Politics and Business in PNG : Inseparable Partners in crime punishing the people and the country for 40 years

Posted by PNG Today | May 23, 2015 | Posted in

By Lucas Kiap

When it comes to development and providing basic government services in the country - is where billions and billions of Kina of public funds are pumped into every year. Year-in-year-out, every government, when comes into office makes headlines across the country - announcing big budgets for development, raising the hope of the people because they want it badly.
Despite billions of kina have been spent every year on development and delivery of basic government services to the people, people still complain about the lack of development and vital basic government services and how they struggle to survive without it.
Where are those billions of Kina budgeted by the government disappear to?
In Papua New Guinea politics and business cannot be separated from each other. To be a politician is to be a businessman or vice versa. This misconception of politics as a means to wealth accumulation explains why businessmen, ordinary persons, civil servants, priests and pastors when voted into parliament disappear and reappear as business entrepreneurs.
What happens in between?
The first thing that comes to a mind of a politician when he/she is first get elected to parliament is to find ways and means to enrich themselves from public funds meant for development.
To accomplish this evil greed, there are four (4) many ways in which large amounts of public funds are diverted by corrupt politicians for their personal gain:
Corrupt politicians they either set up new businesses or use their existing businesses. Sometimes they allow their family members or political cronies to register businesses. These businesses are strategically placed in line with government development objectives or strategies so that development funds can be diverted into the account of their companies or government contracts can be awarded to the companies, which they have an interest.
To enable these companies to engage in government contracts, they (politicians and government officials) go to every extreme to manipulate and distort checks and balances so that contracts can be awarded to these companies, sometimes by bribing the persons responsible for executing and awarding government contracts. Sometimes it is the opposite. Companies that bidding for lucrative government contracts bribe politicians and bureaucrats or those responsible for the facilitation and awarding of these contracts.
Most of the development projects the government has been proposing and funded are nothing but scams to divert and steal public funds by corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and their cronies.
People must be aware of this.
Politicians' personal interests are always factored into every development concept and projects the government proposes and funds.
In the pretext of funding development projects, public funds are diverted into those projects and eventually stolen.
There are cases of such where public funds have been diverted and eventually got stolen. Such examples are; the RESI funds, Boarder Development Authority, Madang Marine Park, Central City, Solomon Island High Commission Building, and you can name the others. These development projects alone have cost the State and the Tax Payers millions of Kina but some of the projects are yet to be built.
K15million DSIP funds given to MPs every year is one of those development concepts where public funds are funded straight into the pockets of MPs for them to use on anything they wish without checks and balances.
Corrupt politicians and government officials inflate the contract values, three or four times more than the actual contract value.
Who benefits form the inflated costs?
The inflated free money ended up at the bank accounts of corrupt politicians and corrupt government officials who facilitates and enable such illicit transactions.
The government lost every millions of Kina through contract variations by K2 companies which don't have the capacity, technical expertise - know how, equipment, and resources to build high standard and high quality infrastructures wort the costs.
The K2 companies ended up deliberately or unintentionally delay the project schedules and later they apply for contract variations. Because corrupt politicians and bureaucrats have vast personal interests in those companies, the variations get approved without further questions being asked.
These K2 companies usually don't have the capacity, experience and capability to construct high standard and high quality infrastructures. To make worse, either the government nor these K2 companies, don't have quality control and monitoring systems to monitor the integrity of infrastructures projects to ensure compliance with accepted standards and industry best practices throughout design, engineering, procurement and construction phases. As a result what they built often comes apart or deteriorates quickly into few years of operations.
To quarantine this, the government spends more money maintaining the same low quality and substandard infrastructures - the money which could have been used for developing other parts of the country, which still lacks basic government services.
To make even worse, the government does not monitor what infrastructure projects it funds around the country allowing public funds to be diverted elsewhere or simply disappeared without the actual projects being carried out.
Corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, and cronies are to be held accountable for creating a poor country in a rich country.
The question is - when are we going to end the apparent robbing of the country?

PNG Hunters beat Townsville Blackhawks 22 - 16

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

The Papua New Guinea  Hunters have defeated the Townsville Blackhawks 22 - 16 at the Jack Manski Oval  in round 11 of the Intrust Super Cup. This is the Hunters fifth win in a row.

The Hunters were on fire and wasted not time  to  score through captain Israel Eliad on the 20th minute. Jemmings did not find the uprights and the Hunters led 4 - 0.

The competition leaders fought back with a try to square the score 4 all with unsuccessful conversion. With a  huge crowd behind the Hunters, they muscled up again and attacked the Blackhawks defence line and Teteh showed his class by side stepping  few players and planted the ball on the try line to extend the lead to 10 - 4 into half time.

In the second half, Blackhawks were first to score and squred the score at 10 all .

