitudes and morals, there must be a hope that the difficult task of changing will be rewarded. We all know that we have the potential, so that hope is automatically there. A better future doesn't magically appear, we have to work towards it.
Bro, due to our limitations, do you think it is a good idea to just go from what we have right now, and let ideas and contributors develop as we go? Yu ting wanem?
Re: you are right....atitudes,morals must improve to have any hope for the future
October 30 2002, 5:46 PM
Bro you listed three additional things. Attitudes, morality and hope. These three things are dependent on particular individuals. It is impossible to make people become moral, even in Mao's China with their dictatorial style of leadership, you had people who went against the system. I believe that humankind is self-interested, by that I mean that you cannot instil in people a desire to help their fellow man, they will only do it if it benefits them in some way.
Admittedly there may be some individuals who do things out of the goodness of their heart, but for the majority this is not the case.
So then how do you make these self-interested individuals change their attitudes and their behavior? I guess this is the field of behavioral psychologists, and even they have not fully come to terms with the human psyche. But from what little I have learned, I think you have to work out what makes people develop the attitudes they have. I think that attitudes, behavior, morality etc... are all learned from early childhood which means that in order for us to hope to change attitudes, we have to get them while they are young. This is where the educational system is pivotal in developing a nation. In addition to teaching the core subjects I think teachers must teach these lifeskills at a very young age. For example, to ol soti mobs ( the grade ones and twos). Teach them manners, respect for property, respect for elderly etc... all those things that we took for granted in many of our traditional societies.
But the education shouldn't stop at school, the parents have to reinforce the messages that were taught to the kids at school, I'm not talking here about academics (Math, Science etc..) but about the ideals of respect etc... The idea of "teaching" parents is a great idea. Awareness programs should make parents aware of the importance of education and behavior.
Then we come to the media, which is becoming more of an influence on our people now (If you ever get the chance read the book : Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky). Censorship can sometimes be excessive but with the proliferation of VCDs and all these other forms of "entertainment" kids are being exposed to types of behavior and lifestyles that are in conflict with our traditional systems. It is for this reason that the Government and its regulatory bodies (I don't know what they are in PNG)should make sure that the programming that is shown is "appropriate". More educational shows with a PNG content and relevance need to be shown.
The final issue of hope... Some people regardless of how good things are, can always find fault. We have expert critics in PNG that can find fault with everything, what we need instead are more people that can look for opportunities. The elected officials in Government are the most visible members of our nation and therefore many people pin their hopes on them. But we have to realize they are fallible men ( and women) so they will make mistakes (too often at times). We need to take the initiative, with self help projects for example. We need to network (those with skills should be willing to use their skills for the betterment of the nation). We have too many people with degrees with no work in Moresby when they could be using their expertise to do things in the provinces. This is linked to that lopsided development I was talking about.
The government can promote a self-help mentality by going half way with small businesses, for example half of the capital is put up by the owners and half the Government gives as a low interest loan. ( Is this already being done by the Rural Development Bank ?). A lot of the funds for development that these developed nations give should be funnelled to these self help programs. The education system should give our business people a practical outlook. How to start a business, keep it running, look after accounts etc... all these basics.
Brats, I'll stop here, if anything this exchanges promote positive thinking and who knows we may be able to one day implement our ideas.
My sincere apologies, this is the third time I am attempting to respond, I hope it gets through this time. You have already started addressing possible solutions to some problems.
Before people can change their attitudes, I think that they must have something better to hope for, some higher level to attain to and that that level is practically within their grasp. Only then will they be willing to acknowledge and implement ways to fulfil their hopes. We must convince our brethren by showing them that it is possible to have a brighter tomorrow for PNG.
I agree with you that good attitudes can be moulded through education channels,and I just want to add that these good attitudes can be further reiterated in the home setting. If the attitudes being advocated at school are being practiced by parents and other role models, then the moral attitude becomes reinforced. And as a majority of PNGn's proclaim christainity, christain moral guidelines are already there, the people have got to wake up spiritually as well. It does not help matters when good lessons taught in school are being frustrated by irresponsible role models of the child. When the live for today mentality of our people changes, then we can start to have some realistic hope for the future.
When the attitude changes, alot of our problems will disintegrate. Crime levels will be drastically reduced. A communal concern for all members of society will result in better care of communal assets such as government buildings, community projects, etc. Also, I think that an optimistic population is the best stimulant for development, great things happen when people are happy and industrious.
Now, how can this change be brought about? I cannot think of any secular methods to change a persons and peoples attitudes and I may be biased because I am a christain but I believe that we need Jesus, with Him, all things are possible. Of course christainity has been around in PNG for decades, but we still find ourselves in a mess. What I am talking about is not just an impersonal mumbling when the pastor is around, but a real and personal committment to the Lord Jesus Christ and tapping in to the source of divine strength that is found in Him by faith. Now before everyone gets up in arms, let me just ask you one question. would it be so bad if our people had a real christain experience, not the kind that is a christain for only one day in a week, but the kind that eminates Christ's loving character 24/7/365.
