By ISAAC NICHOLAS
DO not be misled by the “hate mail” that is being circulated threatening Asian-owned businesses, PNG Trade Union Congress president Michael Malabag warned yesterday.
The outspoken union leader warned his workers throughout the country that such “hate mail” would not do anybody any good.
“People must refrain from participating in such activities that will only bring harm and a bad name for the country and its people.”
Mr Malabag, who is also the president of the largest public sector union, the Public Employees Association, has distanced the union from such illegal acts targeting Asian-owned and operated businesses.
He made the statement yesterday in light of such “hate mails” being circulated by unknown sources for Asian-owned and operated businesses to pack up and leave the country by Thursday.
“We, in the union, believe that most corner shops are owned by Papua New Guineans but are operated by Asians on lease arrangements.”
Mr Malabag said, in reality, most shops were owned by nationals who were the real landlords and it was imperative to identify the real owners before pinpointing Asians.
He stressed that Papua New Guinea was a multi-cultural society that had people from all over the world working and living in the country and it was unfair to pick on Asians.
“Asian companies are employing a lot of Papua New Guineans and have contributed immensely to the progress of this country since Independence.”
Mr Malabag said the biggest customers or buyers of the PNG gas were from China and Japan and any anti-Asian riot would not go down well in this new relationship between PNG and Asian countries.
“Instead of this country progressing from the benefits of the LNG project, we will be going backwards if we continue to have such hate attitude towards our neighbours and development partners.”
Mr Malabag also called on the so-called civil society groups leading such hate campaigns to be more responsible and not mislead the people.
“It will not do anyone any good. The perfect example is the riots in the Solomon Islands which have gained nothing.
“People must refrain from participating in actions perpetrated by such hate mails. Papua New Guineans must not be involved in such hate mails.”