Think Big! Start Small!

Folks, corruption and greed has spread its tentacles into the fabric of the PNG society and I honestly do not know what will the future be like for my children if the current state of affairs are allowed to continue

The entrenchment of corrupt practises in the public service system, the defence, police and corrective services is leaving me wondering what the heck is going on here. Even private enterprises who many PNGeans have invested in have been mismanaged by PNGeans and millions of kina going missing! This trend I think is also being facilitated by multinationals who are ready to bypass normal procedures to make a quick profit. Furthermore, our leaders who are in positions to prevent such practises are even deliberately allowing such practises to continue and are probably part of big network. A sort of an organised crime syndicate.

Another worrying thing to me is to see the so called “educated elites of PNG” using the naievety and ignorance of the ordinary PNGean and stealing from our own people. By this I mean, doing illegal business deals, using the system to get false claims or claiming extra after getting your share, public servants colluding with others in the private sectors to siphon money out from the public treasury and there are many countless practises going on. I am sure many PNGeans are all aware of such practises.

This weekend I went to visit a guy from the North Solomons Province who is studying in an agriculture training institute here, part of the OISCA institutes. We were talking and he said one of main reasons why the Bougainville civil war started was that the locals were spectators and slaves in their own land. He said when late Francis Ona started the rebellion, he hoped that the same sentiments and the movement would sread throughout PNG so that we will kick every multinationals – Asians and all – out of PNG so that we, PNGeans, own and run the supermarkets, stores, finance institutions etc etc. Although, I do not condone an all out rebellion to wipe out all foreigners, I do think this guy has a point. Although his formal education is up only to Grade 6, his views on PNG’s current state of affairs and what need to be done really amazed me. The main point I think, and I agree with this NSP guy, is that we are spectators in our own land. Slaves in our land! The sad thing is, those few PNGeans who are already in positions of power and influence (both political and finance) are in some way not allowing more PNGeans to be in similar positions.

While competion and capitalism is good for developed economies, I think for PNG a socialist government or system would be a better approach. We are seeking medical assistance from Cuba – they have a socialist system and is working very well. If we can not change our current systems, we need some leaders with socialist ideologies in
parliament. Two of PNG’s great leaders and thinkers who were ahead of their time (according to me) – late Sir Iambaky Okuk and late Malipu Balakau were socialists. Their main philosophy driving their policies was to create collective wealth. We need more leaders who think like that. We need radical leaders and thinkers who are willing
to challenge and change the status quo. Having said that, I am also mindful that challenging the status quo does come with risks, which may include paying with your life.

While these are big ideas I also am aware that every journey starts with a step. Think big but start small. And for us as individuals, I think we need to set our house in order, clean our own backyard, live by the principles we preach, secure our own financial future and assist our own family members to also progress in their thinking as well as their lives and have a wider perspective of what roles they can play to help steer the future of PNG in the right direction.


About rodney itaki

Medical doctor and public health specialist from Papua New Guinea.
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