The National, Thursday January 30th, 2014
I WOULD like to share my views on Cabinet’s approval of no visa on arrival for Australians.
My comment stems from Peter Barter’s comment stating that the Cabinet’s decision will have debilitating effect in the tourism industry.
Apparently, Cabinet’s decision will no doubt impair the tourism industry and adverse flow-on effect in the hospitality industry.
His comment somewhat is truthful with validation and he knows the hospitality industry will suffer a great deal. But the decision needs to be perceived holistically encompassing pre-independence, post-independence and in the post-modern era.
I raise my voice on this occasion to applaud the prime minister for the unpopular decision.
This decision was long overdue.
We cannot compare Australia with other countries within the region and outside.
For Australia and PNG share a common history, a bond that inextricably binds the two countries.
PNG has been up to the task keeping this side of the bargain through issuing visa on arrival for Australian citizens.
PNG government has requested our colonial master to do likewise but to no avail.
Both opposition and government intentionally keep silent on this issue let alone the state and territory governments.
We cannot continue to have this stereo-type ‘yes master’ mentally from the post-colonial era to post-modern era.
It is not fair when PNGeans go through stringent process trying to meet rigid visa requirements and wait in the queue for five working days to check whether visa was granted or not, whilst counterparts in Australia just fly in hassle-free and in matter of few minutes, collect the visa and walk away.
This to me is discrimination at best, giving the white person business-class treatment while the same is not reciprocated.
A leadership is not merely measured for the good demeanor or because of the popularity but can be long remembered for unpopular decision as such.
It was a long overdue decision and I take my hat off to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in honour of his boldness in taking such a decision.
He has made some landmark decisions and one of those is rescinding the decision to issue visa to Australians on arrival will at least send the message loud and clear that easy way in is over.
I implore with all parliamentarians from both divides of the house to stand up and be counted on the visa issue and prop the prime minister on the decision protecting the sovereignty of PNG.
N Waiyo, Via email