Opposition slams plan to buy VIP jet
THE Opposition has slammed the Government over its plans to buy a K128 million Falcon jet.
Deputy Opposition Leader Bart Philemon said the Government of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare “does not care and has lost all sense of
“Just last month, we increased MPs vehicle allowance by 50 per cent and housing allowance by 42 per cent - much to the embarrassment and
shame of some of us,” Mr Philemon said.
“And now the Government has robbed another priority expenditure to add to the budgeted K40 million from 2008 to purchase a Falcon jet.”
Mr Philemon said it was common knowledge that such an aircraft would be for the exclusive use of a few — the Prime Minister and his Cabinet
“And what is this about the difficulties the Prime Minister has with leg room on the current Kumul plane as a basis for the purchase of a
Falcon jet. How absurd can we get?
“What defies any rationale is that this Falcon Jet will only be able to land on four airports — Jackson in Port Moresby, Nadzab in Lae,
Vanimo in Sandaun and Tokua in East New Britain.
"What about the other airports in the other provinces and Bougainville? On what basis is this aircraft going to be bought given this glaring
“How many times will our development partners remind us of our poor social indicators?
“How many times will taxpayers and our constituents decry the deteriorating roads and bridges?
“In short, when is this National Alliance-led Government of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare going to get its priorities right?
“Time and time again, I have, based on the untabled Right-Sizing the Public Sector Report report, highlighted that:
l K20 million could go to pay for medical supplies to provide a full course of vaccinations for nearly 32,000 young children per year
l K10 million could pay for elementary schools for 34,000 per year
l K10 million could pay for regravelling of 60 kilometres of road
l K20 million could pay for single coat re-sealing of 200 kilometres of road
l K25 million could pay for an additional 1650 police increasing manpower strength by some 33 per cent.
“Given the unnecessary deaths of our mothers and children, can I call on the Government to reconsider its decision?
“Stop reinforcing the image of us politicians as self-serving MPs who do not care for our people,” Mr Philemon said.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
- Remember when I mentioned the rumours about Mr Duma and petroleum licenses? Well this came up in the news a few weeks back about the prolonged delays with licences. Could it be these companies aren't paying that extra side money?
- Still keeping an eye on the Lupari case, its been thrown back down to the National Court so we have to wait around for that one. I wonder whats happening with the Somare v Ila Geno case?
- On a good note, there's $700m going to education and an apparent $3b sitting around waiting to be used. No Mr Tiensten, don't get rid of it fast quick, sit down, put some thought into it and address the fundamentals that aren't obviously being addressed with mothers mortality rates doubling in the last 10 years!
- For all my fears of propaganda TV, i do appreciate the showcasing of PNG films/talent on the government station.
- Oh and anyone noticed improvement in the Immigration office since the overhaul?
To end, I've blogged about the importance of national ideology before, the need to unite everybody from grassroots up so we can progress together. The other day I had a conversation with someone who told me of his experience working at one the mines. He said he was in charge of a team who had to do some preliminary work (can't remember the correct terms) before the actual mining operations could start. They were pushed for time and he really needed to get his team moving but he had never worked with these guys before and they were from all over PNG. His words, "hau bai ol harim tok bilong mi, mi man nambis na ol bilong ol narapela, narapela ap." So what did he do, he went through team exercises with them, broke down the cultural differences, told them what their goal was, educated them on what exactly it was they were trying to achieve and why and they had to get the job done! His point? Unless everybody knows what the end goal is and why we want to achieve it, they'll get lost and take issue with petty differences like what part of the country we originate from. We need a "cultural identity", national ideology, a clear goal for this country, a motto even, that we are all aware of, whether you are a villager or Supreme Court Judge, and that's the only way we can progress united. It's brainwashing maybe but that's how nations progress and remain resiliant to disruptive factors.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Meanwhile, here are some interesting tidbits.
First the Bire Kimisopa case against Thompson Harokaveh. Now this case has been going on for ages. After the trial bit was over the judge, Justice Hinchcliffe, apparently fell sick and went away to Brisbane, delaying the verdict for over 4 months and now the Judge has returned but it's not clear whether he has yet delivered a verdict. By the time this whole thing gets sorted the next elections will be around and that's too long a time to have a promising leader like Mr Kimisopa out of Parliament. There must also be issues of the right to a speedy trial/delay of justice in there somewhere, i'm sure.
