It at least give us temporarily hope that we the people of Papua New Guinea are fed up of corruption and the continue lip-service by the government to fight corruption as we desired. But the long-term efforts and gains about our fight against corruption still remain in the balance. We need actions and solutions to have a lasting impact on corruption than just mere spectators of the government criticizing the government of all its actions and misfortunes.
I have seen and read on these sites (blogs) and elsewhere about Papua New Guineans and concerned people posting and criticizing our country’s corruption epidemic to the best of what their abilities can manage – describing it as a faceless evil or something worse, whatever they can think, name or describe it. It is quite obvious that we have a corruption problem in this country as a lot of anti-corruption sites (blogs) are emerging solely for the same purpose of posting and criticizing the government of what they are doing or have been doing. But none of these sites (blogs) are dedicated to offering solutions or offer a pathway to solve the country’s worst night mare – the corruption problem. Even if some does, they only provide a segment of the solution, more or less a snapshot leaving the wider sphere of the problem unexposed.
Sometimes it is confusing as to what the intended outcome is or what people want to get by simply posting and criticizing the corruption problem in the country. I know some people are thinking that some of the members on those sites (blogs) are holding onto key or influential government positions (e.g. MPs). My guess is that we are simply assuming that by pointing out the problem to them, they (MPs) will take action or raise our concerns somewhere, maybe on the floor of parliament. But what we don’t realize is that for how long do we intend to wait for someone to take real and concrete actions to address corruption or for how long are we going to discuss the same issues over and over again?
If history has taught us a lesson I think by this time we would be more careful of what we want because a lot of Commission of Inquiries (CoIs), Public Accounts Committee Reports (PACRs) and investigations into serious allegations of public finance mismanagements, misuses, and abuses – none of them have been tabled in the parliament with their recommendations implemented. But instead these reports have been left to collect dust at the parliament house or somewhere, wherever they belong. If the inaction of the government can be a cause of concern, our approach to the fight against need to be changed.
Do you think the government is serious about addressing corruption in the country after spending millions of public funds into conducting enquiries and investigations – reports which will never be tabled in parliament and its findings and recommendations implemented? These monies can be better spent improving the living standards of the people than spending on something which will not be of any benefit? It is very obvious that the government is only paying lip-service and spending monies where their cronies within the government circles can benefit by carrying out those investigations. Is it correct that we care less for our country by entertaining a government which only pays lip-service in the fight against corruption?
We can do better than just only posting online to criticize the government. I am not saying we are wrong or we don’t have to do it. We can do it but in a way to get the results we want within a specified timeframe. If we couldn’t get the results we want within a certain timeframe, we can then think about some other alternatives or ways to stop corruption in our country.
I suppose it is very important to set a timeframe to get the desired outcome because corruption leads to poverty and poverty leads to social problems. What are we waiting for after waiting for almost 37 years since Papua New Guinea gained independence from its Colonial Master? Papua New Guinea has been continuously ranked among the worst in terms of human development, life expectancy, adult literacy rate, and gross domestic product per capita. Our government’s inability to address the deteriorating infrastructure, law and order problems and high cost of living is a grave concern too. Are we waiting for our rich country to become a failed State before we take action or talk about solutions?
By only criticizing and pointing fingers at corruption – where, when, and how do we intend to get all the answers? Who is going to take the lead? We can’t wait and discuss for decades or centuries. If we wait that long all our natural resources will be depleted or dig and piped somewhere leaving nothing behind but massive environmental damages, deteriorating infrastructures and deep social problems with a uncertain future. Is this what we are waiting for? We can’t let a few enriching themselves while the poor majority suffers in silence! The only opportunity we have to develop and advance this country is now when we still have our natural resources. If we continue to let a few govern this nation without developing other industries to support and maintain future growth, this is not only the question about how we fight and address corruption in this country – the important question is about sustainability and future survival.
Solutions to our country’s corruption problem will not be provided by our elected leaders because as I always caution, they are part of the problem which means they will never be part of the solution. If we let them running this country for more decades thinking that they have the solution – we will only be underestimating ourselves. We will make the greatest mistake in our lives that will be unforgivable by the future generations.
If we want to continue to have a future as one nation and one people with more than 700 languages in a diverse ethnicity and a healthy society, it is very important for us to plan ahead to stop corruption ourselves if our elected leaders cannot. If the patriots of this country can rise up and form groups like these anti-corruption sites (blogs) and talk about actions, plans and solutions, I believe the roots of corruption will be shaking. We will send a message to our elected leaders that if they don’t want to stop corruption, we will do it ourselves.
When I talk about actions, I do not intend to mean that we take up guns and starts assassinate our elected leaders or cause an up-rise to topple the government. However, I am not completely ruling out such possibilities as all options will be available on the table for discussion. There are other ways to take action such as campaigning for the establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) or pressing the government to give the Ombudsman Commission more powers to prosecute any leader of wrong doing. We can also form a political party! We have sufficient laws against corruption in the country but it is the implementation and policing we lack.
Patriots rise up! Let’s talk about actions, plans and try out some solutions while we are still alive. If we don’t do it now, the future will when we die curse our graves and regarded us as being greedy and selfish because we have the opportunity here right now to change the course of our country. Let’s rewrite history and go down into history as the legends than just criticizers.
If you are interested to form a group with me, join me on PNG Anti-Corruption Movement (PNGACM) on Facebook and also inbox me. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.