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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Cyber Ghosts and False Hopes

Commentary By Sam Basil

Enough time has passed to discuss the issues at the centre of my recent decisions. I did not take any steps without considerable thought of the future of my political party and my country.

I spent each day imagining the wishes and aspirations of millions of people who advocated for revolutionary change in PNG in 2017. I knew that my job was to deliver on some of the dreams expressed to me in emails, blogs, and private conversations and even in popular songs.

However, when everything was said and done many hundreds of thousands of people did not follow through with the support that appeared to be pledged to me mainly through social media.

I too was misled into believing that the growing rhetoric would match the end result.

Like any other Papua New Guinean ahead of the 2017 General Election, I had expectations and high hopes for a result I knew I had worked vigorously to achieve with few resources.

I too rested my hopes on the support of millions of people who embraced my messages. I optimistically led a team of committed people who witnessed the expanding crowds and teams of women and children who rallied around our campaign to grant this country the change it was longing for.

I was there I led the charge. But this spirit was not reflected in votes.

My district and my people sacrificed politically so that I could be the voice for the entire country. The people of Wau-Bulolo District accepted the limitations of having their MP in opposition for 2 terms.

They understood that the resources that developed their infrastructure and delivered services to them came from my own innovation and my willingness to find new and creative ways to access funds and roll out programs in my district with very limited resources from opposition.

Today many voices and faces that were given a chance to commit to lasting change are criticizing my recent decisions and direction. Importantly, I too had beliefs in those in all electorates in PNG that are criticizing me now.

My expectation was that they were going to help me to create change with confidence. Many social media campaigners will never do anything more than sit in the luxury of a virtual reality and criticize.

They will use the thin veil of online chat rooms to analyse and theorize without ever risking anything, not even a vote in a secret ballot.

I respect my friend and colleague Noel Anjo and other brave Papua New Guinean men and women who moved beyond being online social media personalities to becoming brave front line campaigners at the risk of their physical safety and credibility (in the face of an election loss).

I want to say that I too am disappointed with those who are angry with me. I was the voice and I led the fight in anticipation of a revolutionary build up of support through the ballot that would have forced a different outcome to the one we must all have to live with now.

It will only be a matter of time before some newly elected MPs realize the difference between the cyber and the physical world and let’s hope it’s not at the cost of their voters.

God Bless PNG.

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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