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Lucas Kiap
By Lucas Kiap
We normally agree with the Charles Darwin Theory of revolution that the fittest survive and that when the going gets tougher, the tougher gets going. This phrase finds itself quoted at many special occasions such as graduation events by MPs and other guest speakers of prominent background to make people realize their weaknesses and change to face the challenges in life. When you take a moment to fully reflect the meaning and the real picture of that phrase, I guess you would realize that it does not make any sense if you are weak, poor, marginalized, a minority, a voiceless, or a refugee. You would realize that the fittest will survive by taking advantage of you because of your inability to defend yourself. It will make you sick and you will hate your own existence if you are one of them. 

MPs and bureaucrats sometimes don’t always live up with their words. When situations in this country gets tougher, our MPs seek the easiest and the cheapest way to escape and that is escaping through the backdoor. To further elaborate on this, I’ll take the example of the increase in the housing and vehicle allowances for MPs in 2009.
On the 19th March 2009, the two daily news papers reported that our MPs helped themselves to a hefty increase of 40 and 50% in the housing and vehicle allowance respectively. They (MPs) argued that the increase was due to the high cost of living in Port Moresby. By default this is 142% increase in the wages and allowances of MPs within a period of three years which deemed by many as greedy and selfish at a time when the global economy was in depression. 
In condemning the actions of the MPs, some of the concerned individuals and trade unions demanded that they be treated the same arguing that their housing allowance is only a mare K7. Logically, we all in the end appreciate that out MPs were bailing themselves out of the high cost of living in the city by paying themselves with a hefty K10 million in bonuses, when in fact they are suppose to live in their respective districts tending to their people’s needs (in terms of service delivery). 
The issue concerns me and maybe is serious enough to let the alarm go off is not the perks and privileges of the MPs but the lack of political will and direction to approach and address critical national issues that affects everyone in the country. 
If this increase is to do with the high cost of living, as leaders they have the ultimate responsibility to address the whole issue at the bottom up than top down. When leaders recognize there is a problem it is a responsibility for them. Leaders do not blame the circumstances and conditions because these problems happen as a result of their poor decisions and management of the country. 
For the high cost of living in the city, our MPs need to sit down and discuss what need to be done so that the high cost of living could be affordable by every citizen of this country. It is unfair for our elected leaders only helping themselves to a package of K10 million while leaving the people to fend for themselves at the mercy of uncontrollable high cost of living. 
Without much controversy, the issue has slipped past the public domain and as usual it has found its way to the grave of all dead issues. 
Indeed our elected leaders are escaping through the back door while everyone else trying the front door. What lousy leaders we have in this country because leaders do not live to make a living but they live to make a difference.
For further information, contact Lucas on 718 58 412

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