My dear friends and countrymen,
Yes a man without a vision shall not live but parish as he has no purpose to live and fulfil. Every men has visions and dreams so do I? I am seeing a nation being destroyed by a few and handful of people at the ignorance of the people to shape their own future and define their destiny.
I have a great concern that our beloved and beautiful country is not on the right track to development, progress and advancement. Our actions are fuelling and lubricating the self-destruction of our country and we are already abdicated to it.
Corruption is one problem but we lacked visions and lacked control over many aspects of running and steering this country into the right path.
One aspect is that we lacked comprehensive and detailed development plan for our country to guide development in the rural villages so that government services can reach people living in isolated rural villages. We have seen millions of kina budgeted every year for the last decade but there is little or no physical evidence to show on the ground for projects being implemented. We continue to see increases in the districts development grants but we are not aware of what programmes or projects the government is funding.
There is no clear, precise and detailed development plan for every LLGs or council wards. These monies (District Development Grants and other funds) will be simply vanished through ghost projects proposals and public private partnership deals. Also every MP who enter parliament does not have a comprehensive development plan for their districts. They are simply opportunity seekers who seek more opportunities to increase their personnel wealth and extend their empires. They tend to favour their supporters over the common good of the people they represent. Correct me if I am wrong.
In fact we are a people or a government simply operating on ad hock basis driven by our deep desire of personnel wealth creation and name making. We care less about the country and its future.
I have observed over the years that people’s perception about development in this country has not changed. People think that the current problems we are facing in PNG will simply go away or disappear after our country grows old like the USA or Japan. Where is the cut off age for a young and old nation?
But let’s not forget that the first rocket was not a bird caught by the Americans. The first nuclear bomb was not a mushroom found in a bush covered by mud and dirt. The birds were not used as aeroplanes. Submarine is not a fish or a ship is not a shark. People have invented these great designs. These great inventions didn't appear in their dreams with all the sketches, detail designs and engineering specifications.
During the time when people started to understand the planet earth and our solar system, they went crazy and wanted to discover more. They spent a great deal of time, effort, energy and resources into their researches, discoveries and inventions. They have sacrificed time, effort and resources for all mankind to understand what we are capable of doing/achieving. As a result they have established and built the foundations and institutions that continue to support and sustain them in their quest for greater things today. And they went to the moon and are on their way to Mars.
Japanese, Chinese, South Koreans, and Indians never invented things on their own. These countries have copied everything from the West. Look at Japan, it was completely bombed and destroyed by the Americans during the 2nd World War in 1945. They were left with nothing. But after 20 years they had recovered and managed to host the Olympics. Now they are a nation better off than countries that didn’t had their cities and towns bombed or destroyed. Also look at the South Koreans. They have been in complete ruins during the Korean War. But they now are competing against big powers for space dominance. China was just only a developing country 20 years ago with shanty towns everywhere. Look at them now. They are developing very rapidly. They are the third country in the world to shot down satellites after USA and Russia. The governments of these countries played a major role in planning, outlining and strategizing their visions and dreams for the future they wanted to have.
Changes do not happen overnight and that is correct. But changes do happen overnight when the right people lay the foundations and framework for change and strive towards them. In this country, we are yet to lay the foundations for change. Let alone the mechanisms to uproot and weed out the corruption endemic.
Here I am not talking about building a space program to get a rocket or satellite into space or a ballistic missile or nuclear weapon to destroy our neighbours. Yes USA, Japan and other developed countries can do great things and redefine the history of mankind and reshape our way of thinking. But how did they manage to get there?
Developed countries yes have progress over a great deal of time but the path towards achieving that state “developed” has not come on a golden plate or during a golden handshake. They have struggled, shed blood, spent limited resources wisely and laid the foundations for development and change. They never waited for changes to happen naturally or over time or by some magic. This is the wrong mentality because we will reap what we saw now.
Developed countries have developed a culture of doing and achieving results. They have developed a culture of respecting other people, properties and the environment. They care a lot about losing a single life or gaining one. They care a lot about throwing rubbish on a street. They don’t take shortcuts and cross flower beds. They are not all Christians but they live dignified lives. It’s the culture which they have built over time that has been the constant driving force behind in most of their successes.
But after almost 40 years of independence, have we developed the right cultures to guide us through for development? We haven’t been building the right cultures but we have been building and promoting the wrong cultures for self-destruction. We have been actively developing and promoting beer and fornication culture. We have been promoting corruption culture. We have been promoting laziness and begging culture. We have been promoting gambling culture. We have been promoting littering culture. We have been promoting rapist culture. We have been promoting killing culture. We have been promoting no-care attitude culture. We have been developing a culture of harbouring and protecting criminals. The list goes on!
After almost 40 years of independence where are we now? Is PNG still a young nation after 40 years? Are we progressing naturally and eventually will get there? The answer is never. We will never get there if we do not start today. We have been wasting so many opportunities to progress and advance. We have been underestimating our actions in shaping our future. We have been wrongly thinking that our natural resources will continue to sustain us without consequences.
Look at the current problems we are facing! Corruption, our no care attitude problem, law and order problems, increasing unemployment, high cost of living, etc. Will these problems go away easily and open the golden doors for PNG to a better, healthier and happy society in 2050? In fact we will be worse off in 2050 if we don’t have a comprehensive plan to seriously address these issues including weeding out corruption. This is serious because look at the rate of digging and pipping overseas our non-renewable natural resources without developing the necessary infrastructure for the future generations to use when they have nothing. We want everything to be exploited and pipped or shipped overseas while we are still around. We are caring less the opportunities we have here to make the future generations be proud of what we achieve here.
Seriously I am not sure where this country is heading. Look at the behaviour of the people. They are worshiping beer and fornication as their gods. 75% of the population are illiterate. They are good at making children but they don’t know what to do with them. These kids are a cause of great concern for this country because most of them don’t learn how to respect human life and live a better life. Worse still, they end up in the streets contributing to the law and order trend.
Come on my fellow Papua New Guineans, let’s pause for a moment and reflect on the current situation in the country. Are we on the right track to a better future? For me, I don’t want my children to live the same life I am living today. I don’t want them to see and experience the same struggles that I am struggling today.
Lucas Kiap uses Social Media to write about Papua New Guinea Politics ..For more information, contact him on his Facebook account