PAPUA New Guinea, unlike other Pacific Island nations, is richly blessed with unique flora and fauna.
The people are the customary owners of their traditional land and depend on subsistence farming for survival in rural PNG.
Accessibility to water and food supplies is not an issue to the indigenous people.
However, the main impediments to tangible development have been the people’s attitude, political corruption and sheer greed by legislators and implementers.
The people’s ignorant attitude has led to the destruction of public properties, indiscriminate spitting of betelnut juice, killing, laziness, disrespect and the list goes on.
If every Papua New Guinea can change his or her attitude, then we can see changes in our communities.
Mob mentality and tribalism in public places and cities must be a thing of the past.
We must learn to respect everyone and everything, including ourselves, and learn to live peacefully with each other.
The other impediments – political greed and corruption – are harder to overcome.
Politicians are supposed to be the people who make decisions to move this nation forward.
They cannot look after their own self-interest and wealth at the expense of the people.
They are supposed to work for the common good of PNG and to ensure we see tangible development.
They must ensure basic services like roads, health and education reach the people.
PNG needs visionary leaders, hardworking public servants and good-thinking citizens to see it heading in the right direction.
It is time to put PNG first.
It is sad that our 2000 motto “Put PNG first” has been chucked aside.
Jeffery Michai Tom