Enact tough laws to fight corruption


THE recently launched Vision 2050 by the Government has received a mixed reaction from the elites of this country.
But there has been a deafening silence from the community at large.
This could only mean one of two things – it is understood by the people or it is not understood by the people. 
Whatever it may be, the bottom line is the Government has now put in place a 40-year strategic development plan for Papua New Guinea. 
Come 2050, if everything were to go according to plan, PNG will be inhabited by a happy and satisfied people.
In the meantime, the cancer of corruption that is eating away the country is growing at an amazingly high rate. 
As I write this letter, neither the Government, Opposition and anti-corruption advocates such as Transparency International and others who have been screaming about corruption, have to come up with one practical solution to at least slow down this cancer before it kills the country before 2050.
I think one possible way to slow down corruption is for Parliament to enact a tough law to “criminalise” the “squandering of public money” by Government officials of all levels and private companies. 
Such law needs to also include provisions to arrest the people of other countries from engaging in corrupt practices in PNG.
The criminal code should be amended accordingly to introduce “the crime of wantonly squandering public money; engaging in corrupt practices; wantonly accepting bribes; and other practices of a sleazy nature”. 
I am not an expert but this list is on top of my mind.
Anti-corruption advocates are in a better position to add more to this list.
I strongly urge anti-corruption advocates, and the Opposition to take up this challenge, and hopefully, at the next sitting of Parliament, a proposed bill to amend the Criminal Code should be put on the notice paper.


William Kulmat