Posts Tagged ‘Isaac B. Lupari CBE’

Power Struggle Destructive for PNG

December 21, 2011

The current power struggle is dangerous for our country. It can destroy every fabric of our democracy and the economy. It’s a path; we must not enter because turning back can be too painful. The experiences of countries in Africa and Asia are good lessons for us, not to entangle in power struggles.

For the good of this country, common sense must prevail. Peter O’Neill and his colleagues must respect the Supreme Court Ruling, which nullified his election as Prime Minister on August 2, 2011. The constitution which is the “supreme Law” of this country has spoken. No other laws including Parliament can question the authority of the Constitution.

They simply cannot take the law into their hands just because they have the superior numbers in the floor of Parliament. The re-election of Peter O’Neill, seizure of the Government House, Amendment to the Prime Minister’s Act, aborted suspension of CJ and suspension of GG, are clear conducts beyond of responsible leaders.

Responsible leadership is about protecting the constitution and serving the interest of the people. That’s what our politicians swear to do, when they took the “Oath or Pledge” as Members of Parliament. It is therefore incumbent upon them to respect it at all times. If they do not, they are not worthy of being leaders.

The current conducts of our politicians defies all common sense and are simply acts of desperation, greed, self-serving and political hooliganism. Does this country need such form of leadership? The answer is flat NO. It has no place in our country and must be fully condemned by every sections of our society.

Some political observers’ say what is happening is a fight to overthrow the Somare dynasty. If this is true, it does not entitle O’Neill to take the Law into neither his hands, nor the Parliament or Speaker Nape to act in the manner, they did. Take your fight outside and do it. Why holding the country into ransom? The country belongs to six million people – and no person or groups has the right to claim ownership and do as it pleases.

It is sad to see the involvement of our senior statesmen like Sir Julius Chan, Sir Mekere, Sir Puka and Bart Philemon. They were expected to act beyond the political precincts and show greater maturity and sensitivity – but sadly they have not. They have simply abandoned the people, when they are needed.

NA on the other hand is not innocent at all. They are directly responsible for what is happening now. During their 9 years rein they had ignored disrespected and broken laws and even gagged Parliament debate. If they had not, the country would not be entwined in such political turmoil today. NA is accountable for today’s political stalemate – and any possible loss of lives or properties.

It is a common knowledge that decisions and actions we take today sets the precedence for tomorrow. That’s why today’s political leaders must always act in a responsible manner, in their decision-making at all time.When they are dictated by emotions and self-interests; it is dangerous because such decisions become precedencies for future. The current situation is indisputably a prefect manifestation of NA’s leadership style.

NA regime now needs to correct their mistakes and re-create a culture of respect, discipline and law abiding. The 4 months may not be sufficient but at least they must show their penitence by doing certain things right.How NA manages the appointment of new Ministries, Deputy Prime Minister and Heads of Departments and State Enterprises will be a defining moment. Governor Anderson Agiru’s call for NA to be responsible speaks great volume – and NA hierarchy should take notice. The Grand Chief however knows the challenges ahead – and surely he will do what is right for the good of the country.

For Peter O’Neill, he had a golden opportunity to prove his Government was different from the NA regime. Unfortunately, despite a good start, he succumbed to the NA’s trap. O’Neill’s got himself to blame, not the Supreme Court or any other people. For sake of the country, O’Neill must accept the Supreme Court’s Ruling and lay down his arms and walk away. The General Election is just around the corner – and it is where he can fight his war with NA. Continued power struggle however will only create further instability and could result in loss of lives, properties and investor confidences.

Is that what he wants? Surely not, and he must do what is right for this country. He is an intelligent person and he should not listen to “Blood sucking Vampires” who now surround him. Please sit down with Grand Chief and bring an end to this political tussle.

In all these, the Nation has witnessed the true colours of our present crops of political leaders. The fight was not about people’s interest; it is about their self-interests, and the “nation’s cheque” book, as Governor Peter Ipatas rightly put it.

It is time for every common sense, educated Papua New Guineans to rise up and fight for our children’s future. We now need to take direct ownership of politics. If we do not, we got ourselves to blame when things go wrong in the country.

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‘D’ Day for O’Neil-Namah Govt

December 21, 2011

Today, the Supreme Court will decide the fate of the O’Neill-Namah Government. Both O’Neill and Namah will know whether they stay or go.

Six million eyes will be on our nation’s 5 senior Judges given the importance of the case. Their decision will be crucial, a “defining reference” for future conduct of parliament for the election of Prime Minister.

