I WOULD like to thank our young generation all for taking this bold step towards believing in change for building a better future for PNG.
I have never been sure of myself that today’s young generation would stand up for change after 40 years of wondering in the wilderness, doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
Insanity was the word Albert Einstein used to describe those people doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. No – I was wrong. I didn’t realise that our people have been praying for change for the last 40 years of wondering in the wilderness. They have been waiting for the moment to come.
You are the generation this nation has been praying for to rise up and make change happen so that thousands of future generations can be saved because of your bravery in defying norms but choose to hold the hope for change, instead.
You represent change. You represent hope. Because of you believe in change, the future will be saved. The future generations will be proud of you and what you have done for them.
You are the real heroes of our time. Your bravery and sacrifices will be highly commendable. You are doing this nation a great service and favor at a time when we thought we have lost all our hope.
Let me remind you of the fact that for the last 40 years of nationhood, we have been letting corruption to grow systematic and systemic – making our lives difficult, limiting our opportunities, making our systems malfunction, setting back our progress, creating loopholes for our systems manipulation, distorting of our democratic values, depriving and denying us of our basic human rights and trapping millions of our citizens in poverty. We have forsaken ourcountry and its future by confessing and accepting corruption as a norm, part of our history, cultures, and traditions. We have regarded it is as part of our way of life. We have allowed PNG’s so called “big man”, to take whatever they want, do whatever they want – they have become a law onto themselves, powerful and untouchable. Let me again remind you that this big man culture is neither our destiny nor our future. We cannot deny ourselves a better life and pretend that corruption is a norm.
Sadly, our traditional norms have presided over western norms. We have become a confused nation, lost between two extremes – one inherited from our ancestors and one inherited from colonial masters.
With you believing in change now, you have given us hope again that nothing is impossible; we can stop right here, correct the past and save the future.
So that every Papua New Guinean must be on equal footing with our political leaders and play on the same level playing field, as there are no two sets of laws in this country.
In this land, there should be only one constitution and law for every citizen regardless of creed, race, ethnicity, religious background or political affiliations.
We must never again let PNG’s big man culture ruin and deprive our future because we don’t eat from the same plate, drink from the same cup or sleep on the same bed with them.
Everyone in this country should have equal opportunity to excel in life as one desires. They shall have all opportunities to rise above their full potential.
We are not going to and shall not continue to suffer in a very resource rich country where we should be better off than countries that are not rich as ours, with natural resources. We cannot continue to walk under the shadows of the so called PNG’s “big man” culture. This is neither our future, nor our destiny.
The time has now come to start act to stop corruption because we have to make sure that our children do not inherit the same opportunity-less life we live every day in this resource rich country. We now have that opportunity to make things better for our children.
We must rise above our own fears and doubts. We must reject PNG’s “big man” culture. We must trade our greed, selfishness, bribery and wantok system with caring, protecting and defending cultures. Remember, our ability to extract our natural resources to sustain our future will not be achieved without consequences. One day our ability to extract more of these resources will be questioned as our country is struggling to maintain a delicate balance between our increasing demands and natural laws which will eventually come into play and halt our ongoing ability to extract more of these resources.
Now you have made your stand that, “enough is enough”. You are the generation of heroes this nation has been waiting for.
By challenging the status quo, you have forgedyour own destiny. And now there is no turning back. Live in your time and let history tell your stories.
Lucas Kiap, Via email