The PNG side hit back immediately  through Maki right under the goal post to take the score up 16-10 after a conversion kick from Zeming.

Another try for Hunters followed 22 minutes to full time scored by Boas and a conversion put the Hunters way in front 22-10.

The Blackhawks replied with a try  five minutes to full time against a strong defence from Hunters but this was not enough to take them to victory with the final score 22-16.

Hunters fullback Strangton Amini suffered a neck injury in the first half and was taken to hospital.  The Hunters will move to fifth place on the competition ladder.

PNG Hunters vs Townsville Blackhawks game live stream online

Posted by PNG Today | May 22, 2015 | Posted in ,

The PNG Hunters verses Townsville Blackhawks game will be live streamed online this afternoon at 4:00 pm from Jack Manski Oval, Townsville. 

The game will be also live  on TVWAN for viewers in Papua New Guinea. 

Intrust Super Cup - Round 11
Time: 4pm Saturday May 23, 2015.
Venue: Jack Manski Oval, Townsville
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Commentators: Mike Rabbitt & Adrian Vowles
Hashtag: #TSVBvPNG


Townsville Blackhawks: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Samsen O’Neill 4. Kyle Feldt 5. Lenny Magey 6. Tom Humble 7. Mitchell Seri 8. Ricky Thorby 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 11. Lorenzo Ma'afu 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Neville Costigan 14. Nathan Norford 15. Chris McLean 16. Noel Underwood 17. Corey Jensen 18. Jack Kelleher
Coach: Kristian Woolf

PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Oti Bland Tony 3. Noel Zeming 4. Thompson Teteh 5.  Adex Wera 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Ase Boas 8. Henry Noki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Kato Ottio 12. Lawrence Tu'u 13. Adam Korave 14. Atte Bina 15. Warren Glare 16. Willie Minoga 17. Enock Maki 18. Roger Laka 19. Brandy Peter

Coach: Michael Marum

Click here for  Live Streaming  

PNG and Japan Advance Engagement on Tourism, Fisheries, Development and Tsunami Awareness

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Trade and cultural exchange between Papua New Guinea and Japan will continue to strengthen through the advancement of issues discussed by the Prime Ministers of the two countries at a meeting in Tokyo today.

Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O'Neill CMG MP, and his Japanese counterpart, Hon Shinzo Abe, met on the eve of the 7th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM7) Summit in Japan.During the working lunch the Prime Ministers discussed issues that included tourism, fisheries cooperation, development projects and tsunami awareness.

"It was a pleasure to meet with my honourable friend, Prime Minister Shizo Abe, as he prepares to host the very important PALM 7 Summit," PM O'Neill said.

"Papua New Guinea and Japan have a very rich partnership that creates opportunity for trade and investment, and also tourism.

"We are looking to create new opportunities for Japanese people to visit Papua New Guinea for leisure and historical visits.

"Papua New Guinea is the final resting place for many Japanese war dead. While this part of our shared history began in a terrible war, as countries that are at peace, we extend the courtesy for relatives of to pay homage to their loved ones and ancestors.

"With Prime Minster Abe we have discussed establishing further memorials at important locations in Papua New Guinea.

"In relation to broader tourism activities, we are discussing work for the upgrade and expansion of Tokoak airport. We hope this would lead to the possibility of direct flights from Japan to Rabaul.

"This is a perfect tourism destination of Japanese people looking to enjoy relaxing holidays on our beaches and experiencing our culture."

The Prime Minister said Japan and Papua New Guinea have agreed to further cooperation in the fisheries sector.

"Japan has tremendous opportunity for our fisheries sector and we are looking at options to improve this trade for the good of both countries.

"There are regional considerations we have to take into account in relation to fisheries and marine resources, so this is an ongoing discussion we will have with Japan as well as other island nations."

Japan has again pledged its support to development projects in Papua New Guinea that are helping to rebuild infrastructure and facilitate cultural engagement with Japan.

"I took the opportunity to express our appreciation to Japan for a range of projects that include national road improvements, agricultural capacity building and programs to deal with the affects climate change.

"Japan is providing 27 billion Yen (K600 million) to support ongoing infrastructure projects that include rebuilding work to increase the capacity of Nadzab Airport.

"A further 300 million Yen (K6.5 million) is being provided by Japan to assist in disaster management and preparation in Papua New Guinea.

"Japan has also allocated US$1.5 billion to the Green Climate Fund and is encouraging Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island nations to utilise this facility in dealing with climate change."

During the meeting, Prime Minister Abe expressed his satisfaction with his State Visit to Papua New Guinea in 2014, and has invited Prime Minister O'Neill to undertake a State Visit to Japan where ongoing issues can be achieved and agreements reached.

The Prime Ministers discussed the possibility of holding the first Joint Committee meeting under the Japan-Papua New Guinea investment treaty as part of the program for this visit.

