The National, Thursday October 10th, 2013
THE bold decision taken by Governor Powes Parkop to ban betel nuts is well overdue.
The governor is demonstrating that he is a real leader by taking his decision despite strong opposition from some growers, traders and chewers.
Port Moresby is PNG’s capital city so its environs must be clean and tidy.
PNG people must learn to accept change. They must accept that we are in the 21st Century and we are a part of a global village.
Betel nuts are not the problem.
The problem is the human attitude of some of our citizens.
It starts with some highly educated elites of this country, including leaders.
When highly-educated people find it normal to litter and spit in the streets, and their superiors and authorities accept the bad habits, there is a serious problem.
Betel nuts and smoking-related diseases are an unacceptable cost and burden to the national economy and to an already dysfunctional national health care system.
PNG must become one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.
Hygiene and cleanliness must be taught and promoted in our schools. It must be built into our culture of living.
I have travelled around the world but have never seen a nation or a society as dirty as some of our people and towns in PNG.
However, just banning or controlling betel nuts in the city and penalising the sellers and inconsiderate chwers will not be enough.
The governor should consider how best to gain the support of the employers, including government departments and companies, so that the ban is enforced in workplaces.