I am in support of your points of discussion. I agree with what you have contributed so far. Your line of thinking is what we need from PNG'ans in all works of life. For a successful overhaul of PNG, all Professionals, Non Professionals, villagers & leaders in all works of life throughout PNG will need to put heads together and work together as you have rightfully stated.
What we in PNG, are experiencing throughout are bad results caused by people at all levels over time.
Three major areas that managers monitor daily are RESOURCE, PERFORMANCE, RESULT.
In PNG, we have the Resources and we are producing Results. But what we are failing to look into closely are proper systems to measure performance at all levels (individual,team, district,province and national levels) to comply with proper standards to produce the required results at a set acceptable level of confidence.
A Good example of the kind of system already being utilised that can help in overhauling PNG is the NASFUND. There are several other corporate organisations eg. Ok Tedi, Porgera etc already using recognised systems for prudent management within PNG.
Seriously my approach would be to
A. design a work culture in line with Christian principles
1. commitment - align personal goals with nations
2. accountability - ownership shift in thinking
3. partnerships - collaboration and check & balance
4. practices - shift ways of listening, speaking & acting.
B. install management systems to check & balance.
The management systems exercise takes us through
1.review organisational structures,
2.interviews with key players,
3.subjective & objective assessment of every organisational activity,
5.review supplier & customer relationships,
6.review old systems,
7.design,install,implement and audit a new system
and much more.
If we need to progress further on this subject, I suggest a government department or Mike Manning champions the whole process and I am available to sacrifice my current job for my beautiful country.
Bro my apologies for the delayed reply. Smokey and Anonymous, what are your thoughts on the issue ?
I had written something a bit earlier but it sounded so abstract, so removed from the realities in PNG that I didn't feel it would be beneficial to our discussion. I think the problem with alot of Papua New Guineans that live abroad is that they tend to lose touch with the reality in PNG, we do not as yet possess a highly educated skillbase and many of the models of development that we study overseas are based on assumptions that are unrealistic in our situation.
Your point that hope is essential in order to motivate people is so true, if our people do not feel that there is a bright future they will have a "live today for tomorrow we die" attitude; it is a kind of self fulfilling prophecy because if they have that attitude, it leads to actions that bring about the very thing we dreaded. That is why it is essential that our people become optimistic. And I know with it is extremely difficult in these times to be optimistic, high crime rate, sinking kina, AIDS etc...
You suggested Jesus as a solution na brats I must agree with you, but not all are Christians and even those who profess to be in many cases are just nominal Christians (name nating), and the state must be separate from the Church so we have to rely on secular tools but guided by God. I will not attempt to mislead you, at the moment I think what I lack is a proper understanding of the current situation, I hope to remedy this when I am back home. I desire to have a firm grasp of it before I can even begin to speculate as to causes.
But here is something that has really gotten to me, it's like a thought I cannot dispense of, if there are like minded Papua New Guineans who have a real desire for PNG to change, we need to get together and then discuss what we can do to change it. This is not an impossible task and if you are familiar with the lives of Cabral, Nkrumah and Malcolm X (to a certain extent) you will see that what led these men to change their current situation was firstly a realization of the problem, then a period of incubation where they got their hands on all the available information they could in order to see what others had done before them, what theories existed that they could put to use, what current leaders were doing etc... finally after their incubation, they put what they had learned into practice.
As this site says, the destiny of this nation is in our small hands and guided by God we can make a difference. The current crisis we face may be an opportunity for us to realize that we have to start standing on our own feet. Perhaps we could start of by suggesting relevant literature that we could read, and then discussing them on this forum.
Just some disjointed thoughts to keep our discussion going, hope to hear what you all have to say on this issue.
Agree with point on the fact that we can make a difference by identifying the real problems in the nations and, guided by God on high, resolve them.
I'll get back once mi pinisim sampla arapla samting.
I'm sori, but you guys need to get out there and onto the streets of png in the cities and the rural areas and voice your opinion - you guys need to get together and rally for what you want and what direction you want to go - RALLY TOGETHER PEACEFULLY I mean get thousands of people together and march onto the steps of parliament and voice your concerns - PEOPLE POWER
sori but in here only a few people are listening -
That is the problem annon... what do we want? what is the best course of action ? what are the causes of crime and high unemployment ? these forums provide an avenue where we can discuss these issues, where we can try to get an idea of where our country is going wrong. It is pointless to go out and rouse a crowd to go and march on parliment and demand it to DO SOMETHING. That is the same type of reactionary attitude that will not produce results, because firstly you do not know what you want the Government to do and secondly if the Government does do something you do not know how effective it was because there is no point of reference from which you can gauge results. So the process is doomed to perpetual repetition.
That is why we present ideas on a discussion board, in order to firstly determine what brought us to where we are and once we have identified that, we can then try to formulate possible solutions. Only then when we are armed with a knowledge of what is wrong with the system can we make definite requests and judge whether or not those requests have been implemented.
This is not pointless rhetoric, this is the start of a process, which finally ends in action. Before you DO SOMETHING you must first know what it is you want to do.