In their discussion, Prime Minister O'Neill also pledged Papua New Guinea's support for Japan's proposal to establish an annual United Nations World Tsunami Day.

"Papua New Guinea fully supports the establishment of a United Nations World Tsunami Day on 25 November each year.

"This day would raise awareness amongst at-risk communities to prepare for the possibility of a tsunami and this will save lives.

"This day would also provide an opportunity to commemorate the lives lost to tsunami's in Japan, Papua New Guinea and right around the world."

The PALM 7 Leaders Summit will begin in Iwaki-city, Fukushima prefecture, tomorrow and conclude on  23 May.

PNG and Fiji Leaders meet in Tokyo to resolve differences

Posted by PNG Today | May 21, 2015 | Posted in , ,

The tense diplomatic relations between Fiji and Papua New Guinea is expected to be discussed later today with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill planning to meet with Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

O’Neill is expected to use the PALM meeting this week, a gathering of Pacific Leaders with Japan as an opportunity to hold bilateral talks with Bainimarama on a wide range of thorny issues that has affected relations between the two Melanesian nations.

“Yes I have a plan for Thursday to meet with Bainimarama. It is being planned. I meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the morning and later in afternoon with Bainimarama,” PM O’Neill confirmed to Pacific journalists in Tokyo.

When approached, the Fijian PM said he has not received anything from the Fijian Embassy in Japan for the planned meeting with the PNG Prime Minister.

“Not that I know of but I welcome Prime Minister O’Neill if he wants to talk on bilateral issues,” PM Bainimarama said.

PACNEWS has been told that high on O’Neill's agenda is Indonesia's bid to be an associated member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and the issue of West Papua to become a member. Also on the agenda is Bainimarama’s reluctance to attend this year’s Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting to be held in Port Moresby in September.

Bainimarama has said he will not attend the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Summit unless Australia and New Zealand cease to become full members of the regional body.

O’Neill entourage arrived in Tokyo last night accompanied by Foreign Minister, Rimbink Pato and senior officials.

He will take part in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a number of Pacific leaders, as well as meet with representatives of Japan’s private sector.

PM O’Neill said the summit and related meetings will provide an opportunity to strengthen trade and cultural exchange with Japan, and partners around the Pacific.

“The Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting has become an established forum for discussing a range of issues that are important for island nations.

“All islands, large or small, face a number of similar issues particularly as this relates to climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters.

“Papua New Guinea plays an important role in these discussions and I look forward to sharing views with other Leaders.

“Part of our meeting will take place in Fukushima which is an area that has seen first-hand the devastation that can be brought by seismic activity and tsunami.

“In Papua New Guinea we have our own experience of similar disaster including the Aitape tsunami in 1998, and there is information and experience we can further share.

“We are also experiencing heightened seismic activity in the New Guinea Islands at the moment and this has placed a number of government agencies on alert.

“As such disaster preparations and response mechanisms are very relevant topics for discussion for Papua New Guinea at the moment,” said O’Neill.

PM O’Neill said individual discussions with Leaders are an important part of building consensus on a range of issues that are discussed at multilateral forums, as well as create new bilateral opportunities.

“Dialogue between partners ensures that we can collectively advance our views and come to a common position when we meet at forums such as PALM, the Pacific Islands Forum, APEC and the United Nations.

“I further look forward to discussing opportunities to advance trade and exchange in education with our counterparts,” said O’Neill.

O’Neill said Japan is a very important partner for Papua New Guinea and through its purchase of LNG has increased the trade relationship.

“I look forward to meeting again with Prime Minister Abe, he is a great friend of Papua New Guinea and I expect to have a most fruitful discussion,” he said.

The Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) has been held every three years since 1997.  PALM7 will be held in Iwaki-city, Fukushima prefecture, on 22 - 23 May.


Pacific conference delegates renew regional commitment to ending violence against children

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

NADI, FIJI  – As the Pacific conference on Ending Violence Against Children came to a close yesterday, UNICEF East Asia Pacific Regional Director, Mr. Daniel Toole reminded delegates that  “Raising awareness about violence is not about blame, it is about healing the whole family, encouraging mutual respect between children and adults, building stronger families and ultimately stronger communities.”

“When His Excellency the President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau opened this conference, he challenged us when he stated that children of the Pacific cannot wait to be free from violence, we owe it to children to ensure they grow up free from violence. He asked if not us, then when and who?”

“The Pacific, like many parts of the world, unfortunately experiences high rates of violence. But as the Special Representative of the Secretary General said, all violence is harmful and all violence is preventable.”  

Mr Toole encouraged delegates to “Keep children’s safety and protection high on the political agenda, and to translate this commitment at policy level into strengthened services for children who are victims of violence, with a particular focus on prevention and response to child sexual abuse, extreme physical abuse, and greater awareness about the harmful impact of emotional abuse.”