Whatever the outcome, the event of August 2, 2011 will be remembered in our history. A “Political Coup” crafty devised and executed in a most democratic manner by two shrewd politicians, using NA’s own devices.

For either party, the nervous wait will be over by today. One relieved and happy and the other rather dejected miserable and obviously, scheming their next move. Rumours are both parties have been working quietly to consolidate their numbers with promises of ministerial positions, projects and exchange of huge cash. With our yo-yo political culture, anything is possible, and this “political war” is far from over.

The battle line has already being drawn with Sir Amet is leading NA’s assault whilst wily Speaker, Nape stands his ground. He warns Sir Amet; don’t forget the battle ground is in my own turf -interesting days in politics ahead.

In all these, 6 million people are the losers. The “political war” is a fight for self power; not for people’s welfare. With 4 months before the Election, both regimes know with public resources at their disposal, they will have superior advantages, over their opponents. A sad state of affairs where desperate politicians do not care about the country.

Now if NA regime is restored back in Government, what will become of the good policies and initiatives undertaken by the O’Neill-Namah Government in the 4 months, they have been in Office? Will Margaret Elias and Tony Wagambie be reinstated? How about the Outcome Base Education, which has been thrown out due to popular public demand? Or will re-introduced Free Education policy be retained? The policy will cost K1.2 billion but a worthy investment initiative for the good of the county. Some quarters of NA regime felt it was an “election ploy” but such self centred politics has no place in children’s education. Seriously, if PNG is to be competitive in this globalised world, investment in education and technologies are vitally imperative.

The clearing of “messes” in the State Enterprises Ministry under the stewardship of Sir Mekere will come under NA’s microscope, if Arthur Somare has his way. His displeasure in the manner in which his “empire” has been dismantled is a public knowledge. The removal of his close associate Glen Blake as CEO, closure of expensive IPBC Office in Brisbane, abolition of Petroleum (Kroton) Company and State Enterprises Department have resulted in huge savings for the State. What will happen to the investigations into the three glaringly financial transactions by the former IBPC regime? The K80.0 million investments in a fishy project in Australia, K100.0 million (sale of MVIL shares) parked in Australia and the expensive A$1.6 billion Loan from Abu Dhabi for the LNG project are transactions allegedly conducted in secrecy and outside of Government vetting processes, including the National Executive Council. Will these investigations be continued? Or Will they become victims of cover-ups, like the “Singapore Account and Taiwan Diplomatic Deal” in the past?

The nation will also watch closely what the NA Government will do with the Anti-Corruption body – TASKFORCE SWEEP, which has so far being successful in its work. The fight against the corruption is paramount and the work of Taskforce Sweep should be supported by everyone, including NA.

The NA regime has a mammoth task ahead and how they address these issues will either make or break for them. The retentions of these initiatives will surely help restore their battered credibility. If they don’t, they face wide public backlashes, a risk they should avoid at all cost. Nonetheless, the 4 months in the wilderness have given the NA’s wise men enough time to re-assess and plan their survival kit. The expulsion of Polye, Sam Abal, Tiensten and others from NA are seen as part and parcel of this survival plan. However, it remains to be seen whether Sam Abal and Tiensten, who are partly responsible for the downfall of NA Government, will be “rewarded” with Ministries. Anything is possible, as they say in PNG; politics is a game of conveniences.

NA’s credibility is in tatters and its revival will depend on the wisdom and guidance of Grand Chief. He knows rebuilding NA rests on four crucial factors. Firstly, removal of the entire “Kitchen Cabinet”. How painful it might be – it must be done. Secondly, he must immediately relinquish the NA leadership. Thirdly, the Deputy Prime Minister’s post must be given to the Coalition partners, for NA to consolidate the Coalition Government. Finally, free education, IBPC restructures investigation into IBPC’s financial deals and Task Force Sweep must be retained. If these things are done, NA has a chance to rebound in 2012.

For O’Neill and Namah, they have proved their leadership credentials in the 4 months in Office. They made many decisions, some popular and others not appealing to the public. The free education, IBPC restructure, Taskforce Sweep, delivery of 22 Women’s reserved seats in a workmanship style with 72 votes, and sale of expensive Falcon are testament to their leadership style. Others such as appointments of political cronies, alleged K500.0 m misappropriation and aborted suspension of the Chief Justice are sourly taste. The suspension of CJ was a political madness – and no amount of justifications will make the wrong – right.

From all these, many lessons could have been learned by both sides regardless of the outcome of Supreme Court Reference. One obvious lesson is every politician has a duty to uphold the constitution and the integrity of our Laws at all times. If they fail, our nationhood and democracy is at great risk.