Staying in the highlands, Piace Wingti's case against Tom Olga was won and has now gone to an appeal. Meanwhile, the general feeling in WHP is that Mr Olga is doing nothing and cashing up big time. Olga is a tribesmen of Minister of Internal Security, Sani Rambi, who apparently contributed some some to Olga's election campaign and is now reaping the rewards with a huge number of his hire cars (Mountain Hire Car) being used by the WHP provincial government and Olga minions with million dollar checks being made out to Mr Rambi. Meanwhile a few other smaller car hire companies are still waiting on payment from Mr Olga for cars he used during his campaign and some he has continued to use. Apparently Mr Olga made a lot of promises during his campaign and is now busy writing the checks before an untimely end to his term through the courts. What I want to know is why in the hell the WHP provincial government needs so many cars when there is so little in terms of development going on.
The National Court has also ruled against Sir Arnold Amet but he has asked for a review of the decision by the Supreme Court so fingers crossed.
Oh and the government tv station...Maybe I'm over reacting but wouldn't this be such a great propaganda tool? Think Suharto's Indonesia with the Government TV station and regulated media. Hmmm.
PNG Parliament: P.O. Parliament House, Waigani, NCD, Papua New Guinea
The National: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Courier: email@example.com
Dear Mr Polye
While watching a recent story on Australian ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program, I was appalled to witness the current state of the PNG civil aviation system. Papua New Guinea, being a country of difficult terrain, heavily relies on air transportation and it is, therefore, imperative that our civil aviation system is maintained at the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
I ask that the PNG Civil Aviation Department be given the appropriate finances and structures to implement ICAO standards in PNG. Poor aviation standards in PNG will continue to lead to loss of lives that could become catastrophic. I implore against this and ask for your government’s immediate action.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I had a look at it and to tell you the truth it the bulk of it is good in terms of bringing stability. I had read a newspaper article that indicated it was very restrictive and here are some of the restrictions it places that are onerous:
- s57: Members of a registered political party can not resign from the party unless they do within a 3 month period before the next elections are called. Further, resignation must be tendered with 30 days of the 3 month period. ie; So if elections are being called in December 2008, you can only quit your political party in September 2008. The only other way of quiting your political party is to show that the party committed a serious breach of its own constitution or has been made insolvent. The onus being on the person wishing to quit the party. Resignation for any other reason amounts to misconduct in office. So say, an independent member joined a party before parliament resumed after an election and 1 year into it finds he/she can't support the actions of that party any longer, it really is a "too bad buddy" situation. That member is stuck with that party for the whole 5 year term!
- s75 & s81: Citizens and non-citizens can donate a maximum of K 500 000 to candidates and political parties. Donating more than that results in a K10 000 fine or jail for no more than 2 years. Are you kidding me? K 500 000! If someone had more than that to donate, i'm sure they are not about to be perturbed by a mere K10 000 fine. Why is the maximum amount so huge? The US Presidential candidates can only have max donations of $US 4600! K 500 000 (or more) is preposterous and allows for favour-buying.
Something interesting though:
- s42(d): The Commission may cancel the registration of a registered political party where – the party without reasonable justification, fails to file financial returns, as required by this Law, for two consecutive years.
I know Somare hasn't been filing them but what about his party? If NA hasn't either then here's another way to get rid of them.
P.S the 18 months grace period for votes of no confidence is contained in s145 of the Constitution.
In other news, PNG will be one of the four Pacific countries Australia involves in their Pacific Solution/working visa arrangement. This makes me very happy because I swear I read just the other day that PNG would in fact NOT be one of the countries in the pilot program and was poised over my keyboard ready to cry out at the unjustice of it all!
Also, because I can't keep up with the hypocrisy, I will now have a column on the side for "Somare says" so we can all keep track of his "fight against corruption." I won't front, I started this blog to give an objective as possible insight on PNG politics and corruption but when the PM continues in the way he has, it's really hard not to just disbelieve and remain sceptical of everything he does say.