“An opportunity exists for each country of the Pacific to influence the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals on peaceful and inclusive societies and to adopt national targets on ending violence against children. The Sustainable Development Goals will include a target to address violence against children, and countries are encouraged to include targets on ending violence in your national development plans,” he said.

Senior government officials, child protection experts and donors from 15 Pacific Island countries converged in Fiji and reviewed and shared good practices, drafted and agreed to act upon country plans to end violence against children when they return to their countries.

Presentations from delegates illustrated some actions taken to prevent and address violence. For example the work undertaken by churches to counsel couples and parents on positive relationships free from violence, parenting programmes providing vulnerable families with stress relief and guidance on positive discipline and the promotion of positive cultural and traditional values that foster nurturing families and communities.   

There was also recognition of the work undertaken to strengthen laws and policies, with many countries having laws on family safety, including protection of children from domestic violence. Family courts are being established in some countries of the Pacific, and networks for referral and response were being strengthened across health, education, social welfare sectors.   

Mr Toole said “In addition to setting national targets in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, a very practical step countries can take to address violence against children is to ratify the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention. The benefits of governments ratifying these instruments on child rights is a commitment we can make to the children of today and the children of tomorrow.”

Over the course of the three days the conference reminded participants of the need to address all forms of violence against children as it has a devastating impact on children. It leaves deep and long-lasting physical, emotional and psychological scars, it affects a child’s educational attainment, learning outcomes and even brain development. At the societal level it impacts social wellbeing, community unity and places pressure on social services and economic growth.

On the first day of the conference, the launch of the report titled “Harmful Connections” confirmed a strong link between violence against children and violence against women. Girls who group up in violent households are more likely to grow up to become a victim of sexual and domestic violence as an adult, and boys have a greater chance of growing up to perpetrate violence in their relationships. It provided evidence for policies, legislation and services that address all forms of family violence.

In addition to the very harmful results of violence at the individual and community level, delegates learned that violence has a direct impact on the economic and social development of a country. The cost of violence against children in the East Asia and Pacific region is estimated to be 2 percent of GDP.  In countries with developing economies, these are costs that we simply cannot afford.

“There are some key actions we can take to promote a violence free Pacific for children. Ending violence against children requires a committed partnership between government, civil society, faith-based organisations, communities and ultimately families. No one partner or government ministry can do it alone, we need to work together,” said Mr Toole.

The conference offered an opportunity for strengthening partnerships within and between countries of the Pacific and the need to regularly hold a Pacific exchange on our work in child protection and ending violence against children.

“Finally after three days of discussions and deliberations, we can answer His Excellency the President of Fiji’s question positively – it is us, gathered here today that can make a difference to ending violence against children,” he said.

PNG Hunters vs Townsville Blackhawks Preview

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

Having equalled their best run of four wins in a row last weekend, the PNG Hunters face their biggest test when they take on the Blackhawks in Townsville this Saturday.

This matchup between the two “newcomers” of the competition features two sides in good form, with the Blackhawks having won their past eight matches – including last weekend’s 28-0 shutout of Tweed Heads.

That win came a price however with Robert Lui injuring his hamstring, forcing him onto the sideline for a number of weeks.

Coach Kristian Woolf has had to make other changes to the side due not only to injury, but also to NRL duty (Kelepi Tanginoa).

Samsen O’Neill and Mitchell Seri have been named to play for the first time this season, with half Seri in good touch for Herbert River. O’Neill is returning after wrist surgery earlier in the year and will replace the injured Moses Pangai.

PNG have been able to keep their successful team that defeated Norths last weekend relatively intact, with Lawrence Tu’u promoted from the bench for Brandy Peter (personal commitments). Roger Laka also drops to an extended bench which includes Warren Glare.

Hunters Team: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Bland Abavu 3. Noel Zeming 4. Thompson Teteh 5.  Adex Wera 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Ase Boas 8. Henry Wan 9. Wartovo Puara Jr 10. Esau Siune 11. Kato Ottio 12. Lawrence Tu’u 13. Adam Korave 14. Atte Bina 15. Warren Glare 16. Willie Minoga 17. Enock Maki 18. Roger Laka
Blackhawks Team: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Samsen O’Neill 4. Kyle Feldt 5. Lenny Magey 6. Tom Humble 7. Mitchell Seri 8. Ricky Thorby 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 11. Lorenzo Ma’afu 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Neville Costigan 14. Nathan Norford 15. Chris McLean 16. Noel Underwood 17. Corey Jensen 18. Jack Kelleher

Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, May 23 – 4pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head-to-Head: First game
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvPNG
Live Stream: QRL Live Stream

Source: PNG Today/ qrl.com.au

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