Saturday, September 14, 2013

Gratitude to veteran politicians and Happy 38th Indepedence to Papua New Guinea

By Joe WASIA

I salute the founders of this great nation for their role in nursing and bringing up this nation to where it is today at its 38th Birth Day. We sometimes pose negative comments on them saying it was too early for Papua New Guinea to be granted independence but it was not that easy as many of us think.

Even after they are gone their names shall be remembered as they shift the nation from a colonialism to what we called 'Independence State' today. One of those great leaders and founders is non other than Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare who was instrumental in taking this nation out of foreign hands without bloodshed. Besides him were a few other key figures who shaped the future of Papua New Guinea, politically, constitutionally, socially and economically.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Prime ministers
We thank the first Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in the Westminster system and the Governor for East Sepik, Sir Michael Somare (Pangu Party) and first Opposition leader and the MP for Wabag, late Sir Tei Abal (United Party). With their first political parties, they made great impact in the bringing up of independence in 1975.

Other great architects are Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Sir Julius Chan, John Momis, Sir John Kaputin, Anton Parao and Paul Torato. Others who have left us were Sir Iambakey Okuk, Sir John Guise, Sir Ignatus Kilange, Sir Albert Kipalan, Sir Buri Kidu, John Watts and Sir Sinake Giregire and several others. We thank Sir Michael and those who are still living to this date and those who have left us for their collaborative efforts to get Papua New Guinea out of foreign hands. They deserve gratitude.

You cannot teach an “old dog a new trick”. With the evidence of globalisation, economics and trade, we now need young and innovative leaders in the likes of Peter O'Neil, Don Polye, Gary Jufa, Sam Basil, Charles Abel, Richard Maru, Belden Nemah and others who are who are more focused on those issues and take the country from here to the next era.


Hon Richard maru, MP
Commerce & Industry
Hon Don Polye, MP
Minister for Treasury
Hon Sam Abel, MP
National Planning & Monitering
Hon Sam Basil, MP
Deputy Opposition Leader
                                                                                                                                                           
Hon Belden Namah, MP
Opposition Leader


Hon Gary Juffa, MP
Governor for Northern Province
                                         


           
With due respect , I must say that any of these veterans (former PMs) who have returned in this term of parliament or who may return in the future elections must assist the young leaders to form a vibrant government for a better Papua New Guinea. I believe this country has a potential to fly higher above other developing countries of the world if we are honest in affairs of the nation. We have some of the biggest mining, oil and gas projects in the world. We have giant Porgera gold mining, OK Ted copper and gold, Lihir gold, Bougainville copper, Freda gold, Ramu nickel and cobalt, Wau-Bulolo gold, PNG LNG project,  and to name a few.

We also have potential in agriculture and livestock. Papua New Guinea has more than 75% of its land covered in bus which we can use for agriculture and livestock activities. Currently we have Ramu Sugar in Sepik and Makaham valley, oil palm projects in West New Britain and Ramu Valley, Popodetta and coffee projects in the highlands, Morobe and other parts of the coastal provinces and cocoa and copra projects in the coast. We also have piggery and cattle farming in Markham Valley, along Sogeri Roads in Central Province, and other parts of the country. We have everything a country could need.

Now, when PNG turns 38 (2013), everyone, including government and the people of Papua New Guinea have high expectations and hopes for better future as country's the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to be doubled in the next few months as PNG LNG project goes into on stream. Yes, for sure country's revenue will be doubled as never before.

However, the problem of mismanagement and corruption by the elected leaders and their cronies or bureaucrats holding top positions in the country down to the project management on the ground is remained unresolved. We cannot expect miracles from heavens if we are not accountable in handling the billions of kina from the existing projects and other revenues sources in the country.

It’s about time we manage these massive funds with transparency, integrity and with good governance. If we continue fail in this area even after 38 years of Independence, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Happy 38th PNG's Birth Day to all..! God bless Papua New Guinea!
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