Here are two very good letters to the editor from The National: http://www.thenational.com.pg/081908/letter1.php, and; http://www.thenational.com.pg/081908/letter5.php. I strongly agree with the latter, the only way this country can really progress is by developing our human resources in a well- rounded way, education + attitude development, and I have blogged about the importance of ideology before.
Before I leave, here is a blog by a Papua New Guinean really trying to empower the people. I've heard about him and read his column but haven't yet read one of his books which I hope to get around to, he is the type of Papua New Guinean that gives me hope for our country: http://tirikuimbakul.blogspot.com/
Coming up soon: issues/rumours about the judiciary and its independence.
Oh and how much faith can we have in the Finance Department's new corporate plan?
Sunday, August 17, 2008
So what has been going on PNG?
1) The Somare/Moti/Defence Board Inquiry Supreme Court Appeal: Was there actually an appeal? What stage are we at? Generally, what is going on? If anyone has info please update me, meanwhile i'll be on the hunt for an update from sources too. You can certainly tell I haven't been up with all my current affairs.
What I do know is that Moti is now back in Australia facing the child sex offences he ran from and into the safety of PNG, where our Government had no problems with sending him, VIP like, to the Solomons, using state property and services! Newcomers are welcome to browse my old post on this which looks into the legality of the whole Moti debacle.
2) The sacking of Issac Lupari, the Chief Secretary to Government: Mr Lupari has asked for a judicial review of the decision to sack him. He has/had two cases pending, with primary defendants being Somare and the Public Service Commission. I see the National Court was due to hand down its decision for Mr Lupari's action against Somare on 21 July 2008, what was the verdict?
3) And before he goes out of office, the Chief Ombudsman, Ila Geno, has attempted to reel Somare in. Somare lost his bid to have an injunction granted against the OC's inquiry and now he is appealing it. Apparently there was a mention before the National Court on 24 July 2008 but i wonder if a trial date was set and when? Well done to the OC nonetheless for doing their job!
4) Here is a link to a very good article summarising some of the happenings in PNG politics in the last 6 months: http://www.islandsbusiness.com/islands_business/index_dynamic/containerNameToReplace=MiddleMiddle/focusModuleID=18031/overideSkinName=issueArticle-full.tpl. Such as Somare and his problems with the OC and Lupari and the power struggle going-on between Government pollies for the big seat once Somare e v e n t u a l l y decides to retire. The best/quickest way right now for Somare to lose his throne (and there are so many reasons why) and for political power to be decentralised (let's face it, no one PNG PM has accumulated as much political power, influence and total disregard for proper processes as Somare) is for the government to break down from inside. Right now is when Chan and Morouta should be playing the old "divide & conquer" card. If our politicians weren't so greedy, people like Polye would have started walking away from Government some 6 months ago. I wish he would and lead a mass exodus with him. I'm not for a unstable country but neither am i for an autocracy or an oligarchy!
5) What do you think about Chan asking for the organic law on the integrity of political parties and candidates to be scrapped? I believe the initial intention behind it was good, i mean think back to the time when we had government changes every few months, however, i agree there is potential for exploitation, especially where the grace period is a whole 18 MONTHS!? 12 months should be the max, and if elections in PNG weren't such a big, violent, money- wasting hoopla I would even champion shorter electoral terms of 3 years. I know these integrity laws actually encompass more than a grace period and i need to really look at them because they may actually cause more restrictions than they are worth.
6) Also, how damn long is that finance inquiry taking?! According to the PNG Gossip Newsletter, "Chairman of the commission looking into the Finance Department, Maurice Sheehan, is still waiting on the K13 million promised by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in May. The commission has three months remaining to finalise a report for the Prime Minister to present to Parliament."
To end this first real back blogging, here's a bit more ~crazy~ talk from the Rt Hon Grand Chief, M T Somare, GCL GCMG CH CF KStJ Prime Minister http://www.pm.gov.pg/pmsoffice/pmsoffice.nsf/pages/0038CE0D9B4D4D204A2573AD00207C8F?OpenDocument. Do you really know what the people deserve Mr Somare? They deserve the truth and they deserve leadership and respect from their "leaders" for the laws and institutions of this country!