As you stated quite correctly, we need to be at home to gauge the real situation. And of course, I am not at home right now because at home I am not part of that 1% that has internet access. And since it has been a long while since I left the country for studies, the only way I get nius from home is through internet (email,niuspaper,forums). So not being on the ground does put me at a disadvantage.
I wish our brethren who are back home and who also surf this site would contribute their ideas or comment on some of the scenarios that are suggested. I am not talking about the negative pessimistic kind but constructive comments that will help us all understand the 'real' situation and seek ways to alleviate the suffering back home.
But without useful input from the brethren at home, like you said, we will probably need to go back home and see for ourselves. Please forgive my ignorance, but would you happen to know who and what the KSI (Kumul Scholars...somthing) do? What are they set up to do? What is their mission statement? I am sure that they must have alot of good ideas and contributions floating around. Maybe they or an organisation like theirs could provide the infrastructure necessary to accomodate a PNG problem identification and progressive implementation network that you implied.
I've read this forum and think what you have said is correct. But dont you think it is wishful thinking to name five major problems. I'm overseas aswell so maybe naieve to the happenings at home, but I think that the country is one big problem. POLITICIANS. They dont seem to have anything resembling pride or personal satisfaction. They dont seem to care for their country, no patriotism. The way I see it they go into politics for themselves, not even for their families and friends. I think its time we stood and asked to be counted, we should stand up and make an example of these politicans. Treason against your country and your people should be a capital offense. I think that any corruption or diabolically stupid descision which are obviously made for the personal gain of a politican or his bankroller constitutes as treason and therefore should be made an example of. We should publically execute politicans for being rediculous, they shouldn't go into politics unless they really have the best interests of the nation in hand. Executions will make them think that they are not above the law cause lets face it they're only worried about saving their own skin.
Just a thought but people are already thinking this in places.
Hey Francis, Skulmangi and the rest of the crew. Unfortunately I did not have access to the Internet back home so I was not able to keep up with the discussion. I do not need to stress how prohibitively expensive Internet charges are back home. Unless of course you are an expatriat with four times the salary of a national doing the same job. Racial discrimination ???
Olsem wanem, are you guys still interested in discussing this issue. My trip back home was refreshing and helped me see the issues clearer, I hope that we can continue this discussion as it would not only be an interesting intellectual exercise but it can hopefully one day become a reality.
I'm sure you don't need any reminder of the state of PNG as you yourself saw what I saw ( I'm assuming you are from the wopwops ??? ).
In case you aren't who I think you are, then for the sake of the discussion I will just say what I saw. Firstly it was obvious the crime had risen, not only from the often exaggerated stories of friends and relatives, but from supposedly unbiased and thoroughly researched newspapers and EMTV.
The roads in Moresby are not only an eyesore, they are an embarrassment to all Papua New Guineans. The state of the roads may be a fitting representation of the state of the nation. Too many half thought-out ideas, too many transitions from one set of ministers to the next without anything significant being done to alleviate our current problems, too many leaders taking too much money for no visible improvement. Perhaps I have been too harsh but one cannot help but become slightly irritated when the newspapers at home are reporting investigations on the corrupt practices of a leader every second day.
It must be obvious to those reading that I firstly mentioned crime as a problem, then our leaders and now to continue the tirade I must mention the lack of national owned businesses. All over Port Moresby all the businesses are run by non Papua New Guineans, I understand that legally anyone who becomes naturalized is a PNG citizen, but in some of these cases these PNG citizens still retain their former citizenships incase something happens in PNG. It must be obvious that these people are trying to milk PNG for what it is worth and if the heat is on in PNG they can whisk away their millions and their underaged Papua New Guinean concubines plus whatever offspring was created from this "prostitution".
When are Papua New Guineans going to realize that we should be the ones owning stuff and not be content to work for "master man".
One last one before I quit venting, I promise to be more upbeat the next time round (Deo volente). There is a growing gap between the rich and the poor in PNG. It is my personal belief that this will one day become a heavy burden for PNG especially in our cities. The rich because they have access to information, networks and most importantly capital, can establish their children and friends and live relatively well off lives, while we have the poor whose only hope of escape from the cycle of poverty is education and a good break.
However even in education the poor are disadvantaged , most times their schools do not have the facilities that the rich kids take for granted. This means that they may not get the necessary training for jobs that pay well enough for them to become more affluent, added to this is the stress of living in an environment where education may not be seen as the most important thing in life. What am I saying? I am not excusing the failures of the poorer kids, nor am I trying to send rich kids on a guilt trip. What I am trying to say is that at the present time we have a system that may at some point in the near future produce a disillusioned "proletariat" ( if I may )that realizes that they cannot have what the rich kids have because they are disadvantaged. This sort of realization, if it happens simultaneously to a number of the less affluent could become the seeds for civil strife.
I may have been too dramatic, but it is a possibility and we must be careful that such a thing does not happen, and I must point out that I doubt that free education is the solution to this. This would be an interesting point of discussion.
I hope that answered part of your question, I look foward to hear what you learned on your trip to PNG.